Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alienation by Jon S. Lewis

From a perfect life to pure chaos, that is Colt McAlister has been dealt. Shortly after his 16th birthday his parents were both killed in a car crash. Just it wasn’t any random accident, no it was a hit and run target mission put on by aliens. Since then Colt has moved to Arizona to live with his Grandfather Murdoch, who is a famous -if only in comic form- hero. In Invasion, book one of the CHAOS series, we learned of Colt’s family history with a secret government branch that focuses on protecting earth from aliens forces who are planning on taking over earth. Now it is Colt’s turn to continue the family legacy and join CHOAS Academy with his old friend Danielle Salazar and his new friend Oz Romero. As a team they must learn everything they can before the Thule aliens invade.   
As if this wasn’t enough Colt is constantly in the cross hairs of a master assassin. Watching your back isn’t good enough when the hunter is a skin changer.

I when I picked Alienation up I had just finished two fairly large books, one 500 pages another 400 and was happy to see that Alienation was a grand total of only 274 pages. When more and more authors are going for long 400-800 page books I started to wonder, can an author create a gripping book in so few pages? Well, Jon S. Lewis did it.
We start Alienation where Invasion left off. Colt is living with his grandfather getting ready to leave for CHAOS-Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural-training.

I really got to know Colt through Alienation. He learns so many things about himself in the book, some good and some not so good things. We see how he is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right and protect those he cares about. He also reacts the same as any other human would, making him more then just a ‘cool’ character, which he is.
Same with Danielle, she doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion. Smart, friendly and a pro-hacker I just loved watching her take over and help Colt as he was going through so much stress, not to mention the death threats.
Now what are we missing in this team? Yep, the muscle in the group. That is covered by Oz, son of CHAOS director Lobo, has grown up in the alien world and knows how to fight. He is a great character that I truly hope will get more of the spot light in the next edition of CHAOS.

We didn’t get to see any alien planets this time but there were gadgets aplenty to make up for it.
I was thrilled with how this book turned out.
Another really cool this is a short 6 page comic that stands in as a prolog. I think that was one of my favorite parts.
So much is packed into such a small book, and the fact that it is small and can be read in a few hours is great. 

A
Thanks to Booksneeze for giving me this review copy.

I want YOU to Win!

That's right, right here. YOU can win! What can you win? Well YOU get to decide! Vote on the left side bar poll and the book with the most votes wins! The poll will be open for 2 weeks and then the giveaway will be open for 6 weeks after that. 
So what do YOU say? 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin


Jadiel is a young 12 year old girl who loves her father and misses her mother, who died the year before. On top of grief for her mother she has to deal with her new step-mother, Huldah, and her two daughters. Huldah quickly feels the need to put Jadiel in her place making her do difficult house chores. Still the witch, Huldah, doesn’t like Jadiel taking up time with her new husband and his wealthy estate. To get rid of this nuisance she devises ways to kill young Jadiel. After a couple attempts Huldah comes up with an impossible mission; find the Tree of Youth and bring back a satchel full of its leaves. If she doesn’t Jadiel’s beloved father will die at the next full moon.
Only thing is… no one knows where this tree is, or if it even exists. 
Callen, a young carpenter discovers some old drawings of a bridge, a magnificent bridge, unfortunately no one knows who made it. Determined to find this bridge and learn of it’s creator Callen takes leave of his apprenticeship to find it.
Only thing is… no one knows where this bridge is, or if it even exists. 
These two seekers find each other on the road, Callen fearing for the young girls safety (Who just happens to be his apprentor’s niece.) Offers to help Jadiel with her mission to save her father. Traveling across the land they learn of the bridge’s creator, the Tree of Youth and so much more.

Once again I was entrapped in the wondrous realm of Sherbourne and it's surrounding lands. The hidden magic the world holds and the innuendoes to the previous 2 books — The Wolf of Tebron and The Map Across Time, in the Gates of Heaven Series by C.S. Lakin — had me feeling at with home with The Land of Darkness.

