Reviews about Joshua and Aaron, ITP Book Two

Fans of author David Gelber will be thrilled with Joshua and Aaron the second book in his ITP series. Once again we meet some of our favorite characters as the battle between good and evil continues. Several of our favorites have taken different names to protect them from Diblonski.

We find Joshua contently living a quiet life. He spends his time betting on the horses. His caring nature endears him to the jockeys. Bessie was ill and need help right away. On the way to the hospital Joshua saw a body alongside the road. He carried the body over his should to the ER. Later when he inquired about the man the hospital denied having any record of his existence.

Returning to his home Joshua finds G. O’Donnell (Geoffrey) waiting for him. He urged Joshua to come with him immediately. Joshua’s life depended on it. O’Donnell was connected to Solar Concern. Geoffrey and Joshua barely escape in time. So begins the latest action packed installment in the ITP series.

I’m trying very hard not to give away too much of this fast moving plot. David Gelber has created a niche for himself in the world of Christian Science Fiction. The focus of this book is religion verses science. Man has become so technically advanced that he thinks he has finally achieved the status of God. Man is destroying himself. Gelber stays true to the Christian message in this book. God never changes, He is consistent, He never leaves us, and He never stops loving us. Gelber’s plot is exciting and well developed. The characters are easy to connect with. Gelber has combined action, adventure, science fiction, technology and romance to create a thriller sure to please the most discriminating reader.

***** 5 stars

Reader's Favorites

I reviewed Future Hope last March and gave it a four-book rating because I truly did enjoy it. As a result, David Gelber asked if I would like to read the second book in the series and I couldn’t pass up the offer.

What I enjoy most about David’s books is his awesome imagination. In Future Hope, he takes us to Heaven and to Eden. Joshua and Aaron brings the reader to the depths of Hell as the main character faces the demons who threaten to take over the world.

Throughout the story, Joshua and Aaron are mortal enemies. Aaron is a big wig businessman who is just a tad bit crooked. His one dream is to bring down Joshua and he’s given orders to his hit man to kill Joshua on sight. Joshua takes on another identity to avoid his protagonist and sets out to turn the tables on Aaron.

But, as in real life, other events happen at the same time, which Joshua must become involved in. Soon, his main focus becomes finding the man who developed the means to create a society of brainless humans who follow the orders of the powers that be and have no independent thinking. The inventor is presumed dead, but another has found the computer chip and is determined to create a world without war or evil.

This is a fascinating book and I enjoyed reading it. In fact, I’m quite anxious to see where David takes the next book in the series and I hope he invites me to read that one as well.

The series is pure fantasy and set in the future, but don’t let that discourage you if this isn’t your usual genre of choice. The storyline is so intriguing in this series, I just know you’ll enjoy reading David’s books.

Lu Morgan, Reading Frenzy

“Joshua and Aaron” is the fascinating second book in the ITP series written by author David Gelber. Seven years have passed since Joshua Smith’s confrontation with the evil Richard Crosby. All he wants to do is to live a quiet, unexciting life and forget about the past. Unfortunately Joshua becomes entangled in a murder, cover-up scheme that eventually has him facing the evil Aaron Diblonski and taking the one trip no one ever wants to take, directly into hell.

David Gelber has a knack for science fiction as his descriptions of the future really bring the story to life. Most of it is plausible and there are even a few things I wouldn’t mind becoming a reality, such as the food generator. I also enjoy his ability to make the characters seem larger than life but approachable at the same time. The time is taken to develop the characters to the point where the reader cares what happens to them and will furiously turn the page to see how everything turns out.

This book, as was the first in the series, is described as religious Sci-fi and I have to agree with that assessment. There is much talk of religion and faith as well as good and evil that could turn some readers off. Personally, I didn’t mind because the Sci-Fi aspects of the story are so well written and so intriguing I can overlook the one or two sections that may be a little preachy. Besides, there is nothing wrong with exploring a little faith and religion even if you don’t agree with it.

