Sunday, July 10, 2016

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis starts out slow, but builds to a beautiful crescendo of love. Albeit sometimes predictable, this heartwarming tale will leave you satisfied. We as humans want to believe in love, and Lewis offers us that chance. Romance is not dead, at least not in the pages of this book.

Forever Friday

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First Impression: The Last Orphans is part of an apocalyptic series, which I'm a fan of - so this should be good!

Characters: Shane Tucker collects a team of survivors on the road to safe haven. He reads like an old soul who knows more than his years might suggest. Teenagers and little children band together against all kinds of danger in this world after the storm.

World Building: Author N.W. Harris creates a world you can fall into, especially for post-apocalyptic fans. The young teens race against time and nature in a nail-biting adventure across treacherous territory.

Writing Style: I appreciated the imagery painted as well as the descriptive action scenes.

What I Enjoyed: I could see The Last Orphans becoming a popular series, and then on into movies. This first installment reads that way. I also liked the way Harris handled the adult population dying off - it felt realistic even if fictitious.

Deal Benders: Shane and some of the kids are too good at survival for children who have never fended off anything more than the neighbor's dog. There's also a bit too much gore for a Teen series.

Overall Rating: I rate this as a Young Adult book with an L for Language, V for Violence. I would definitely read the next one.

For Fans Of: The Maze Runner, The Walking Dead

The Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets

I received a copy from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets consists of 30 easily digestible chapters. I would recommend this as a devotional to start a friendship with God. For many Christians, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are accessible while God remains a mystery. Take the box labeled for a rainy day off the shelf, and get to know Him through life lessons and practices shared by Sheets.

I appreciated the biblical references, as well as the Greek and Hebrew studies throughout this book. With so many awkward devotionals (yes, awkward) out there, it was refreshing to read one I could relate to on a deeper level. At the end of each chapter you will find a topical prayer derived from multiple bible verses. This is a helpful way to tie what is read to what you feel. I would definitely recommend this to my friends!

Real by Jamie Snyder

I received a copy from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Real by Jamie Snyder makes you think about your faith. Where do you stand on the line between barely there and urgently seeking the light? We've become a people of do whatever is right for you, whatever feels good. The church has acquiesced to this mindset as well, like a spell cast over the castle in Sleeping Beauty. Snyder calls for a wakeup, but not in a shaking-fists-going-to-hell sort of way. He calls us back to the faith of the early church: generosity, hope, love, faith, etc.

This book would work well as a small group study or personal devotional. There are short chapters followed by thoughtful questions and a prayer. Snyder's writing style pushes without nagging, challenges without overbearing. This is a book for anyone seeking meaningful over mechanical faith. Put down your cell phone and pick up a copy of this book!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno

*I received an ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

First Impression: Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi is always intriguing.

Characters: These are characters written by a man, which was evident as I read. Although not necessarily lacking in depth, they are all tough and seem to be missing an emotional element that makes up a human. Perhaps this was simply a product of their surroundings.

World Building: I enjoyed the concept of Keepers, the Circuit, and solar arks. I wanted a bit more detail regarding Gravitum and what exactly happened to the Earth. Perhaps this could be extended in a series.

Writing Style: Author Rhett Bruno can tell a story. Hard science fiction is a little tough for me to digest, but this felt more like a character story just happening in a Sci-Fi world by chance. I appreciated that although I didn’t have a lot of backstory, the author made it easy for the reader to just drop into his world.

What I Enjoyed: The Circuit: Executor Rising is a good Sci-Fi debut. I’m curious to see where the author goes in upcoming works.

Deal Benders: The main problem is in a world of genius world builders, this book just doesn’t measure up to the status quo. Not without potential, but ultimately a bit forgettable.

Overall Rating: I give this one 3 stars because I liked it. Not a bad start!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Last Light Falling (The Covenant #1) by J.E. Plemons

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*

First Impression: Excellent cover art and an interesting premise. Dystopian post-apocalyptic is my favorite genre.

Characters: A strong female lead with a band of friends and family makes for a relatable base. Arena Power grows up fast when she realizes her and her brother Gabe are destined to take on the evil of this new world. I was a bit confused about the character building since it went from 0-60 in a hot second. I appreciated the bonds between characters, however, as it makes them realistic.

World Building: Instead of saving the world, Arena and Gabe are tasked to bring about the end – to end the evil that plagues the nations. A corrupt government not a far cry from our own is painted with precision, and the reader is immersed into the new world. There’s also a bit too much graphic violence to be called Christian Fiction, but not enough science to be Sci-Fi.

Writing Style: As a Christian, I enjoy stories with a biblical background. On the other hand, I don’t love the almost preachy dialogue that comes mainly from the main character Arena. Author J.E. Plemons undoubtedly has a way with words, as is apparent throughout the twists and turns within “Last Light Falling.” However, I want more story and less life lesson.

What I Enjoyed: This is a fast-paced book with plenty of action. I also liked the hint of romance between characters without the smut so common in the 2010’s.

Deal Benders: For some reason Arena and Gabe grow wise beyond their years overnight? This didn’t resonate with me as realistic, but more forced. I think with a bit of the dialogue dialed back the story would flow better.

Overall Rating: I give this a solid 3 stars because I liked the idea and the story. I’m interested to see how “The Covenant” series evolves; once this author hits his stride many will follow!

For Fans Of: Dystopian post-apocalyptic fiction with a religious slant.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Room by Emma Donoghue

First Impression: A child’s perspective – how will they see the world? An interesting concept.

Characters: Jack is like any other 5-year-old boy: excited, curious, and needs his Ma. The two play, eat, and sleep together in a small place Jack calls Room. Watching Jack learn about the world around him was real and startling. Ma is a strong and determined mother. I admire her bravery and survival mentality. I fell in love with this strange family.

World Building: In Room, there’s not much space. Author Emma Donoghue creates an exciting perspective of the most mundane details, as seen through the eyes of a child. From Jack’s unique view, wonders abound.

Writing Style: I can’t imagine how difficult it is to write as an adult but as if you were regressed to a 5-year-old state of mind. Wonderfully imagined, Room by Emma Donoghue is a favorite.

What I Enjoyed: There’s nothing quite like innocence to make you see the world from another angle. This book gives flight to the inner child. Rediscover the world with Jack!

Deal Benders: I didn’t want this one to end. I would like to know what became of Jack and Ma a few years down the road.

Overall Rating: Room is a 5 star book because it stays with you. The mark of great reading is the aftershocks.