The speed of this tale is one of Lakin's best. The Land of Darkness starts out a bit slow and cumbersome but when I reached part two I was having trouble putting this adventure down. I was blown away at how easily Lakin places facts and stories from other books of the Gates of Heaven series in her stories yet they can be read as stand alone novels. Seeing references to Adian, Tebron and other things would just make me smile.
Now the main tale is about Jadiel and her conflict with Huldah. But Callen had his own villain stalking him a Golgoth, the dark creature from another world that can kill armies in a matter of days. This added a great twist and suspense to the plot, giving it a more grown up feel to your normal fairy tale yet keeping it very friendly for younger readers.
C.S. Lakin also did a wonderful job of laying the mood of the story and scenes. Many times I would find myself holding my breath hoping Callen wouldn’t open the door or wanting to jump for joy when Jadiel was freed from the slavers.  At other times I was irritated at the characters for not understanding, or practically yelling at them trying to tell them to believe.
The characters in this book had as much personality as the other books in this series. From talking boars and frogs, to the strange man constantly speaking in riddles.

I enjoyed this book and am extremely thankful to C.S. Lakin for giving me an advanced copy of her latest tale.
A+

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeper by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

Two hermit brothers have spent years living in seclusion. Trying to fight their emotions so that they may be blessed in the next life. One night a lone man finds them and tells them they are dead. How can this be? Breathing, walking, talking men, dead. To live again they must become keepers, a secret order trying to preserve the emotional life of human beings.

I really enjoyed Keeper it was interesting, and gave great insight into the book Forbidden, which Keeper serves as a prologue for. It did it’s job making me even more interested in reading Forbidden. I see that Forbidden is going to focus on love and other emotions. I don't think following your emotions is a good thing since emotions can fog a persons sense of logic and lead to trouble. But I'll see how Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee pull it off. After reading Keeper I am very much so looking forward to Forbidden. Keeper was well written and did what it was intended to do, get me hooked on Forbidden before I even read the first page.
B+

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vigilante by Robin Parrish


The squeeze of a trigger followed by a silenced bullet and Nolan Gray, a famous war hero, is dead.
The world is falling apart; National debate is a joke, criminals are running rampant holding a large part of the job force, war lingers over the world and the United States Government is about to collapse.
President Thornton Hastings is trying his best to bring law and order back to America by forcing budget cuts, and creating a new anti-crime team (Organized Crime Intelligence agency-OCI) he hopes can save the country he once fought for.
When strange bill-boards start appearing across the country promising “a better way”, people wonder if “a better way” is truly possible. Hope is sparked on the streets in New York as a mysterious man rises up to take down the unlawful and protect the innocent. Can a single man change the dark streets of New York and trigger a hope for the nation?

The first sentence of Vigilante had me interested in this book, by the time I finished chapter one I knew this book was going to be good.

Vigilante reminded me of Batman and Spiderman mixed together. Creating a grapple swinging, bullet proof, almost superhuman, vigilante. The mission, solve the world’s problems and make people themselves better. With only his military training, an ex-commander, a tech genius kid, and enough drive to go miles Nolan Gray is ready for a challenge.
Robin Parrish created an excellent action story that kept the pace up through out. We are quickly introduced to Nolan and learn of his ambitions, skills and what drives him.
Sadly this is one thing that needed work. Nolan is a great hero, just his back up team was just that; back up and under developed. We did learn some basic character history to better understand personalities but more insight would have helped explain Alison, Arjay and Commander’s loyalty. Same with the villain, though he was a good strong villain, the fact his motives were based off of sickly blind rage kept him flat and predictable.
The plot was intense and built upon itself nicely. Since this is an action book a lot of the time I felt like it would make a good movie. There are a lot of good fight scenes, races, tense moments, time-ticking bombs, fires, and drama for a full-length film.
I am not going to give out potential spoilers but the ending of this book will leave you with mixed feelings. I also feel it was rushed, like Parrish needed to quickly finish the book so he just ended it and gave a five page epilogue to hastily tie up some lose ends.
Robin Parrish wrote a good book with a fast plot, decent twists, and a strong hero that I could see popping up in the movie theater. Sadly the use of Batman and Spiderman classic techniques hurt my respect for the creativity of the book. While the ending had me wondering if that was really the end.
B
Thank you Bethany House for the review copy. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead


