I thought viewing the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah from the perspective of a six-year-old boy, Jesus' brother Jamie (James) was an inspired concept. The author also likes to drop in her own observations from time to time and although this can be annoying in some stories, here it absolutely seems to work.
As someone who grew up being indoctrinated in the Christian/Judeo ethos, I was able to easily identify with the twists and turns the story took. Yes, the author did take the odd liberty or two from time to time from the "recognised" tale of Jesus' birth but it was all smart and sensible departures that went well with the telling.
I also appreciated the author's explanations of her mindset as it applied to dates, at the end of the book. I guess I must be as much a History buff as she declares she is, because I found this intensely fascinating.
Although, I along with most of the world, knows what happens next in this story, I am still waiting for the next book with baited breath. Seeing all this unfold from James' perspective is fascinating and I cannot wait for book three in this series. Well done to L. R. Hay