Cover Image: Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

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Member Reviews

Excellently illustrated and a staple of consistency in innovation and technique from this excellent graphic novelist! I can't wait to see what comes next.
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This was a delight. I'm not religious, nor often a reader of graphic novels, but I know the Old Testament fairly well and frankly, this is the best version I've read. God, with her insecurities and anger; the illustration of what exactly happened when Eve bit the apple; the modern spins on Abra(ha)m and all he begat -- I didn't think I'd love a Biblical story but I did.

Speaking of begat, the illustrations of all the begat-ing made me laugh, and I especially appreciated the cameo from Noah's unnamed wife. 

If you are heavily religious you might not like this. If you used to be religious, you probably will. If you're somewhere in between, or outside of that, give it a try!
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Liana rewrites the Book of Genesis from a feminist perspective with humor and insight about the difference in the creation of the world if God is a woman. A book to share with all of your women friends, mothers, daughters and men who want to rewrite history by placing women ahead of themselves. This graphic novel’s sketches are humorous and quirky. Well-done!
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By Liana Finck

Let There Be Light by Liana Finck, a NYT cartoonist retells the Book of Genesis that features God as a woman and Abraham a New Yorker - among others in this fabulous retelling through gorgeously illustrated graphic novel. 

I love Old Testament stories and this new take on these stories so well known through fresh set of eyes and imagining is truly brilliant.
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Thank you for NetGalley, I received an ARC for an honest review. 

The retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female Godmagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, the graphics, and the storytelling were very genuine.  I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, but I did. 

Liana Finck shows a wonderful sense of insightful humor.  My first read from the author and I enjoyed it. 

Try it!! I think you will enjoy it!!
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Artist Liana Finck reimagines the Book of Genesis in her latest graphic novel; here, god is a woman wearing a crown and wielding a wand, creating the world and populating it but not quite satisfied. She creates Man, then creates Lilith (Adam's first wife), creating Eve when Lilith storms out and leaving Adam bereft. It's assumed God presents as male - something that irks the Creator throughout the book, as rendered in amusing and outraged footnotes - which ends up being the reason behind why humans are unable to view the face of God. Let There Be Light tells the stories of Cain and Abel, the "Begats" (an hilarious look at all the babies being born to centuries-old men, seemingly without female assistance), Joseph, Abraham, and others. Simple black and white line drawings get spots of color for emphasis. God is a more human deity in this book, with neuroses and anxiety, making her a more compassionate figure.  An author's note touches on Kabbalist concepts and its influence on her story. An amusing and thought-provoking retelling.
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Liana Finck’s Let There Be Light is very much like her personal work you’d find on her Instagram. Even without her signature drawing style you’d know this is hers. This graphic novel is a reimagining of Genesis, with God as a woman and through Liana’s comical, morbid (in only the best of ways) lens. It is a very straightforward retelling, in that it is familiar, however with Liana’s spark it is also something quite new and strange. There is an art to taking something common or known and pointing out the absurdity of it. Fink has that quality in spades.

I would recommend this to those that have enjoyed David Byrne’s Arboretum, and The Adventuress, or The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger. All four have this same tongue in cheek, macabre story telling with magical and/or religious run-ins.
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Liana Finck follows closely the Genesis story, only changing a few details here and there. The biggest change being that God is in fact a Goddess. The story starts at the very beginning of the creation up to the story of Joseph.

This retelling is more humorous than the original. I particularly enjoyed all the author’s side notes that amplify that effect. I had a little hard time for a few pages, wondering if that book was really for me. But I persevered and didn't regret it. I knew nothing about Liana Finck before I saw this book on Netgalley as I was browsing for a new graphic novel to read. The very minimalist illustrations can be confusing at first, but as a matter of fact, they serve the story very well. Liana Finck’s interpretation is extremely touching and sensitive, especially when she describes God’s reactions in front of her Creation.
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a more lighthearted/humorous (and slightly feminist) retelling of the Old Testament where God is a woman, this was an interesting read! I feel like if you've never learned the stories in the Old Testament you might not find the commentary/changes as funny or interesting, but would still find it enjoyable. I loved the art style and illustrations also, the page where Eve bites the apple is 10/10

Thanks to Random House publishing for providing me with an e-arc to review!
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A cute and lighthearted illustrated adaptation of several Old Testament stories. Keeping to the original tale, Finck changes just a few key points. For example, God is a woman. Finck's illustrations and writing style make these age old stories a little more relatable and whimsical.
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I am personally very unfamiliar with the Old Testament, and really the bible as a whole, since I didn't grow up in a religion. So going into this with only basic knowledge was an interesting experience. The beauty comes from the reimagining and offers a new perspective on something so many are raised on, which I think can lead to some valuable critical thinking. Plus it is more entertaining than reading the original, in my opinion.
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This graphic novel is a reimagined take on the Old Testament with God as a woman. (God has always been a woman to me so I see this more as a correction of the Old Testament than a reimagining...)