A homeless man is stalked by a pale, wraithlike creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth. Maimed animals and a host of suicides cluster around a mountain in Scotland. And deep beneath the cobbled streets of Oxford, a malicious hoard besieges a hidden city.
Freya Reynolds is a university student with a touch of OCD and an obsession with myth and folklore. Daniel Tully is living rough on the streets of Oxford, waging a secret war against an enemy only he can identify. Years ago, they found themselves in a world few know is real. They have since gone their separate ways and tried to put that adventure behind them.
But the mythical world is now bleeding into our reality-a dark spiritual evil that is manifesting itself in forgotten corners of the British Isles. Alex Simpson is a Scottish police officer who specializes in hunting mythical creatures. Together, they must confront the past, the present, and points beyond to defeat the ultimate threat to humanity.
Nothing they've seen so far prepares them for what awaits . . . in The Realms Thereunder.
(Taken from the back of the book.)

This book is very well written with only a couple typos found. The chapters were also a little confusing at first. Due to the fact that the story is set in two times and then multiple point of views (POVs) in these times, the author has the book set up with chapters and then sections within these chapters. At first I found it confusing but after the first two chapters I thought that the chapter/section layout was very smart and easy to follow.

The beginning of “The Realms Thereunder” was wonderful on both parts, past and present. I quickly learned important things about the settings and people that attached me to the world and characters. Sadly I felt that the “past” part got repetitive, predictable, and overall boring near the end. To make up for this the “present” sections always had me guessing and wondering what is going on and about to happen. All in all the plot was an excellent start to the series, giving us the first steps of the next adventure and the history in one entertaining story.

I thought that the world was very well created with both old and new creatures to keep you interested. The mix of dragons, trolls, elves and other classics of fantasy blended in seamlessly with yfelgóp, Tuatha Dé, changelings, and more.
Britain served as an excellent springboard for this book. Giving us a rich history, you can tell Ross Lawhead did quite a bit of research for this book. He expanded Britain’s history and added a wonderful variety to what we already know making me feel pulled in and wondering if his tale could have real happened.

Daniel and Freya were properly formed and well rounded. They had different depths of character between their younger and older selves in a realistic way.
Something I truly enjoyed watching through the book is their friendship. They are polar opposites of social classes, forced to work together. They had disagreements on what they thought they should do, but worked it out and focused on the main goal, get home. Other times they didn’t agree and handled it in another very human style, avoided each other, but once again they saw the need and worked it out. I liked the author having them mix like this, it gave a very interesting view about life styles and working together.
Ecgbryt and Swi∂gar added a wonderful flare to the story with riddles, wonderful accents, and tales from the history. Many of the characters had accents, Ross Lawhead did a great job with these. I could almost tell who was talking from their accent; few authors can do such a great job with this.

I liked this book, it was a nice fantasy book that had me interested throughout. I am waiting a little less then patiently for the next book in the series to come out.

A

Thank you Thomas Nelson and Book Sneeze for providing me with a copy of The Realms Thereunder.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling


Disclaimer- Christians that don't agree with magic should not read this book. For me personally I read the series thinking of the magic as something that made the series unique. I also know that some people practice magic, I do not support magic in the real world. Harry and his friend also did some things that I feel Christians shouldn't support, lying, breaking rules, plotting revenge, and stealing are some of the common things that did happened in the book that I don't agree with.

