In the Image of Man, by Mark Long

“Belief is a hard thing to explain. You cannot have a pound of belief or a pint of it. It can be fresh and hot or comfortable and long-standing, but it is the stuff that gives gods their power.”

A roadside tragedy unexpectedly wakens a spark in this whimsical, often funny, definitely thought-provoking speculative novel about the birth and growth of a small god. As it evolves in consciousness, it takes on a name (“Bob”) and slowly cultivates a small band of loyal followers for whom it performs minor miracles in its quest to help them and gather more believers. An imminent deadly threat poses the ultimate test of the new godling’s powers and its relationship to humanity.

The concept is intriguing. For me, the highlight of the book is the human characters, who are drawn with insight and compassion, unique and likeable.