Intriguing Premise, Disappointing Details

14353_CountedWiththeStars_sliderThe Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, as told through the eyes of a young Egyptian girl… Truly, Biblical Fiction doesn’t get any more unique than this! “Counted with the Stars”, the first book in the “Out from Egypt” series, was written by Connilyn Cossette and published by Bethany House in the spring of 2016. As you step into the pages of the story, be prepared to witness the historic plagues of Exodus, and the fascinating culture of Ancient Egypt, as never before.

Told in first-person perspective through the eyes of Kiya, “Counted with the Stars” reveals a very limited perspective of the Exodus events. In this way, it is easy to understand the confused terror of the Egyptian people as one debilitating plague after another swept through their homeland. While first-person stories usually allow readers to figuratively step into the role of the protagonist, however, this doesn’t quite happen with Kiya. We are merely spectators to the events in her life. Remaining distant, she never quite becomes a friend, though I don’t exactly know why. Perhaps it is her utterly foreign beliefs in various Counted with the Stars imagegods (at least until she comes to face to face with the decision to recognize or reject Yahweh as the one true source of power). In any case, the storyline is so intriguing in how it corresponds to the Biblical account of Exodus, it is easy to forgive a lack of kinship with the characters. Unfortunately, though, a few other faults are more difficult to forgive…

Horrible, ugly secrets and suggestive scenes are brought to light, one after another, through the course of the book. Likely portraying the time period of the story accurately, these elements are nonetheless hard to swallow in a Christian novel. Detailed violence is also depicted, as is a horrific murder scene. The romance between Kiya and a Hebrew man is also portrayed in a largely visual and physical way, but thankfully never quite steps over the boundaries of propriety.

Overall, I reached the end of “Counted with the Stars” with mixed feelings of interest and disappointment. Unquestionably the overarching storyline of the Exodus was unique and most interesting, but the details surrounding the characters were often difficult to read. If you enjoy Biblical Fiction and are not uncomfortable reading “edgy” material, I feel certain you will enjoy this engrossing novel. If the elements I briefly mentioned above cause you to feel uneasy, however, I recommend looking for a different story elsewhere.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

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