Harry isn't normal, he lives under the stairs at his Aunt and Uncles house, where he is treated more like a slave then a nephew. When Harry receives his first birthday letter he learns that his father and mother were wizards! And that he can train to be a wizard too! He can leave his miserable life with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Cousin Dudley!
When he arrives at “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” Harry is automatically the popular kid and quickly makes enemies because of it. On top of making new friends, fending off enemies, and schoolwork, Harry finds himself wrapped up in a mystery that includes the evilest of dark wizards who killed his parents when he was a baby. There is evil a foot, unbreakable banks are being robbed, mirrors are not telling the truth, and no one knows who will help bring He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named back from the near dead.

After hearing so much about this series I finally just picked them up. I was pleasantly surprised. The first book in the series is rather light hearted with an excellent plot that had many twists, red herrings and humor.

Harry is well developed and was easy to attach too, I took instant pity on him as I saw what he had to grow up with for “family”.  Harry quickly showed that even with his unusual history he just wants to be a normal boy. Sadly no one will let him be that, so he must compensate and just be ‘the’ Harry Potter famous for something he can’t even remember.
Harry couldn’t have asked for a better pair of sidekicks in his adventure. Ron and Hermione really brightened up the story with Hermione’s know-it-all attitude and Ron’s care free relaxed bearing.
I also loved the supporting characters. Neville I think was my favorite minor character, I feel the same as he does about studies. The teachers were all fitting for the typical teacher style, making it easy for young student readers to relate to the mysterious Hogwarts School.
Lastly I enjoyed the way J.K. Rowling had a minor enemy that was front and foremost in the story’s plot and a major villain that is plotting destruction in the background. This made the book have a good ending with the minor villain but kept the series going with questions for the next books.

For the world I thought Rowling could have added more. The only real description of Hogwarts is basically, “A castle looming on a mountain surrounded by a black lake.” Rarely will I complain about a book not having enough description but I feel a little extra would have helped. Later in the series the description adds up so you can almost see Hogwarts but for a first book it was weak.
Now I had heard about the game Quidditch before, but had no clue about what it was. After learning about it the Quidditch matches they quickly became some of my favorite scenes. The game Quidditch it gave me a feeling of a real school, with popular jocks and fans.

So minus the facts about Harry's poor moral choices the book is easily worth a B. If Harry had kept strong moral character the book would have been a A+ easily.

B

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul


A dragon egg is in the clutches of an evil wizard, Risto. Paladin and his followers know that if the egg is hatched within Risto's clutches destruction will befall that land of Amara. Paladin must rely on a slave girl turned servant, who has an extraordinary gift. Just this child isn't a warrior, she knows nothing of the world beyond the village she served in as a slave. How can she fight evil wizards, find a hidden treasure and expect to raise minor dragons?
Kale has already started her journey, following a planned path she is looking for adventure as a servant in the capital city Vendela. When she is told that she is suppose to follow a couple of strangers into a bog looking for a wizard that doesn't want to found, battle an evil wizard and raise minor dragons she doesn't think she can handles it all. Will this naive girl survive the dangerous path she needs to follow and trust in Wulder?

Kale is the main character of Dragonspell, she was very well developed growing throughout the book in a realistic manor. With her history as a servant showing through everything she does it was easy to understand her. She learned a lot throughout the book, growing from and ignorant slave girl that doesn't understand companions and friendship, to a quester who is looking forward to learning as much as she can about the world around her.
There were many characters in this book, though not to many that I got them confused. I enjoyed all of them. They were all unique in their own way; Dar and his flashy antics, Leetu as she learned to lead, Fenworth with his nonsense talk, and little Gymn fainting throughout the book, as well as everyone else had some special feature that I loved.

For the world, Amara is probably one of my favorite fantasy worlds. With minor dragons, the 7 high and low races, the bogs, mountains and the history made Amara feel like it was a real place. The magic was well placed and didn’t over bear the book, but still was needed for the plot. The minor dragons really made the world stand out, with their adorable hobbies that had me laughing.

