Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Fiction Fix: "The Book of the King"

I'm finally back! Here's a book review to get things started again. Thanks for your patience over the past few weeks.  

The Short:

The Book of the King
The Wormling Series, Book 1

By: Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry

5/5 Stars

What: A young man discovers a hidden realm through the words of a book.

Recommended to those who like: Christian, Allegory, Fantasy, Middle-grade

The Long:

It’s been quite a while since I read this series for the first time, but I’m finding that I still enjoy it, even though I’m much older than I was when I first read it.

Owen Reeder is a rather unremarkable young man. The only child of a widowed bookstore owner, he finds most of his solace in books and imaginary realms. But when his father reveals a terrible secret and a mysterious man shows up carrying a fascinating, magical book, he finds that the world is much bigger than he ever could have imagined.

The voice used to tell this story is unique and has a very narrator-like tone to it. It lends the story a sort of fairy-tale quality that it might otherwise lack.

The Christian message is strong (it is an allegory, after all), but doesn’t overwhelm the story or become too preachy.

This story can likely be enjoyed by anyone, but it is geared more toward middle grade readers and can be classified as a coming-of-age story.

The Bottom Line: A solid allegory told in a unique voice, this fantasy novel can be enjoyed by young and old alike. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Time Away

forest, landscape, lightHey, folks. The next few weeks are going to be a little crazy for me, so I will be taking some time off from the blog. Hopefully stepping away for a bit will allow me to come back with some good, full-length articles, fresh books, and some other updates.

Thanks in advance for your patience! If you think about it, I would also appreciate your prayers as I prepare to make some big life decisions.

I anticipate returning to a normal posting schedule in 1-2 weeks, as well as participating in the April Camp NaNoWriMo. I love doing word wars with people, so just let me know if you need a writing encouragement buddy!

Archive Highlights:

Everything you could want to know about me--including my odd taste of music. 

A guest post from Victoria Jackson on finding time to read. 

My top sci-fi book picks from the first year of the blog.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Fiction Fix: "Prophet"

The Short:

Books of the Infinite #1

By: R. J. Larson

4.5/5 Stars

What: A young woman is chosen to be a prophet—the only problem is, all true prophets die young.

Recommended to those who like: Fantasy, Christian, Allegory

The Long:
Ela is chosen by the Infinite to become his prophet. Yet, no girl has ever been chosen for such a position, and certainly never one so young. In spite of her fears, she follows His call to Istgard, a foreign land that has brought the Infinite’s wrath upon themselves. Will she be able to speak His words to encourage them to return to Him?

This book definitely took a different perspective on allegory from many Christian books. It approaches the subject from an Old Testament viewpoint and examines what prophethood would have been like.

The will be a bit heavy on its message for many readers; however, I thought that the exploration of God’s wrath was an interesting angle to take. It’s certainly not a subject that I would feel comfortable trying to write about and trying to address, but Ms. Larson does an excellent job of discussing the issue at length through this story.

The action of the story was well-written, but I had some difficulty connecting to the characters. I can’t really put my finger on why, and it might just be due to how long it took me to read the story.

The Bottom Line: A strong allegory that doesn’t hesitate to take on difficult issues, this fantasy story would be best suited to readers who enjoy a stronger message.                                                                    

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Bibliophile's Survival Gear

I'm currently buried in studying, but I figured I'd share my studying survival gear.

1. Fuzzy socks 
Because trying to focus with cold feet is nearly impossible.

2. Coffee
Is an explanation needed?

3. The Book Hound
My faithful, furry companion, who helps me to sniff out books on a regular basis. I just have to be careful that he doesn't eat my socks.Sock consumption is usually evidenced by the guilty face as seen in this picture.

4. A Wrinkle in Time
I think I've mentioned before that Meg is one of my favorite characters. When I'm feeling entirely intractable and cranky, settling down with this book at the end of the day always picks up my mood.

5. Chocolate
If it's too late for coffee and the dog decides to give me the cold shoulder, chocolate works wonders.

What's your survival strategy when you're swamped?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Fiction Fix: "Out of the Shadows"

The Short:

Out of the Shadows
The Tacket Secret #1

By: Emma Carrie

5/5 Stars

What: A highly trained teen assassin finds herself placed up for adoption. But will fulfilling her dying guardian’s wish put her in danger?

Recommended to those who like: Christian, sci-fi, action

The Long:

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Emily is on the run again—and things might be better that way. Though she’s just a teenager, she holds many secrets—including that she’s a highly trained assassin. But when her dying guardian’s final wish forces her to meet with a detective, both her life and the detective’s hang in the balance.

This was an intense read from the start. I enjoyed the tight writing style and the fast pace that was maintained throughout. I also enjoyed the length of the book—it was nice and short, perfect for an afternoon read.

Emily’s past holds many secrets. While some were revealed in this book, I also look forward to learning more about her in the upcoming novels. She’s a very likeable character, as well.
Detective Tacket is also likeable. I can’t relate to her much as of yet, but I think that I’ll really enjoy her character once the series gets going.

There’s a hint of Christianity in this book, and I’m interested to see where the author will take the message of her story.

The Bottom Line: Out of the Shadows is a fast-paced read that introduces what looks to be a great Christian sci-fi series.