Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Benefit Concert - Care Net

This weekend will mark the fruition of the Worth Fighting For team's efforts to organize a benefit concert to aid Care Net! It will be at Faith Presbyterian Church, in Tacoma, WA, this Friday (the 3rd) from 7:30-10:30. If you're in the area, would you please stop in and enjoy the music? If you do, be sure to meet with us afterwards, we'd love to talk! Here is the event info on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/287702407949704/

Monday, January 30, 2012

Replication - TNT Blog Tour

Replication, Jill Williamson, Zonderkidz, Science Fiction, December 27, 2011, 304 pages.

Synopsis: When Your Life Is Not Your Own 

Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.

My thoughts: A few words that describe this book are: enjoyable, under-developed, simple, and possibly frustrating. I'll explain each of these in reverse order. Replication was slightly frustrating because it didn't go far enough with the Gospel. Maybe I feel that way because of the state of current Christian fiction. I'd like to see more, though. Secondly, it was simple. Martyr's simplicity made for an interesting distraction from the scenery of Fishhook, Alaska, but sometimes ended in slightly corny humor. Third, it seemed under-developed. The writing was not as good as I had expected, having read her By Darkness Hid. Neither the characters or the situation seemed very real. Now for the last word, a positive one: Enjoyable. The key component that made the book somewhat enjoyable was Martyr himself. I enjoyed his character, and was always interested in what he had to say. The other characters seemed a bit boring. Maybe it's just me.

This book was provided free by the author, in conjunction with Team Novel Teen. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 3 stars

Buy Replication
Check out more Christian Science Fiction

Upcoming reviews:
  • The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson
  • The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin
  • The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guess What!

With all the Disney movies re-releasing in 3D, this was bound to happen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Divorce

Here is part of a sermon by John Piper:

Responding to Divorce

There are two ways to respond lovingly and caringly to this situation. One is to come alongside divorced persons and stand by them as they grieve and repent of any sinful part of their own. And then to stay by them through the transitions and help them find a way to enjoy the forgiveness and the strength for new obedience that Christ obtained when he died and rose again.
The other way to respond lovingly and caringly is to articulate a hatred of divorce, and why it is against the will of God, and do all we can biblically to keep it from happening. Compromises on the sacredness and life-long permanence of marriage—positions that weaken the solidity of the covenant-union—may feel loving in the short run, but wreak havoc over the decades. Preserving the solid framework of the marriage covenant with high standards may feel tough in the short run, but produces ten thousand blessings for future generations. I hope that both of these ways of loving and caring will flourish at Bethlehem.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Athera's Dawn

Athera's Dawn, White Lion Chronicles, Christopher Hopper, Spearhead Books, Fantasy, November 24, 2011, 426 pages.

Synopsis: Those in deepest darkness fight most valiantly for the light.

Hard pressed on every side, the Dibor struggle to overcome insurmountable odds in an effort not just to regain territory, but to survive. 

In addition to the growing ranks of the taken, Morgui has summoned the powers of nature to search out and destroy the saviors of Dionia. Tempests hunt those forced to flee by sea, while an otherworldly fire storm chews up the ancient forest of Grandath, destroying anything - or anyone - in its path.

While most of the Dibor manage to survive, the whereabouts of the ill-fated Princess Anorra continues to be unknown. Her faithful friends are unaware of her suffering behind the gates of Haides. 

The remaining Dibor soon discover that there is more to Morgui's madness than simple mayhem, as the dwarves reveal startling knowledge about the Two Trees, and worse still, about Morgui's attempt to forever thwart the Most High's plan for victory. 

As Creation itself endures death throes caused by mounting evil, one thing is clear: Dionia and her champions will never be as they once were. Nor will those in worlds beyond.

My thoughts: Since meeting Mr. Hopper for the first time at a group signing, and buying his first book, I have been hooked on this series. To finally see its completion, 4 years later, has been an amazing moment. As the page count grew, so did Mr. Hopper's skill in writing and devotion to the Lord, from what I can tell. This final volume didn't disappoint. It was filled to the brim with virtues and lessons.

Knowing that many Christian works of fantasy have depicted "the last battle," I think this one has done it very well. The sense of triumph is full, and I experienced much joy simply in reading about it. Mr. Hopper holds a firm grasp on the reader's emotions, and for that I commend him. This series is one you won't want to miss!