Plot was fine, slightly slow at times because it would wander from the main plot line. I feel this is okay though, it gave us more insight into the world and characters as well as taught many lessons about character development.
The book could have been read like it had two main plots, find the meech egg and teach Kale. I liked this because it made the book more interesting. With only one plot the book would have been very similar to many other books, the underlying plot gave a certain flare, which made Dragonspell more memorable.

All in all I feel this book was a good lighthearted and humorous read to enjoy with my busy life. 

A

Thank you Waterbrook for giving me this reviewers copy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Final Hour by Andrew Klavan


Charlie West is caught. His days of running from the law are over, but that doesn’t mean he is safe. Prison life isn’t like walking though a bed of flowers, and the Homelander members that share the prison with him are making sure he knows it. Beatings are common and death is peering over his shoulder. He has to get out if he is going to live to see the New Year.
Freedom is offered but at a terrible price. Will he do the unthinkable to get out and save the lives of others? And what about the Homelanders? Almost all have been caught but that doesn’t mean they will stop fighting. They are mounting a final attack that will happen at the last possible hour. . .

I loved this series. Book 1, “The Last Thing I Remember”, was fast pace and all action. While Book 2, “The Long Way Home”, was absolutely hilarious. Book 3, “The Truth of the Matter”, had emotion and discovery, and I feel book 4, The Final Hour, was a mix of all these, but mainly action.

Once again Charlie is written amazingly, the first person view point had my heart racing while he raced through the mud, exchanged bullets and crash landed. It also helped me will him on, making me feel the loneliness of prison life, cringe with pain at each blow and hold my breath hoping and praying for the best.
Charlie is truly the main character but I have to add the Detective Rose and Mike were excellent. Stone face and chucklehead gave me something to laugh at in the midst of the trouble.

Plot was different then the last 3 books, it was more straightforward. Almost all the questions have been answered in the past books. This book was more about getting an ending that ties up the last loose ends and leaves the reader content. It was a good plot with action and twists, but I feel that it was the weakest of the series. Now as a testament to the series and how good it is, the plot was still amazing. Just not quite as strong and interesting as “The Last Thing I Remember”, “The Long Way Home”, and “The Truth of the Matter”.

Klavan brings up ideas of bravery, morals, and perseverance. All of which I loved, using a fiction book to teach, and in such a way that it doesn’t slow down the plot, phenomenal!
In closing I think this is one of the best series I have read, the best first person I have ever read, and a great addition to Christian fiction.  
A

Thank you to Book Sneeze for giving me this book to read.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis


Billy and his family are rather normal, but when a crazy man starts to hunt them. Billy learns he had been lied to his whole life. His dad really is a dragon, forced to change into human form to avoid getting killed by slayers that will forever hunt him and his offspring. While Billy and his family are running from a maniac guy with a sword, Billy is trying to learn how to trust his family again and learn the truth.
Bonnie is a loner; living in the foster care system sure doesn’t help. She can’t trust anyone, because telling the wrong person the truth might get her killed. Living like life is normal is hard, but with her strange condition it is next to impossible to make friends and live a common life.
Together they will fight for their lives and discover that they have to rely on each other to survive.

I thought the characters were descent, maybe to cut and paste for my taste. Bonnie is a orphan who is looking for a place to fit in. Billy a middle of the road guy between cool and dorky that likes to draw and hang with his best friend, Walter. I would have liked a bit more diversity and distinction between them. The fact that all the characters fit into stereo-type cut outs society uses to describe people was boring, since people are not cut and paste in real life. 
As for the villain I think that he was flat. He was described as insane, that fits him to a tea. We never understand why he has such a hatred for the dragons, just that he does. I have read many books and feel this villain was one of the weakest I have ever read.

The plot was alright, it had a good opening chapter and kept the pace up for the rest of the book. There were a couple lags but since the book is 371 pages long it was paced well enough to keep me interested. The book is based off of King Arthur mythology, just with a twist. dragons are real, and living in the modern world. I liked this idea, and feel that in the long run Davis pulled it off very well.

