Thursday, December 31, 2015

Showdown

"Live to discover, as long as discovery leads to a love that comes from the Creator...writing  was the mirror to life."
 
"Showdown" is the first book in Ted Dekker ' s thrilling Paradise  series.  It addresses the question, if children are secluded from the world, would the still know evil?  Things begin to happen in a small town called Paradise, unexplainable things.  The town struggles to find the truth to various murders and odd behaviors. Could it have anything to do with the mysterious man who arrived in town?
This is the novel that drew me into Ted Dekker.  From the very chapter I was hooked onto Ted Dekker like a fish hooked yo a fishing line.  He has the power to enter your mind and burn his stories to your memory.  He is a powerful storyteller that will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time reading.  I was captivated by the idea of the experiment with children and the knowledge of good and evil.
 
Black is a mysterious character that readers can help, but like.  He is the thing nightmares are made of, but leaves you wanting more at the same time.  Dekker ' s words flow flawlessly, and feels as if you are watching a movie rather than reading a book.  I wish the would make a movie out of this series.
 
When you pick up a Ted Dekker book, especially "Showdown" you  are not just getting a book, you are getting an experience.  You are stepping into a different world that will take you on a roller coaster ride of thrills and suspense.  I  cannot recommend this book enough.  If you like mystery, suspense, thrills, or a book that will set the bar high, this book, or rather any Ted Dekker book, is for you.  5 out of 5 rating!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas



Yep that seems about right!  Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas Promise By Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer

It is that special time of year when families gather together to celebrate the holidays.  I felt it was appropriate to review a book that takes place during the same time of year.

A Christmas Promise is the 5th book in the Cape Light Series and follows the story of James Cameron (not the director), a missionary who decides to spend the holidays in Cape Light.  When his car collides with another, a hint of trouble comes down to this tiny village.  The woman in the other car Leigh Baxter is no hurt, but she needs to remain in town while her car is getting fixed.  She never expect to fall in love with this quaint little town, or James.   But she is worried that he will not accept her dark secrets, could someone love her after finding out about her past?  Meanwhile Sam and Jessica's relationship is put to the test, and the attempt to have a baby of their own.

I fell in love with this series when I was a young teenager, my mom had bought me the first Cape Light novel and I devoured it.  I found the characters to be relatable to an extent, some of the things the family went through and experienced didn't seem like something most families would, but then again it is a work of fiction.  Thomas Kinkade is known as the painter of light, and with this novel, he brings light into the reader's life through his words with Katherine Spencer.

I found the religious aspect of the story to be light and breezing, it did not seem like the authors were trying to "shove it down readers' throats."  The romance in the novel focused on the building of the relationship rather than the physical aspect of the relationship.  I like stories that focus on a couples struggles and how they work them out rather than the couple constantly in the sack.  It feels more realistic and plausible when a couple fights and then work together to come to a solution.

I think this series is more relatable and would be more enjoyable to women rather than men, but hey guys might enjoy a good light romantic novel from time to time right?  For a rating I would give this a 4 out of 5.  I'll  have to see if there is more to the series than the last book I read.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Being the fan of ALice in Wonderland that I am, it is only natural that I needed to read Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.  Looking Glass Wars follows Princess Alyss Heart of Wonderland.  The young princess experiences incredible trauma when her aunt attacks the palace and kills her family.  Alyss escapes Redd with Hatter Madigan, only to find themselves transported to another realm through the pool of tears.  Although, Alyss lands in London, and Hatter in France.  No matter what Alyss says about Wonderland no one believes her and soon her imagination begins to fail her.  She is adopted and she begins to stop talking about Wonderland all together when a family friend takes her story and turns it into a fantasy book.  Back in Wonderland Redd reign of terror continues and those who survived her attack on the palace either swore allegiance to her or joined a rebellion.   Alyss is discovered in London 13 years after she transported there, and is brought back confused and unsure of herself.  She must enter the Looking Glass Maze in order to become the Queen she is meant to be and defeat Queen Redd.

Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars is a book that will work it's way into your conscious and never leave.  After reading this book you will crave more from this author, I know I do!  The Wonderland he creates is nothing like the Wonderland we have come to know and love.  It is darker, depressive, run down.  Beddor's story played with the idea that Carroll had gotten his story wrong and Looking Glass Wars is what really happened in Wonderland.  It was an interesting idea, and while some Alice in Wonderland spin offs have fallen short of expectations, Beddor exceeded them. 

