We have to commend J.R. Lankford for having a creative imagination, when she thought of writing a book of the cloning of Jesus Christ!
Who would have thought about the possibility of stealing two threads from The Shroud of Turin, extract blood from it, culture the cells found in the blood, extract unfertilized eggs from a donor, remove the nucleus from the eggs, replace each nucleus with a cultured Shroud cell to produce “fertilized eggs,” grow the eggs in a suitable culture, and finally transfer a blastocyst to the donor womb? Incidentally, The Shroud was not just any shroud, but rather the most famous winding sheet in the world, in which the face imbedded on the ancient linen was supposedly that of Jesus Christ.
Sounds like a great story. However, one of the problems with the book is that there are so many themes going in so many directions, that we loose sight of the original plot. There are also scenes that are somewhat akin to becoming “slap sticky.” One of which comes to mind is the gathering of 10 Jewish men to form a minion in order to recite the Jewish memorial prayer or “Kaddish” in a church. This is really stretching one’s imagination!
However, one of the major shortcomings of the book is the author did not recognize that there comes a time where you must know when to cut and where his or her interests lie.
An author may think that all of the book’s themes are necessary, however, sometimes too much is included,leading to a dizzying effect.
In the case of The Jesus Thief the author seems to have lost sight of focusing on the principal theme, and what exactly she was trying to achieve. Which themes are expendable and which effectively move the drama along.
You can’t afford to indulge and when presenting a theme, the author must ask himself or herself, is this really necessary or will it distract from the principal business at hand. If the main objective of the book was to examine the ethics of human cloning, then don’t try and bring in all kinds of extraneous ideas and thoughts that overwhelm the reader.
Sometimes it may be painful to have to cut a pet idea or thought, however, in order to have a stronger more focused book, it is essential to cut the umbilical chord.