One of my biggest down falls is with Billy and Bonnie’s romance thing. I say “thing” because their ages aren’t given in the book but from the way they act they aren’t old enough to be dating or seriously thinking of marriage. For some reason they both fall in love with each other in the book during battles and running from the bad guys. I feel with the stress they were going through, falling into each others arms isn’t a good way to have their friendship go. It was very unrealistic, and came off corny. 

Raising Dragons is a good book for fantasy lovers and younger readers, not bad but not great.

C+
Thank you to Living Ink books for providing me with this review copy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Grolls Give-away! Winner!

First off I would like to say thank you to Steve Groll for donating a copy of his book! Also thank you to everyone that signed up!
Now without to much more mumble jumble, since I know everyone wants to know who won...
The winner is....


Jake!  


Congrats Jake! You have a week to let me know your address. 

Thanks again to everyone that signed up, more give-a-ways are coming soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Radical by Davis Platt


The reason I picked up this book was because I wanted to strengthen my faith in God and to learn how to follow His will.
This book covers just that topic, how to learn God's will by turning from the American Dream.

Radical opens up talking about underground churches, which I like. I have long respected Christians in closed countries and pray for their strength, during this day and age of Christian persecution; which is worse then it has ever been in history.
Then it talks about how you can be a radical Christian and implies you will be a strong Christian like underground church members. The book goes in depth on a 5 point plan to become a stronger Christian:
1. Pray for the world
2. Read the entire Bible
3. Sacrifice your money
4. Give your time for God
5. Join a Church or Small Group to help you grow in your faith
If you do these five points you will be a Radical Christian, and I agree with all of these 100%. I need to read my Bible more often, I should go on a mission trip, I try to keep track and pray for both local and world problems, I also give what I can to church and charity, and I am an active church member.  But I don’t consider myself a true Radical Christian, at least not what I want my version of Radical to look like. I guess this book is perfect for Christians who go to church, then live like anyone else the rest of the week, and for middle road Christians who do the actions but don’t share their faith.
David Platt also brings some strong points to mind like; How can we sit in comfortable multi-million dollar churches while children starve to death? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about people’s eternal lives then what fast-food joint we should eat at? Just he never gave a good solution about how to solve this. Other then donate, but American churches are not going to stop expanding and building. VBS still helps teach young kids, Retreats still save eternal lives, so I don’t know how David Platt expects us to stop growing our churches yet do all he wants in the American church. 

Over-all this book is a good read, just I don’t think this book covers what it said it would. Use it as a motivational plan to strengthen your faith, by doing the 5 point plan, but don’t expect a radical change. I know that, at this time, I don't have the strength to deal with half of what most underground church members do, but I hope to some day with God’s strength.
So I guess yes, follow his step by step and you will be a stronger Christian, but I think radical is not the right word. 
C
Thank you Waterbrook for giving me this book to review.  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Announcement and A Tag

Due to a small amount of entries in the Beyond the Dead Forest Giveaway I am going to extend it till July 16th. This will now be the closing day for the giveaway. If you would like to enter please see here.
http://arrowheadreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/beyond-dark-forest-by-steve-grolls-give.html


Also I was tagged on Noah's Blog, http://noahsreads.blogspot.com/ Thank you Noah for the tag.


Now I have to answer the following questions:
Are you hot/warm/cold right now? Where are you at?
The temp is perfect here in a friends house in AR, though it is hot outside I am happy inside. 

Upload a picture of the wallpaper you are using.


This is a picture my dad took on a trip. I have been training my family how to take pictures for a couple years now and this is one of the best he has ever taken. :)
When was the last time you ate chicken?
 Lunch, we ate at a pizza bar that served every type of topping you can think of.  Potatos, peppers, pinnapple chocolate everything. It was great! 



