The Orphan

Christian - Fiction
358 Pages
Reviewed on 11/14/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Orphan is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama and Christian fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author James Lloyd. A cautionary tale about regret, redemption, and the choices we make in life, this is a highly moral story that follows the exploits of our protagonist, Omar. Living a life in which he never takes the blame for any of his own misfortunes, Omar suddenly finds himself transformed in a way he never thought possible, and this interjection into his normal life allows him to access a new perspective that teaches him the value of relationships.

Author James Lloyd sets out with a clear mission in this thought-provoking novel, and the Christian themes of the work come through as clear as a bell. Whilst this may not suit all readers, those seeking a strong message of redemption and living a good life will certainly enjoy the deeply emotive work that Lloyd has put into Omar’s character development, as well as the plot events that shape him into a better version of himself. I found the close narrative style and dialogue immensely helpful in getting into this novel as it draws you closer to Omar and his motivations, both before, during, and after the experiences that see him change and grow. Overall, The Orphan is a fascinating work of psychological drama with religious themes, and I’d certainly recommend it to all readers of Christian fiction and personal drama novels alike.

Essien Asian

Omar Duncan's annoying habit of keeping to himself and responding weirdly to his colleagues has gradually become the norm around his workplace. Some of his colleagues believe he is mean-spirited and that he is the last person any of them would want as a team player. Others like Evelyn believe Omar must have some good in him beneath that distasteful veneer. What they do not know is that the appearance he presents is a shield that masks the difficulties he has experienced during his life, some of them unresolved. When Clarence hands Omar a critical project and tasks him and Evelyn to bring it to life, Omar is forced to return to Dillon and face his demons in The Orphan by James Lloyd.

The Orphan has a storyline that highlights the ugly side everyone has but attempts to hide from the rest of the world. James Lloyd uses an indirect style of storytelling, taking a flashback from his primary character's memory and dropping it into a present situation in a way that leaves a reader suspecting there is a link between both events. The onus is on the reader to figure it out. The characters are quite well developed, with origin stories that show the impressive amount of attention to detail that went into creating them. I particularly enjoyed the interaction between the characters, with their conversations flowing naturally but still managing to maintain that increasing aura of suspense as the story neared its climax. This is an impressive novel by all standards. It may not have that much action but the drama is deep and thought-provoking. This is a really good effort by the author.

Vincent Dublado

The Orphan by James Lloyd is a powerful story of one man’s descent toward self-destruction. Things are blocking Omar Duncan’s pathway to getting where he wants to be in terms of mental health. He is hounded by recurring memories that are too painful to bury and now they are becoming his roadblocks. Omar has periods when he agonizes about his past, such as things that have happened to him as far back as his childhood. They monopolize his thoughts, not leaving any room for happiness. He has alienated his friends and others around him, making it difficult for him to function. An orphan will later guide him subconsciously, crossing dimensions of time and space in a last-ditch effort to help Omar come to terms with himself, to get him back on a clear path by making him accept the consequences of his actions.

There is a certain beauty that sings in the prose of The Orphan. James Lloyd suggests that there is a core of goodness present in each of us, through those poignant reminders that we need to embrace to find inner peace. Omar’s paranoia takes hold of him, and he tries to break away from its tightening grip. His encounters with a spirit take place in sudden flashes that make it difficult to distinguish reality from fantasy. It is a rare work of Christian fiction that explores the complex interactions and influences that take root in the human psyche and how they can lead to creating surreal perceptions. It is Omar’s madness that makes this story stand out. This is a must-read for its ability to penetrate the furthest reaches of thought and the price that comes with it.

Rabia Tanveer

The Orphan by James Lloyd is the story of Omar Duncan who was on a path of destruction with no end in sight. Working as a successful product development specialist, Omar should have been happy with his life, but remained as bitter and disappointed as ever. Now in his 40s, Omar had learned to be tough and to keep his emotions hidden from the world. His relationships did not last, because he could not allow himself to form an attachment to any person. Omar’s past haunted him. Running away from it wasn’t the best option, and the only way to cope was to remain detached from the people in his life. However, when his past finally caught up with him, he had no idea how he would survive. Was there any way for Omar to evade his past?

I love novels written in the third person narrative as that gives me the time and the distance to scrutinize the characters and judge them objectively. This narrative style was perfect for The Orphan and allowed me to understand Omar and why he liked to live alone. He wasn’t the most pleasant character and was too arrogant for me to form a connection with him. As the story continued and I got to understand him better, I realized why Omar was the way he was and the reason that his past was so terrifying for him. James Lloyd did a great job of keeping the drama alive and allowing readers to form their personal opinion of Omar. This book reminded me of reading Toni Morrison for the first time. It was just as insightful, invigorating, and fascinating for me. The author kept the mystery alive, gave the drama pace, and allowed Omar to open up a little more. Faith and spirituality played a huge role in Omar’s development but didn’t overshadow it. I loved it!