I was very pleased to see these two new volumes on the church fathers. I read the one on Patrick first and was very impressed. He is not an obvious choice for such a series but he deserves a place and this study by Michael Haykin is brief, to the point and popular, yet scholarly too (c 300 footnotes in a hundred pages). There is scant reliable material on Patrick and this is a great contribution.
All this made me positive about reading the volume on Basil of Caesarea by Marvin Jones. The book is quite a bit longer which seemed a shame but I cracked on and for the first seventy or so pages was happy enough despite one or two quirks. As I got into the second half of the book, however, it became less and less readable and in the end a great disappointment. Let me give you some random examples of the Jones style.
Page 135 "There is no doubt that Basil was the first to speak of God in terms that clarified his existence. ... Basil died 1 January 379 and, therefore, never witnessed his contribution to the issue of the Trinity".
Page 149 "The account of humanity's creation within the cosmology, and the ultimate concept of humanity's destiny within the cosmology, is the central theme that occupies Basil's theme".
These are just examples. May be such slips can be overlooked in an undergraduate essay but I paid good money for this product and find it unacceptable. Who is responsible? Clearly Christian Focus need to employ a proof reader or a stylist or something. Michael Haykin is said to be series editor. Paige Patterson, Jason Duesing, Steven McKinnon and Mike Ovey commend the book. I suggest they read the latter chapters and think again.