Pros: great scenes, pretty amazing Lego work, does show a lot of bible stories
Cons: "a new spin" is definitely right, more than some might like
After reading JediKermit's review of The Brick Bible, I knew I wanted to read it as well, so I got a copy from my library after a bit of a wait. This book is full of quite a few of the stories from the Old Testament, told through Lego creations.
The book doesn't include every book in the old testament, and it doesn't include everything in the books that is does include, but it shows stories that are easier to display in scenes made of Legos. The stories included come from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.
The stories of the bible are told pretty well through the words and images. It is a sort of comic book format. We get a brief introduction from the author/set creator Brendan Powell Smith and then "In the beginning". Yahweh/God is in many of the scenes as a man in a white robe with white hair and a white beard. He sometimes stands, but just as often floats. Most of the other people have yellow Lego bodies with a variety of hair pieces. There are animals, cities, and many other Lego pieces.
The interpretations of the bible can be a little humorous at times. On the seventh day when God rested we see him in a hammock with a picnic basket with bread and wine. Other times you may not agree with them. Dinosaurs are on Noah's ark. Joseph's coat looks sort of Aztec to me which isn't how I imagine it. Also some of the things he could have excluded (since he obviously excluded a lot) but didn't I wish maybe he had, like Amnon raping his sister Tamar in Samuel.
This telling of the old Testament includes a lot of battles. They are many, many scenes that show battlefields or towns full of dead people with decapitated heads or puddles of red Lego blood. Yahweh either favors or disfavors different people throughout the books and helps one people kill many of another people. Because of this I wouldn't really say this book is geared towards kids even though it is all told with Legos. I let my seven year old son read this book on his own, as much as he wanted, but he read about half of it before he said he was done. The story can seem a little repetitive at times and there are a lot of names that are unfamiliar and can get confusing.
One thing that some people may not like is the way the relationship between David and Jonathan in the book of Samuel is interpreted. While Smith isn't the first to interpret the bible this way, he is in the minority. Most versions of the bible show their relationship as platonic. In this version it is shown as more romantic, and they kiss in one scene.
I have to admit I was pretty impressed with the creativity in the scenes and in the sheer number of them. The book is 271 pages long with most pages having six different scenes. There were a couple times where the stories seemed to jump a little bit, but overall they were pretty smooth. The recreation of the different scenes was very good.
A couple comments from my son: "Wow Noah lived longer than Yoda." And "They used droid parts as antlers, that's funny." So maybe my son associates Legos with Star Wars more than the bible, but at least he did seem to pay attention for a while before it was too much for him. I did read the whole thing and I think it's not a bad format to get readers of any age (with the understanding that there is violence and negative sexual instances in the bible) to become more familiar with the stories of the bible.