This ebook was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 5 stars

Buy Athera's Dawn

Upcoming reviews:

  • Replication by Jill Williamson
  • The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson
  • The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book of Dreams

Book of Dreams, Davis Bunn, Howard Books, Fiction/Suspense, October 4, 2011, 352 pages.

Synopsis: For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken If only. Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. Elena agrees to consider her case more carefully, convinced that something ominous may be at work here. Elena's interpretation of her dreams confirms that, indeed, the new patient and her family confront a powerful global network of dangerous forces. As the story unfolds, they face a key question of the Christian life: How do you understand and fulfill the will of God?

My thoughts: This isn't what I would call an action book. It was boring occasionally, but had an underlying tension that kept me going. The focus was more on dreams and government proceedings.

Only a few characters were developed well, while many were simply plastic players. They didn't drag me in.

Mr. Bunn still has great writing skill, however. That was key in the enjoyment of the book. I've never read a style like his, and it makes me curious about his other books. He knows how to craft a situation and a setting.

This book was provided free by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 4 stars

Please rate this review on amazon!

Buy Book of Dreams!
Check out more Christian Suspense books!

Upcoming reviews
  • Replication by Jill Williamson
  • The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin
  • The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rafflecopter giveaway!

The program that has been the means for several giveaways is now giving away tons of awesome gifts: an iPad 2 and several Kindle Fires! Check it out!

 Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ether Ore

Ether Ore, Marcher Lord Press, Various authors, Science Fiction, June 4, 2011, 167 pages.

Synopsis: At the edge of the Butterfly Nebula, beyond the last portal, lies Periphery Station. Last haven, recovery hospice, tourist mecca, and cathedral in space. All sorts of people come to Periphery Station: armalcolite prospectors, star rangers, survivors, and renegades.

The portal brings word of other galaxies—and other realities. Time, distance, and motive have different meanings here.

Marcher Lord Press produces science fiction and fantasy novels with a spiritual edge. Here, six Marcher Lord Press authors—plus the publisher himself—show their skills with short fiction. If you like the short stories, you’ll love the award-winning novels. Marcher Lord Press is the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction.

Come for the adventure. Come for the discovery. Ether Ore.

My thoughts: Several points need to be brought to the attention of potential readers. Some are bad, and some are good. First, in one particular story, which deals with temptation, the plot becomes R-rated. Even though it doesn’t describe much, I wish to warn you about it. Over the whole book, there is one major plot (which is actually slightly boring) with stories in between. These stories become the life of the book, even if a few are also slightly boring. However, there are some jewels to be found in this collection. “Close” by Marc Schooley is a unique outer space disaster story. “Tableau” by Adam Palmer shows a man’s last desire as he wishes to die. “The Drop” by Steve Rzasa gives another small glimpse into his excellent sci-fi story world, where battles are raging. “Nether Ore” by Kirk Outerbridge is an all-around pleasing story for sci-fi and dénouement fans. “Graxin” by Kerry Nietz tells an intriguing (and possibly disturbing) tale from an unlikely perspective, the robot’s.

This book, as a sci-fi collection, doesn’t have the background-flooded stories given in many other collections. Often keeping boring details to a minimum, the authors focused on keeping the reader engaged in the plot. For that, I am grateful. The stories aren’t as diverse as I’d hoped, but in the range of sci-fi their performance was not too bad.

This ebook was provided free by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Buy Ether Ore!

Upcoming reviews:
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn
  • The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin
  • The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson

Hand of Vengeance

Hand of Vengeance, Douglas Bond, P&R Publishing, Crime Fiction/Historical Fiction, June 2012, 232 pages.

Synopsis: [none released yet]

My thoughts: If you are looking for something a little different, fresh, and intriguing, this is a good book to try. Coming from an experienced author of historical fiction, Hand of Vengeance provides an interesting take on the Anglo-Saxon time period. Mixing in some Agatha Christie-like mystery, Douglas Bond explores the ideas of vengeance and justice well. His characters are, as usual, pitted with interesting traits and thought processes. This is a good book to get you thinking.

*This ebook was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 5 stars

Pre-order Hand of Vengeance!
Check out the author's website!

Upcoming reviews:

  • Ether Ore by Marcher Lord Press
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn