Review: What Our Eyes Have Witnessed (The Zombie Bible #1) by Stant Litore

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book like this one before. I’ve read zombie stories (who hasn’t?) and I’ve read Christian horror novels (Frank Peretti and the like), but I’ve never read both together at the same time.

Ok, I must also admit — I’m really not a huge fan of zombies. For me, the whole zombie apocalypse is over. Seriously. And I haven’t even read any of Jonathan Maberry’s books either.

It’s just over.

Until I read WHAT OUR EYES HAVE WITNESSED by Stant Litore.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Stant’s not a Christian writer. And with books out like THE ANSIBLE SERIES, it’s difficult to pigeon-hole him or to put him in a box with neatly defined edges, because that’s not what he is.

WHAT OUR EYES HAVE WITNESSED is a retelling of the story of Polycarp, a 2nd century Christian martyr, burned at the stake, then stabbed when the flames didn’t touch him (thanks, Wikipedia). The story is set in Rome and deals with the early Christian sects that had to hide in order to share the word of god.

However there’s a twist. Polycarp, the deaconess Regina, and his followers share the Eucharist, the bread and wine that Jesus has told his disciples to share “in remembrance of” him. The sacrilege of worshipping another god instead of following Roman traditions is supposedly what is bringing the dead to life again.

I can’t do this book justice in a review. It’s not a book about Christianity, however it is a story about one of the early sects of Christians, when Christians had to hide their beliefs for fear of being called blasphemers.

It’s not a straight-up zombie story, one that will scare you into the middle of the night where you’ll have to sleep with the lights on, for fear of shuffling and moaning sounds beating at your door.

It’s a full-on zombie Christian story (jokes about Zombie Jesus aside).

Now that kind of sounds like a joke. Something you used to be able to find in the B-rated section at the local video store. Now, maybe on Netfliz or Amazon Video-on-Demand.

Instead, what we have is a deep look into the early Christian church with zombies and Stant gives pretty valid reasons for zombies to exist. There is gore, as one would expect in a book with zombies, but it’s not the focus.

No, the focus of the book is the characters — all of them. Stant’s characterization defies description — it’s been a long while since I’ve read anything so beautiful with the ability to drag you down into the lake and to keep you there by using description, deep point-of-view and characterization. (You can learn more about the way Stant creates and writes his characters in his books for writers found on Amazon.)

Regina was my favorite character — she reminds me of me in a way. My past is not all that… spotless… yet when I became Kari Wolfe and had my daughter and moved away, I could become whoever I wanted to be. Still working on that, but she gives me hope it can be accomplished.

And as Stant told me, it wasn’t all that easy for Regina to change, and in the book, you see her turmoil from going from what she was to who she decides ultimately that she wants to be.

It’s a very touching book with a message that came straight from the story, but is not trying to convert you to Christianity, but to give you hope, hope for your own future.

I loved this book.

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Kari J. Wolfe

Never-ending student in the realms of writing fiction/nonfiction and telling stories. Hopeless wannabe equestrian learning from a distance.