Finck starts at the very beginning, the creation of the heavens and earth.  Seems God created the universe and earth because she was bored. Sounds about right. And man was created because she was lonely, and the creatures she had already made did not look or think as she did.

God gave the first man, Adam, the job of choosing the names for her creations, and like most men he took this way too seriously and decided that God was an old, bearded, angry man. Why God didn't set him straight right off the bat is still lost on me, but it seems she wanted her pet to be happy, and if that made him happy she would ignore the mistake.

The only creature that refused to allow Adam to give it a name was Lilith, his first wife. She refused to allow him to call her woman, and when God made a second woman, Eve, Lilith wanted her to understand who and what God was. This was why she gave her the apple from the tree of knowledge.

This was one of the most poignant illustrations for me. As Eve bit the apple, every fear, uncertainty, self-loathing, flowed into her as well as the knowledge of what these things meant. God had told them not to touch this tree to protect them from these feelings and to know nothing but contentment.

Liana Finck shows a wonderful sense of ironic and insightful humor. More than once I either chuckled or laughed out loud, something I never did while reading the Bible as a child or an adult.

I really loved this. If I had kids I would use it as a way to tell them the stories of the Old Testament in a way they could not only relate to but understand. When I was young I found the first book of the Bible frightening, as an adult I list it as one of the greatest horror books ever written. Such violence, betrayal, killings, slavery, revenge, and loss was and still are amazing to me as a basis for proving we were created by a loving being.

Highly recommended even if you are not the religious sort, no matter what religion you practice. It is a story that has been passed down for centuries, and these stories should never be lost. The expected publishing date for Let There be Light is April 12, 2022.

Thanks to @Netgalley, Randon House Publishing, and Liana Finck for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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This is an unconventional and humorous retelling of of the book of Genesis with a critical eye toward the way the stories in Genesis (and the Bible) have been used to further sexist agendas rather than focusing on the core elements of what makes stories in the Bible entertaining and challenging.  The author portrays God as a woman who is dismayed that her human creations seem to be obsessed with her appearing like an old man, and so to avoid distressing them unduly, she plays along.  The author also plays with ideas surrounding the portrayal and role of the serpent (merging it with the extra-biblical story of Lilith), has fun with the fact lineages focus only on the men involved in begetting children, and does not strictly set all of the stories in ancient Mesopotamia (Abram and Sarai are set in a modern setting while the story of Joseph is set in a fantastical future setting).

It would make a good discussion title for those generally familiar with the book of Genesis already and those who are not inclined to find creative retelling of the stories in the book to be offensive.  Liberal or post-Evangelical Christians are likely to enjoy this book, as well as many Jewish readers (the author is Jewish) and probably others who are generally interested in creative commentary on religious writing.  Those who like the film and artistic works of Nina Paley are likely to also enjoy this book.
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Let There Be Light is an interesting and well-illustrated/visually written graphic novel. Literary creativity in comics form.
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What a lovely, sacrilegious, healing, confusing retelling of Genesis. As a person raised on Bible studies, this was particularly compelling, new, and yet familiar all at the same time. I've never related to God more than when she was represented by minimalist line drawing and just as emotional as any human. Thank you LIana Finck for sharing your craft. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an early read.
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I honestly did not know what to think of this book, because I have a bit of a hang up when it comes to the bible. This mostly comes from childhood which has to do with a religious family. Once I got over my hang ups though it was very interesting to see the book of Genesis told by someone else. 

Finck's art did take me a little while to get use to, but once I did I actually enjoyed it very much. The art complimented Finck's story very well. I love the alternative God that Finck explores, and the first two sections of the book was very interesting, but the third and last section sort of lost it's stride and I did not enjoy it as much.

Overall, a very interesting retelling about the Book of Genesis
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Loved this book. I'm not religious but I thoroughly enjoyed the story as Ms. FInck drew it. Graphic novels are a highly under rated medium, and I cannot recommend this one enough.

ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, but the opinions are my own.
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This was a pretty straightforward retelling of Genesis. God is depicted as a woman, which isn't particularly bold, as there is Biblical precedent for that. The art style isn't what I am normally drawn to. Overall, this was fine. I probably would have skipped this one if the publisher hadn't reached out.
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This was an entertaining alternate retelling of the book of Genesis. The book is divided into three sections, and I think the first two sections were the strongest. Finck is at her best when she's exploring alternate ideas of God as opposed to the old-man-with-a-beard that he tends to be pictured. I love the idea of God being a woman (and there's definitely biblical text to support this, but I digress). There are a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments and jokes. When the book gets into Abraham's descendants, it gets less interesting, and I think it would have been stronger if it were just the first two parts. The art isn't to my taste either because it's pretty simplistic (but this also encourages me to keep going with my own drawing, because simple doesn't mean unsuccessful!). Overall, this was a fast and entertaining read.

Thank you to NetGalley for offering me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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