All in all, I really liked this book and enjoy the series as a whole. The science fiction drew me in and the message made me think about good, evil, and most importantly, the ever increasing complacency of the human race. Will we end up being a mindless people seeking out only that which fulfills our every desire at the expense of faith, or will we continue to fight for our beliefs, whatever they may be? I don’t know the answer but this book did make me think about it and that is never a bad thing. 

Reviewed on 08/23/2010 by Member April Hanson

"Joshua and Aaron ITP Book Two" by David Gelber is a terrific story, full of action and drama. Although the characters originated in the first book (Future Hope ITP Book One) I did not find it necessary to remember all the details of that story in order to enjoy this one. This episode easily stands alone for those who have not read "Future Hope". His insightfulness and unique way of showing Christian life in a future world offers clarity of faith adn commitment even for today's world. This book shed new light for me on Bible stiories I have heard all my life. I am ready for the next episode and arm chair adventure.

Cindy Walker

Joshua and Aaron is the second volume in the ITP series, following on from the events of Future Hope, written by David Gelber.

It is the the year 2163 and 7 years have passed since David Sanders fated voyage through the ITP to another world. Joshua Smith shuns society and instead spends his time watching the horse races, carefully picking the winners and generally trying to forget his past. However he tries though he cannot completely forget the shocking events that surround his encounter with the sinister Richard Cosby, henchman to the evil Aaron Diblonski. He is constantly on edge, awaiting the revenge attack that he is sure will take place.

His seclusion is brought to an abrupt end with the arrival of Geoffrey O'Donnel (G.O.D. for short) who arrives just in time to save Joshua from an attempt on his life. The arrival of O'Donnel isn't without it's own problems though and before long Joshua finds himself once again thrust into a battle of good versus evil, with mankind's fate in the balance. Facing the greatest challenge of his life will he find a way to save mankind or will they become enslaved forever?.

Joshua and Aaron is best classed as religious fiction as it's running themes involve the battle of good versus evil / God versus the devil. The story is however told in a very intelligent manner and should appeal to agnostics and atheists as well as those with a religious belief, it's simply a good story told well.

The characters are very likeable and well described and the plot moves pretty fast and manages to hold the readers interest very well. The writing style is pleasant and easy to follow while the character interaction is excellent.

An imaginative story, told in a comfortable, easy manner and yet dealing with very weighty topics, Joshua and Aaron is a rewarding tale of good versus evil that should please any fan of science fiction

Review by Antony, editor of SF and Fantasy

David Gelber's second Christian Science Fiction novel, Joshua and Aaron: ITP Book Two contains quite a smorgasbord with its mixed bag of themes from love, religion, corporate greed, power, domination, exploitation, futuristic medicine, to a host of others that are cleverly interwoven into the plot. Most are easily palatable, however, if you are not of the Christian faith, you may find the Conservative Christian theology aspect of the book difficult to digest and not your cup of tea.

The yarn is a sequel to ITP: FUTURE HOPE, and once again Gelber uses as his backdrop the twenty-second century, where some of the same characters in his first novel reappear such as Major David Sanders, the first intergalactic pilot, the brilliant Dr. Deborah Tennyson, and Joshua Smith. The latter is the principal protagonist, who must confront the satanic Aaron Diblonski.

When we first encounter Joshua, we notice his simple life, betting on the horses and meeting up with various unfortunate oddball characters at the track's Bar #23. Joshua is a good person and is constantly trying to help these misfits without expecting anything in return. Unfortunately, however, Joshua's good intentions is not appreciated by everyone, particularly Aaron Diblonski.

Masquerading as a company that is supposed to help the down trodden, Joshua discovers that Diblonski Ltd is far from being altruistic and in fact quite evil in its intentions, with its promotion and exultation of human weaknesses. Moreover, as Joshua remarks, “Diblonski was more than a fabulously successful entrepreneur; there was a sinister side that perhaps crossed over into a supernatural realm.”

