Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Delusion by Laura Gallier

by
Laura Gallier
(Tyndale 2017)

"My stories are twisted and bizarre--and so terrifying that I'm sometimes told to shut up a few minutes into them--but I can't."


So by this prologue begins a strange and weird tale told by Owen Edmonds.

Owen starts off as an agnostic. We see that he is basically a good boy, someone who strives to do what is best, even though he comes from a broken home. He has friends that at times can be good, but for the most part are self-absorbed and vain.

Just one moment of curiosity, the want to know more information, the need to have his questions answered, Owen takes a risk and the consequences send him into a supernatural existence. Now he can see demons and angels. He can see the shackles and chains that bound people to sin. And he can see the light of those who have been freed of their chains by their belief in Jesus Christ.

The book is told in first person. The reader falls headlong into teenage thoughts and emotions, experiencing them. We see his illogical actions, his rash judgements, and ultimately his surrender and maturity.

It takes skill to pull off the true portrayal of a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. And Laura Gallier does this extremely well.

The novel is dark, but like any tunnel, there is light at the end. With each chapter the stage is set into more complex acts, each building upon the other, until the finale. The character, Owen, grows with each chapter, learning humility and love.

Fair warning to readers, there are instances of scenes describing the horrific descent into hell. In one scene, it had nothing to do with the girl's suicide, but everything to do with her lost soul. 

The story is sound in Scripture, which is surprising to find in Young Adult novels. There is no apology for beliefs. There is no sugar coating the horror. And this is what makes it a great Christian Thriller. It is a battle of light and dark. The power of what prayer can do. And all told through the eyes of a teenager who is just beginning to learn the truth about what he is seeing.

Even the title has a deeper meaning: the delusion is believing that you don't need Jesus Christ in your life.

Thoroughly thought-provoking, I could see this as a youth group read and discussion. An extremely well-written novel and one that I do not want to part with, other than handing it over to my teenage son.

***click on the title for the option to purchase the book***
***I received this novel from Tyndale in exchange of an honest review*** 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Gift of Heaven by Charles Stanley

by
Charles Stanley
(Thomas Nelson 2017)

This isn't a devotional or a coffee-table style mini book. What it is, is a book that gives detailed descriptions and answers, according to Scripture, about heaven.

Many people often wonder about Heaven. Who will be there? Will we eat? Will we know anyone? What does it look like? Where is Heaven?

In the short 10 chapters, Charles Stanley answers each. Whereas, not all questions can be answered because we lack the information, he does provide a satisfactory answer to those unanswerable questions.

Complimenting the pages are beautiful photography, each showing a bountiful heaven on earth and underscoring that Heaven will be even more beautiful and glorious.

Charles Stanley doesn't rely on only one version/translation. He uses 6 translations throughout the book: New American Standard, English Standard Version, New International Version, New King James Version, New Living Translation, The Living Bible.

The Gift of Heaven makes a wonderful gift and a little treasure to keep.

***Click on the title for the option to purchase a copy***
***I received this book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange of an honest review*** 

Regarding Tiberius by Bartholomew Boge

(2017)

As I read this story, a tribute to Louis L'Amour and Lew Wallace, John Bunyan and Henry van Dyke, I imagined it to be bound in cloth hardback and smelling of history.

Anachronisms in the novel gave Regarding Tiberius a distinct Shakespearean flair. Like Shakespeare, the novel contains some 16th century words, some that can be found in the King James Bible; although, nowadays these words are considered crass.

Other words used, although in proper format isn't considered vulgar, when used as an oath or epithet it becomes vulgar and shouldn't be found in Christian literature.

If not for these words, which many readers of Christian fiction may find offensive, the novel would be a strong Christian historical tale. As it is, it's a well-written and highly engrossing historical novel with Christian themes.

Various cultures, aligning with history, and a true portrayal of the Roman Empire adds to the dusty and timeless adventure.

With a regal Nubian princess and an austere Roman soldier who is also the son of a Senator, the reader travels the lands of the vast Roman Empire, from the Mesopotamia to Tyre to Jerusalem.

History and imagination meld into a seamless tale of love, revenge, loyalty, and ultimately sacrifice.

Regarding Tiberius isn't a novel you will easily forget. Its layers of truth will cling to the reader long after the last word by Helena is written.  

***click on the title for the option to purchase a copy through Amazon***  

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck

by
Kristin Billerbeck
(Thomas Nelson 2012)

1: I want this book so that I can read it time and time again. (I borrowed a copy from the Marion Public Library).

2: The main character's name is Daphne. The perfect name, in my opinion.

3: The smell of rain is my favorite scent. Nothing smells as peaceful or as refreshing as the smell of falling rain.

And no other chick-lit book seems as refreshing as Billerbeck's The Scent of Rain. The main character was an utter delight: smart, sassy, and sensitive.
The Christian aspects were natural and authentic.
The pace never bogged down or seemed rushed.
To me, this became the ultimate Christian Chick-lit romance novel.

By the time I turned that last page I was smiling and felt as though all cares were taken from me. And that is how a book is suppose to make you feel!  

***Click on the title for the option to purchase a copy*** 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore

Crisis Shot
by
Janice Cantore
(Tyndale 2017)

I've tried many of Janice Cantore's books in hopes that I would find one that I could like and read. Unfortunately,  this one was not the book. 


Although I found this book difficult to immerse myself into and where I found myself speed reading quite a few paragraphs, I realize that this could be a good book for many people. 

I didn't like the pages and pages of backstory and description of who the character was and what had happened to them previously. There were a lot of repetition throughout. And at one point the "oh, my ---" phrase was used. It was used in Spanish, but still, many readers would take that as using God's name in vain.

The pace was steady. The writing style solid and at times intense. After three books I think I can say this author isn't for me. But I would tell readers who are looking for a good police story within the Christian market should give Janice Cantore a try. You might like her books.  

***I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange of an honest review***