Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wake the Dead by Victoria Buck

Wake the Dead
by
(Pelican Book Group 2014) 

 You read the title and wonder, "What will this book be about?". The title, Wake the Dead, has a dual meaning. One: wake as in resuscitate a person, who either died or fainted, and two: wake a person who is dead in Christ.


In the not so impossible future, transhumanism becomes a concept. The constitution is gone. Government controls all: people, economy, entertainment, etc. But as with all control and absolute power, there are those who rebel and who will fight back.

Chase believed in his illusion of the life he led, until it was taken away from his perceived control. Then it became a battle of will, of his mind and body, and of his soul.

Throughout the book I ran into symbolism and truth. Truth about what can happen and what probably would happen in our future based on our society now. This book is a wake up call in fiction form. 

And fine form it is. It held me captive; with bated breath I kept pushing myself well into the night to read; and I cried at the loss and raw emotion portrayed.

There is nothing that can be said about how wonderfully well written this futuristic book is. Nothing can describe how much of an impact it makes. I can tear it apart, analyze it piece by piece and still find new elements within. It will give a reader pure enjoyment and deep thought. It is eye-opening.

The development in the character was a natural progression. At times he did things that appalled me (the cat for instance, but I keep hoping he used one of his abilities to give people that perception) and at times he surprised me.

If you haven't read Wake the Dead, please purchase a copy soon. It is an amazing book.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Summer's Flame by Wendy Davy

Summer's Flame
by

It is not often that I find a sweet romance where the romance is the central theme. Yes there were a couple of conflicts that vamped the tension and added a nice contrast to the steady pace. The title held multiple meanings which makes a nice bonus.

I could relate to Summer's reluctance to love a firefighter. I empathized with Riley and Zack. The heartache they felt was genuinely written. Aiden's strong determination was endearing and swoon worthy.


This isn't a deep novel. It's a sweet story of how two people had to trust in God and in each other. 

It didn't end abruptly. It ended in a way that would make the reader set the book down, stare out the window, and sigh, contemplating the words she just read.

Another thing that drew me to this book was that the proceeds go to a charity called Food For The Poor. I've been on both sides of spectrum and it thrills me that someone would think about people and do something about it.

I encourage everyone who reads this review to purchase this book and make a difference. Not only would you help others, but you will gain a delightful read. 

A Memory Worth Dying For by Joanie Bruce

A Memory Worth Dying For
by 
(2014 Ambassador International)

Hashtag: that was a good book.

I enjoyed the character's quirky saying of "Hashtag" in front of her phrases. 

The story somewhat held my interest to the end, and I did enjoy the book. Returning characters from the previous Joanie Bruce book added a cute dimension.

Some of the idioms used were lost on me, and I had to google them to find out what they meant. I remembered my grandmother saying it at times, though.

I understood the main character's determination to stay in Texas, and that she would not allow anyone to veer her off course. Kudos to her. Toward the middle I figured out what must have happened in the beginning and was pleasantly pleased to know that I was right.

If you like clean books, if you like suspense books, then A Memory Worth Dying For is perfect. Yes, it did seem a little preachy at times, but the characters were like that and the faith was an organic and natural thread throughout. 

I love Marti's development of faith, or her returning faith I should say. Joanie Bruce did a great job with her second novel.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Her Small-Town Romance by Jill Kemerer

Her Small-Town Romance
by
(Love Inspired 2016) 

It's not often that a Love Inspired novel can pull me in so thoroughly and with such ease. Jill Kemerer did a great job at showing a budding romance and how God leads us through every step in our lives.


The ease with which Jade and Bryan connected was extremely well thought out and well developed. Jade's fears were realistic. Bryan's self doubt was handled superbly.

What I loved most was how easy it was to picture the small town, the camaraderie between the siblings, and seeing the interactions between the two characters, as well as their internal thoughts.

Her Small-Town Romance made it possible to believe again in happiness. It showed that love is there for the taking if one is only willing to look to God for the answers. 

This is a Christian inspirational romance. Prayer is a given in the characters' lives. They are outspoken about their faith and beliefs. These elements were not contrived or seemed out of place. It was an integral part of the story. Where some books seem peppered with misplaced prayer or the faith element seems to be an afterthought, Jill Kemerer's ability to show in detail the richness of the Christian faith gave an air of realism to the story.

All in all, I say well done. I'm anxious to purchase more of her books and look forward to future publications by her. Can I recommend this book? Definitely so. And I urge those who love a good romance, a sweet story of love, to buy this book. An amazing read!  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

If I Run
by 
(Zondervan 2016)

You don't trust law enforcement and haven't since you were 12. You never let go of your control. You have only one best friend...and he's dead. Your DNA is all over the scene. Do you stay and explain that you found him and hope they believe you or do you run?

That's the question posed in If I Run.

Casey can't trust the police because she suspects them in the cover-up of her father's death. To her she has no choice but to run.

Dylan can't get a PD job because his PTSD is a red flag, but his best friend is dead and the parents hire him to track down the murderer and bring her to justice.

Terri Blackstock does a wonderful job in bringing to life the anxiety of each character as one runs and the other chases. As each layer is peeled away and as the truth becomes known Casey and Dylan both face indecision.

I wished for more depth into the characters' emotional states at the beginning until I realized that they were slowly opening up. Casey is still in shock and that is made evident. Dylan is still struggling and his reserved nature is shown. The character development is slow and progressing which makes it believable.

Writing first person, present tense is difficult. Blackstock uses it well; and her style and language engaged me from the first page to the last.

There were no convenient ending or unrealistic romance (hinted that it may be later, but none at all in the first book). Each chapter and scene was realistic. Although I found two inconsistencies within the novel, the merit of If I Run outweighed those two minor weaknesses.

With such a strong story in this first novel I am ready to read the next book. Terri Blackstock set the bar high for all Christian suspense.