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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Of the Noble and Great Ones by H.D. Logic explores the profound importance in this world and beyond of young men like Juke, a non-verbal autistic teenager who serves as the exclusive narrator. Through Juke's sparse yet evocative single-word phrases and gestures, we gain intimate access to his hidden world and perceive events through his unique lens. Juke is nineteen and unable to care for himself in any capacity. He is not potty trained, not able to safely feed himself without choking, and is unwilling to take medication without coercion, even bribery. Dad works full time and Mom is stretched too thin, so Juke is moved from his family home to an assisted living home. What Juke is able to see is danger and his defense mechanisms are violent but effective, although sometimes misplaced. He can also see good and experiences happiness in its purest forms. In the privacy of his mind, Juke has visions that bear witness to the celestial and otherworldly. In these ethereal realms, Juke enters a transcendent plane replete with angels, saints, souls, dragons, and Satan, among others. Juke's keen insights illuminate the true essence of individuals, Juke's own remarkable nature, and God's plan.
Of the Noble and Great Ones by H.D. Logic is a hybrid Christian novel that at its onset is a delicate balance of reality and fantasy. Juke's reality is harsh especially when the way people view him is in contrast to his inherent innocence. I know a man like Juke who refuses to budge, can put me in a headlock that if I did not know him better would be terrifying, and when angry will smear excrement. He is the constant recipient of "side eye" but I have never known a truer person in my life. And God does not make mistakes. The fantasy elements are set in a beautifully crafted realm and Logic's storytelling prowess shines through on every page, transporting readers to a place where the line between reality and fantasy becomes delightfully blurred as the novel progresses. The richly detailed landscapes, vivid descriptions, and enchanting characters of Emily, and especially Julian, serve as a beacon of light, offering a heartfelt reminder of the power of belief, redemption, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. When all is said and done, the question is whether or not the fantasy is a construct of reality or if what we see as reality is the real fantasy and nothing more. Insightful and inspiring, I'd give this novel a whole bucket full of stars if I could.