Princess Alyss grows from a spoiled little girl to one struggling to survive in a new world, only to be thrown back into a world she had but forgotten.  She had to learn to be queen and regain her powerful imagination in a short time period.  She became a true warrior rather than a young girl content on relying on others.  Looking Glass Wars is a novel that definitely has a strong, courageous female lead that uses her intelligence to succeed.  We watch as the characters evolve into different characters, stronger, more intelligent characters.  One thing I did enjoy was images were included on what different characters would look like.  I would enjoy seeing what Hollywood would come up with for a movie based on a novel.

I cannot begin to say how wonderful I think this novel is, and I plan on running out to get the second book in this trilogy.  I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy Wonderland, fairy tales, even a good action/suspense novel.  I would give this a 5 out 5 rating.  I hope the next one is just as good! 

Warning: I love Alice in Wonderland so much, I just received another spin off to go on my TBR shelf.  Keep on the lookout for my review of After Alice by Gregory McGuire.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Land of The Living by Jim Pinard

Land of The Living by Jim Pinard is a science fiction novel interweaved with thriller, and a little mystery with a tiny bit of romance thrown in for good measure.  James Creed is a man with special abilities to travel through time with his subconscious.  But what is the purpose of this ability?  What is he meant to do, and why are there people out to kill him? 

James Creed wakes thinking it is any ordinary day, only to find himself back in his parents home, in 1985.  His memories are a little foggy and he is unsure if he had a vivid dream about being in the future.  He comes across two people who claim to be from the year 2035: Michael and Daria.  Even crazier, Michael claims to be James' son!  From there the trio embark on a whirlwind of a journey to stop another man Dearborn, from changing major events in history, while trying to figure out why James has the abilities he does.  James and his new friends must now literarily race against time to save the future.

While the concept of time travel is not a new thing, the idea of traveling through time with the use of your mind rather than physically was interesting.  I wanted this explained a little more because it was hard to understand how a person traveled with just their minds to other bodies, how would they know when and where they are going.  After discussion with the author, he stated this will be explained in future novels.  Pinard uses a lot of scientific jargon and ideas, but he explains it well enough that everything is easy to understand.  Land of the Living makes you wonder "if I could change the past, would I change, and if so what would I change?"

The writing is direct and to the point, it is easy to understand what is happening and where the story is headed.  But it is not predictable.  It may be a little slow to get into the "meat" of the story, but once you do, it is difficult to put down.  I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a good thriller/science fiction novel, and would give this a 4 out of 5 rating.

I have a more detailed review of Land of Living on Online Book Club; click here to read the review and what others have said.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gateway to Fourline by Pamela Brondos

Natalie Banks is your typical college student, stressed about not only classes and social calendar, but also finances and paying for tuition for another semester.  When she is offered an opportunity at a costume shop, she jumps at the chance.  But she now works with a combination of weird personalities that she doesn't know what to make of.  On a particularly stormy night, she stays with the costume shop family, and has a strange dream of Estos asking her to deliver a message into another world.



The story starts out with Annin and Barba meeting at a specific place then they witness Mudug’s men speaking with a group of Nala, a Nala attacking Barba and Annin, and then finally the two embarking to another meeting place.  Then the story shifts planes to Natalie on her college campus.  While I do not have a huge issue with the way the story began, I would have put the first chapter as the prologue.  It would have made the jump to Natalie a little less confusing.

Natalie spends her time worried about her finances, and jumps to take this task.  She doesn't really think about it and ask questions like the most glaring one...What is Fourline, Why are Estos and the others in this world, and What dangers will she face.  She doesn't consider this an odd thing, but accepts it easily with Estos' assurances.  It was a good idea and a good story, but there were things that just didn't mesh well for me.  Granted I will probably read other books in the series to see what happens next.

The story really begins to pick up once Natalie enters into Fourline and Nataline begins to learn what is really at stake.  Though I wanted to see more of some of the characters in the costume shop.  They basically send Natalie into an unknown world with no one to guide her.  I would have thought one of the guards would have gone with her to help her adjust to the customs.  Since they didn't she was consistently covering up moments when she almost revealed herself.  

I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy fantasy novels.  As a rating I would give it  a 3 out of 5.