Joshua proves to be quite a pesky combatant to Diblonski, after he discovers that humanity is in imminent danger of being destroyed, if Diblonski is permitted to continue to carry on his intentions of converting every living soul to the side of Satan. Fearing for his life, Joshua is forced to disappear, and with the help of Geoffrey O'Donnel, establishes a new life under the name of Gideon Jones. Under his new persona Joshua is faced with the mammoth task of confronting the forces of good and evil.

Gelber does push the boundary of science fiction with his off-the-top scenarios that stretch our imaginations to a level that is very much outside the realm of reality. Nonetheless, Gelber's take on future medical treatment is quite intriguing, as he preserves the impression that this fictional account could become actuality. In addition, his one-of-a kind characters makes us want to continue reading, merely to see what becomes of them, particularly Joshua with his super human powers. Will he save mankind?

This is not to say, however, that the novel is without flaws, particularly where the pacing and interweaving of the various themes are, at times, not as smooth as they should be. All the same, Joshua and Aaron: ITP Book Two is a fun read crackling with energy and replete with gadgets of Gelber's own creation that could be reality sometime in the future. As in my case, it is a great beach read, one that you may be able to read straight through in one go.

Norm Goldman

Those of us who read Dr. Gelber's first book, "Future Hope" and then anxiously awaited the completion of his second "Joshua and Aaron" were certainly NOT disappointed! This book is a definite MUST READ!! It's the story of an incredible adventure which immediately captures your attention, engages your imagination, and then keeps them throughout the telling. Dr. Gelber's novel also has a very powerful and awesome message intertwined within the pages that stimulates the mind and raises some very thought provoking ideas. Be forewarned-once you begin reading, the book will be hard to put down! So curl up in your favorite chair with a batch of homemade cookies and enjoy this excellent piece of work!!!

Looking forward to Book 3

Cindy Carter

Think you have a lot on your plate? Try being the person who's job is to save the human race. Now that's a lot of pressure. This is Joshua's current predicament. Who would have thought an everyday, average guy would hold all that power in his hands.

David's endless talent blew me away once again. The first book in this series was amazing and this second one lived up to my high expectations. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it came to an end. I'm anxiously awaiting more books from David. 

Bridget Hopper

Joshua Smith seems to be quite and quietly happy with his very mundane life, betting on horses at the local racetrack, hanging out at the Bar #23, and enjoying the company of various resident misfits, helping them whenever he gets a chance. It is one such act of goodwill that gets him in serious trouble and his life is at stake. He has, albeit unwittingly, seriously upset the plans of the evil industrial magnate by the name of Aaron Diblonski. Joshua is rescued by Geoffrey O’Donnel, who helps him establish a new life, one in which he will have to confront the ultimate forces of good and evil. The future of the entire humankind is in peril and Joshua is the man who could save the planet.

If I had to classify David Gelber’s "Joshua and Aaron," I would venture to say that it probably fit best in the category of religious sci-fi, if such a category does indeed exist. While I have to admit that the story does not get overly preachy, the constant undercurrent of religious righteousness permeates the book thoroughly. This was one of my least favorite components of the book, as were the very fragmented plot, the profusion of choppy chapters (well over a hundred, and if the author wants to know how well I paid attention to that, he should take a look at the wrong Roman numeral in the last-but-one chapter…), the two-dimensional characters and slightly stilted narrative. Also, while I definitely understand that this is a work of fiction, for me the best fiction stays close enough to reality to make it even more scarily believable, and Little Bit channeling Laika was a bit much to take. I remain intentionally vague here, so as not to give away the plot too much…

On the positive side, the story itself was intriguing and it moved quickly enough to keep my attention. I have also greatly enjoyed the author’s imagination, as displayed in the descriptions of the world in the 22nd century. My absolutely most favorite was chapter 13, talking about "modern mental health," which left me chuckling for a good long while. In general, I found the author’s observations on medicine, food and human interactions very insightful and quite memorable.

Overall, I believe that "Joshua and Aaron" shows promise, and I do hope that Mr. Gelber keeps on writing. Getting some professional advice and streamlining his stories a bit more would definitely be beneficial for his future work, but even as is, "Joshua and Aaron" is an interesting read and a good way to spend a couple of afternoons or evenings.

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (07/10)

I’ve spent the last couple days in Las Vegas which also happens to be where I read "Joshua and Aaron." After being asked to review this book I did my research and noticed it is listed as religious fiction. I was chatting with a friend of mine shortly thereafter and I jokingly asked if reading a book with religious overtones while in Vegas could be construed as sacrilegious. It’s probably not since I’m sure every hotel in Vegas has the obligatory Bible in the nightstand.

Moving on, "Joshua and Aaron" is the second book in the ITP series by David Gelber. The book’s main character, Joshua Smith, shoulders the burden of having to save mankind from its own excesses. Joshua definitely didn’t ask for this responsibility rather it was unceremoniously dropped in his lap. How’s that for a "hot potato?" Luckily for the world’s population our hero is blessed with amazing luck, intelligence and above all a MacGyver-like ingenuity.

As for the author and his writing skills, David Gelber does a great job of holding the reader’s interest. I don’t normally read religious fiction but Gelber’s descriptions of places and events were very well written and held my attention completely. The interactions between the characters flowed well and his overall writing style made for an enjoyable read.

I would have to say my only complaint was that, at times, certain scenes were too unbelievable; namely the one toward the end of the book which starred Little Bit. I use the name versus the scene so as to not give away the story. Hopefully this allows the author to understand to what I am referring. I realize "Joshua and Aaron" is a work of fiction. However, I also feel that even fiction needs to be believable. Once upon a time writer’s like Asimov challenged the world’s perception of technology and robotics. I’m sure some considered his works unbelievable. Our advancements today are proof that far-fetched fiction can become reality. The scene to which I refer is, to me, completely unbelievable. I can’t picture something like that ever happening; consequently when I read it I was immediately wrenched out of the story.

Keep in mind my last paragraph is directed to the author only and not to his readers. Overall I found "Joshua and Aaron" to be a well written book and a fun read. While it definitely falls into the category of religious fiction the message contained therein was not too over the top. I give this book a solid four stars and feel that anyone who enjoys reading would enjoy this book.

Charline Ratcliff for Rebecca's Reads

Dear David,

I love your second book!!!!

The plot may be more intricate and more intriguing than the first book, and yet both are of high quality.

And, as in the first part, I got attached to the characters you have created, especially to Joshua.

Obviously a visit to hell is unbiblical but this is where latitude is permitted in works of fiction. After all Dante’s ‘inferno’ had him shown around the horrors of hell by a “good pagan” (was it Virgil?). So you have exercised the skills of a poet by imagining what hell could be.

Also your theology seems to be more ecumenical in this book than it was in part one of your ongoing novel.

You have tackled theodicy with wisdom by having your characters discuss the Love of God that went all the way to the Crucifixion and horrible death in apparent opposition to His Justice. But this would need a special non-fiction book to address.

Another theological hurdle has been created when Joshua was sure to find Pierson in hell. This sort of certainty is the unique privilege of the Creator Himself. But again all sorts of latitude is permitted to non fictional authors. Still it may help to have a note of caution inserted in the preface, namely that the book may stimulate theological interest but it is not meant to be a treatise of it.

As an old romantic I love the passages that describe the love of David to Deborah as well as his love of Ruth. These are great tales of love and loyalty with a cosmic dimension! And again one cannot help but be attached to the characters you have created.

The same can be said about Joshua and Beauty, a deep love with spiritual dimensions.

The rather happy end of the novel also appeals to my romantic upbringing!

By the way, I can see your book serialized on Christian TV . The question is to find the appropriate contacts.

I take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to read your great novel. Its reading was so wonderful and stimulating that I completed its reading one hr before landing in Cairo.

I think that you have what it takes to turn you into a professional author one day. But in view of your surgical gifts, would you be able to let your new career encroach on the application of your surgical skills and expertise to be replaced by your writings? This would be a great shame!

Thank you once more for taking care of Jailane’s colloid nodule. I just finished examining her and, for all intent and purpose, this nodule seems to have disappeared.

Warmest regards

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