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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
In the Beginning: The Early Days of Religious Beliefs is a fascinating work of fiction in the historical sub-genre and was penned by author Jaime Reyes. As the title suggests, we return to very early times of the human race, when Neanderthals are first learning to communicate and form ideas and use imagination. The story focuses on protagonist Og, who undergoes some deep considerations when he realizes he is now too old and frail to hunt. Intent on capitalizing on the scattered beliefs and strange ideas that his fellow cave people have about natural events, we follow Og’s rise to stardom as a prominent spiritual leader who claims knowledge of how to appease the sun and the storms.
Author Jaime Reyes has crafted a fascinating short novel that packs in plenty of character study, historical flavor, and serious food for thought about how belief and spirituality can be crafted. I found this story to be a spectacular study of human nature and its desire to understand and control that which it fears. I felt this was an issue that was intelligently and emotively dealt with amongst this cast of characters. The narration surrounding Og was a delightful read, giving thought and speech presentation which feels strangely contemporary and relatable despite the setting of 40,000 BCE. In terms of descriptive language and historical context, the wording gives a fantastic sense of atmosphere and the fears and hardships of the age. Overall, I would certainly recommend In the Beginning: The Early Days of Religious Beliefs to all readers who want a new and thought-provoking short read.