The Book of Thomas, Volume One: Heaven

ISBN: 9781927469279
eISBN: 9781927469286

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The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
—John Milton, Paradise Lost

In the beginning, the Church ruled all the Spheres of the Apostles. But that was millennia ago, before the origins of this massive, artificial realm were forgotten. Now, drought, plague and war afflict the Spheres that make up the world of Man, fragmenting society into antagonistic sects that carry out ruthless pogroms.

A young orphan, Thomas, is thrust into the midst of this upheaval and embarks on a journey to the highest of all Spheres, Heaven. As he struggles through his chaotic, crumbling world, Thomas witnesses cruelty and violence beyond measure—and chances upon unexpected moments of courage and self-sacrifice. In this turmoil, his belief becomes doubt as he is forced to make soul-rending choices between what his faith tells him he should do, and what he must do to survive.

The Book of Thomas: Heaven is the unflinching, deeply affecting tale of the battle that reason and religion wage for a boy’s soul.

Reviews of The Book of Thomas, Volume One: Heaven:

As Thomas makes his way through the world, his backstory is gradually revealed, adding richness and somberness to a dark novel that is reminiscent of Walter M. Miller Jr.'s classic A Canticle for Leibowitz.
—Library Journal (starred review)
Full of both new and familiar elements, Boyczuk's book is a spirited mixing and mapping of science, fantasy and religion that leaves you wondering which way is up.
In a novel that dedicates so much of its efforts to framing a larger tale, the simplest benchmark for success is a reader’s desire to keep reading after the last page. To Robert Boyczuk I now say, “I want more.” The Book of Thomas’ first volume is as layered as the world in which it is set. A subtext of critical skepticism juxtaposed with deist belief in a higher power underpins a story which shamelessly and unrepentantly flirts with multiple genres. Ultimately this combination of opposing thematic forces produces a novel which frees the hero’s journey from idealism and infallibility, offering something that is, perhaps, closer to the Truth of those called to greatness.
Boyczuk is a very talented writer. His characters are complex and charismatic. The world he created is fantastical. And the story reveals the flaws of religion and beauty of faith.
It is not a pretty world, and some fairly awful things happen to some of the characters, but it's a really good story. Highly recommended.

Other Reviews

goodreads 3.77/5 stars more...

Author Info

Robert Boyczuk has published short stories in various magazines and anthologies. He also has three books out: a collection of his short work, Horror Story and Other Horror Stories, and two novels, Nexus: Ascension and The Book of Thomas (all by ChiZine Publications).