Review of The Communion Of The Saint by Alan David Justice

SFFaudio Review

The Communion of the Saint by Alan David JusticeThe Communion of the Saint
By Alan David Justice; Read by Alan David Justice
17 MP3 Files – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Podiobooks
Published: 2008
Themes: / Fantasy / Magical Realism / Catholicism / Ghosts / Time Travel / Paranormal /

Justice has given us an excellent novel that tells the story of historian, Clio Griffin, who begins to fear that she has inherited her mother’s insanity when she arrives in England for a job interview and begins hearing voices and having visions. Clio is being spoken to by St. Alban who was martyred nearby. As the story unfolds, Clio begins to experience the past and present in dizzying succession. She experiences the past through the eyes of people who lived through history that is not as sanitized as one might think from the history books. In the present Clio comes across a wide variety of reactions from such diverse people as the local mystic who sees nothing out of the ordinary in hearing from a saint, the priest who is envious of her visions, the newspaperman who just wants a good story, and the sexton who has possibly made a literal deal with the devil. The sexton’s seeming obsession with Clio provides the mystery and threat and is the one real thing about which we do not have to wonder. He is out to get her.

Justice has an excellent grip on the portrayal of the modern mind when faith is brought up and he shows the gamut of reactions while also giving us a gripping story. We are pulled through the story by our own involvement and questions. Is Clio really time traveling or is she losing her reason? Where did the plague victim come from who appears suddenly in her home? Will the sexton take his revenge upon her or will he be thwarted? This is a fascinating story about a thoroughly modern person who must come to grips with an ancient saint who is telling her that faith is real and she has a role in both receiving that faith and passing it on to others.

Author Alan David Justice reads the book with just the right amount of detachment to reflect Clio’s disbelief in her experiences. Justice’s wry inflections acquaint us quickly with Clio’s cynicism almost before we hear the words and yet he also manages to keep the pace quick enough that we are left hanging on each episode of the book. Hopefully, this is not the last we will hear (or read) from this author.

Listen to the author read it on Podiobooks.

Posted by Julie D.

5 thoughts to “Review of The Communion Of The Saint by Alan David Justice”

  1. Any idea how historically accurate the history in this novel is? I love historical SF novels that stick to the history as closely as possible.

  2. It runs pretty close to the facts, insofar as they are known. I based many of the incidents in the novel on material from primary source documents kept at the abbey of St Albans. Of course, the story is fiction, so it’s not all perfectly factual. Part of the pleasure of researching this book was digging around in the old chronicles. The main (historical) characters existed, and filled the roles they have in to book. Not everything they did in the story came out of the written history, though. Otherwise, what would be the point of writing the book?

    “Communion” is available in print at,, and, or as a free audiobook on

  3. I enjoyed the plot of the audiobook, but as an archaeologist born and brought up in St Albans, I felt the research was a little patchy in places, both as regards St Albans (Abbey) particularly and english culture in general. Mainly small points, but sufficient to jar.

    Tim W

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