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Recycled Virgin (Scleratis Series)

by D. A. Brown

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This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
I have to admit, the name grabbed me.

Recycled Virgin is a book that introduces a new interpretation on the idea of the Biblical Mary's immaculate conception, being the idea that the conception itself wasn't so immaculate to begin with, but instead of doing the obvious thing, it goes in a different direction entirely and actually makes the entire situation significantly more probable. This being a fictionalized account of a likely-fictional or at least heavily misinterpreted situation, many liberties were taken to craft this story and, somehow, make it more believable to me as a skeptical heathen.

There was an easy direction this book could've taken itself in, and I was expecting and ready for that direction, but what I got instead was a book that crafted its own identity, invented its own plausible ideas, and gave me something to think about that I never really had before. While the reincarnation aspect was intentionally unbelievable for obvious reasons, it was interesting to follow her through different lifetimes and I welcomed the very probable ideas that the narrative managed to put forward for consideration. It's very overlooked how easily things that happen in religious texts can be explained away by relatively simple ideas, and I'm absolutely welcoming to any logical interpretation of events.

This book is equal parts fictionalized story about the modern Mary growing up with memories of her past lives, and what turned out to be a fascinating interpretation of the original Biblical story with the author's own ideas presented in a way that made me contemplate the passages in a way I haven't been able to do in many years.

This being the debut novel of D.A. Brown, the biggest piece of advice I can give to the author is to have more confidence in your work! You have a winner of a story here. The ideas you put forth and the way you connected it into a contemporary coming-of-age story about finding your purpose was a winning combination for me. Aside from a few typos, this was an interesting book full of new ideas for me to consider, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next from this author.

Thanks to Tim Covell with Somewhat Grumpy Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, it was much appreciated. ( )
  TMLbuds34 | Dec 4, 2021 |
In the Bible, the devil is in the details, which brings me to the novel ‘Recycled Virgin’, by D. A. Brown. Think you know your scriptures? If so, I dare you to read this book. Brown takes us on a surprisingly believable journey through the lives of those who were there in the early days of the New Testament story. Told from Mary’s viewpoint, what we know as the Christmas Story, is shown in a whole new light that will leave you with more questions than answers. In this case however, that’s a good thing. Reviewing this novel without giving too much away is a challenge, but I can say that if the Rosary is part of your daily routine, this book might not be for you. On the other hand, it may in fact make you think beyond the Mary you have been told about, and give you an even greater appreciation for the woman she may have been.

I love the premise Brown took with this story, and it is definitely a page-turner. The character development is perfect; made easier by the fact that we already know them – or so we thought. The story flows smoothly, and even though the reader is bounced around through time, everything makes sense and you are left with the need to dive into each new chapter.

Even with the mind numbing COVID-19 news constantly swirling around, Recycled Virgin managed to break through and keep me reading. If you have even a passing interest in religion, scriptures, or alternate history, you’ll want to get a copy of this book. You won’t regret it. ( )
  Sturgeon | Jun 27, 2020 |
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