Review of The Tree of Jesse by J.R. Mattison

The Tree of Jesse Promo Tour

The Tree of Jesse by J.R. Mattison

The Tree of Jesse

Purchase on Amazon: The Tree Of Jesse (Messianic Age Trilogy)

Book Description

On a lonely strip of Death Valley a failing musician awakens to an intriguing new life. One filled with ancient languages, a hidden identity, and the woman who holds the key to his destiny…his connection to the lost pages of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But there are those who want to keep the secrets buried…and will stop at nothing to keep the prophecy from unfolding.


Book Review

The Tree of Jesse is a fast-paced, suspenseful mystery, with a touch of romance revolving around the end of the world as prophesized by biblical scripture.  The book is a written puzzle that tasks the reader with taking the various storyline threads interwoven throughout the book and finding their connections to the major plot.  It is difficult to write a review where delving into the plot may give too much away to readers. However, there are some important aspects that I can convey regarding this book.

Unlike many novels that clearly distinguish the major characters from the minor ones, Mattison introduces us to numerous characters from all over the world with their own agendas, but each character plays an integral role in advancing the plot. The challenging part is figuring out how the characters are connected and the motives behind their actions.

The succinct chapters focusing on one or more characters and their point-of-views keeps the story moving along quickly, so much so, I found the book hard to put down at times.  Furthermore, I think the brevity of each chapter allowed me to find clues often embedded in religious symbolism and biblical allusions.  I am impressed by Mattison’s ability to provide enough detail to keep readers engrossed while not revealing too much, too soon.

Mattison also uses the technique of pulling the readers into a chapter that focuses on a particular character or scene only to have that chapter end and the next begin by describing a seemingly unrelated situation. At first the sometimes abrupt chapter endings and unexpected shifts of focus took me surprise. However, it didn’t take long to adapt to this style. I found myself often pausing to reflect on a chapter’s significance before moving forward.

When I was halfway through the book, I began to wonder how Mattison was going to be able to tie everything together by the end. Amazingly, she does so with a seamless, well-executed plot. Although there were minor proofreading errors, they were not significant enough to distract me from the read. However, I wish there were more scenes of Jesse and Mara together to really show that magnetic pull that keeps drawing them together and the deep connection they have with one another.

Overall, I found The Tree of Jesse to be an engaging and thought-provoking read that will stay with me for a long time.

I received a copy of this book from the author via Goddess Fish in exchange for an honest review.




Excerpt from The Tree of Jesse

The full moon never ceases to amaze me no matter how many times I see it. Lately I feel more connected to it. Like its force is pulling me towards something.

Towards a life that I’ve lived before.

Deja vu.

I stand awed by it’s glow as she turns into her long gravel drive way; I’m surprised that old Jeep makes it up the mountain. Never understood why they call this place Lone Pine. There are pine trees everywhere.

As she dips her boot clad foot out the car door I realize that the way she moves has grown familiar to me. That her essence has become tattooed on the recesses of my mind in ways I couldn’t have imagined possible. And that I can’t imagine a day without seeing her run those long fingers thru her hair or watch her light up one of those thin brown cigarettes. And just then I suddenly see myself clearly. I’ve become the kind of man that watches what he can never have. That lingers too long in alleyways waiting to catch a glimpse.

Someone frightening and grotesque.

I’ve become less than good for nothing, just like my father always said I would. I’ve become a monster who stalks in the night.

I have to stop this.

I turn on my heel and race into the woods as fast as my legs will take me, never looking back.


About the Author


Mattison started her career in Chicago appearing on television and radio.    She founded founded Cheshire Smile Productions, bringing to life and penning her first feature film FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE, a festival winning coming of age comedy which was directed by Brian Austin Green.   “Fish” is now available on Netflix. Mattison also wrote Cheshire’s second release THE THIRD WISH now available at Blockbuster and distributed by the Hallmark Channel.

Lionsgate’s FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY, based on a true story of Jewish gangsters set in the 1970’s starring James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Edward Furlong and Jeffrey Tambor was also produced and written by Mattison.

Most recently Jenna has written a TV movie called COMMITTED, which wrapped production this spring to premiere on television this fall. Her novel The Tree Of Jesse is a romantic religious thriller and will be released this spring, available worldwide. Mattison wrote the book while recovering from a traumatic injury and says that the novel, “wrote itself”, with historical facts just begging to be included. “I didn’t write this…it came from somewhere else. Somewhere good. Somewhere pure.”

Contact Links


moviemaker magazine article



J.R. will be awarding one digital copy of The Tree of Jesse to a randomly drawn commenter from the Tour.

You can follow the Tour Here:

To post a comment, click on the green “Leave a Comment” link located at the bottom of this post after the tags.