What song or songs have you listened to recently?
A little Fee and Amberlin during a drive with a friend. Then a lot of Amberlin, TFK, Group 1 Crew, Skillet, Hawk Nelson and others during car drives. Also I have been listening to Eragon on CDs.

Do you have any nicknames? If so what are they?
I have many. It depends on who I am with. GA, Goldie, Goldarrow, 2-D, frog, toad, stick, monkey, are just the ones that first come to mind. I have a ton more.  
Now to tag 5 bloggers.

Jake from http://teenagewritingrocks.blogspot.com/ is kinda new to reviewing but has natural reviewing skills.

Silver Angel from http://silverangelsmusings.blogspot.com/ is famous for just plan random fun. You want to smile or laugh? Ceck out his blog.




Thanks again to Noah for tagging me!


Monday, June 20, 2011

I Know Why the Angels Dance by Bryan Davis




Her first funeral, 12 year old Tabitha doesn't know how to handle  her great grandmother’s, Nana, death. She knows she should be happy because her great grandmother is in heaven, but shouldn't she also be sad?

To help her remember Nana Tabitha is given Deborah, a family heirloom doll.  Going home she starts to have strange dreams and when her closest friend, Rose, starts to appear in these nightmares she fears for Rose's eternal life.
relaxed and had fun through the entire book, it made the book  feel stiff and formal. The rest of the characters were fine. With the exception of her father and Phil, I kept getting mixed up with since they’re so alike.
When I picked up this book I wasn't expecting a thing. I have read fantasy by Bryan Davis and was interested to see how he would do a fiction novel.

I have my normal qualms with the characters in this book, many, but not all, were near perfect. One thing kept appearing odd to me, Tabitha is a perfect angel. For a 12 year old she acted like a 16+
year old. She used big words, had large passages of the Bible memorized, never self-centered, polite, Ect. Now I know many great 12 year olds and all of them goof off at times. Tabitha never really 
For plot I felt this was Davis' best work, it reminded me of "Tilly" by Frank Peretti. The main plot was easy to follow while the subplots were meaningful. I was pulled into the families lives, pondered about the Biblical views the book covered and was moved as I saw how it would end. Though it was overall predictable I like that it stayed on target and was well paced.

I have read many of Davis' works and feel this is his best writing. Though I wasn’t in tears it moved me and kept me interested till the bitter-sweet end.
B+

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll


Partners looking for adventure, that is what Kat and Carter’s relationship is like. When a mysterious forest shows up that only they can see, they know a real adventure just might have arrived. On one of their excursions to learn what lies within the woods they meet a man who will send them on a mission that might kill them.  But if they survive the challenges the Dead Forest has for them they will end up with some of the greatest treasures known to man.

I really enjoyed this book. The lessons that “Beyond the Dead Forest” contains I feel makes it a must have on every private or public school library shelf in America and beyond.

Kat and Carter are wonderfully created. They are two 12 year olds that have grown up together in their neighborhood. Both love adventure and both have family problems; together they help each other to deal with it. Kat’s father left the family and her mother is trying to be both a mother and a father to Kat. Carter’s parents fight a lot and seem to forget their son in the other room when they are mad.
The kids attitudes through the  book suited their age. They had real fears and made common mistakes like any 12 year old would. The difference with Kat and Carter is that they learned from their mistakes.   

The plot of the book didn’t dilly-dally with background information, which I love. There where flashbacks and conversations that helped fill-in any missing details about the partners pasts. The adventure couldn’t have started any quicker, I was promptly pulled into the troubles the two children had to deal with. Thinking, “What would I have done?” through the challenges really made this book something I could bring into my day to day life. “Beyond the Dead Forest” taught basic lessons like the people rule, running with the herd and loving your enemy. 
Now the middle of the book did drag and I had to make myself read it at times but the ending picked it up, making the book overall a decent pace.

I like this book it reminds me of a cross between “Phantom Tollbooth” and “Pilgrim’s Progress”. I highly recommend it for people of all ages. It is humorous, creepy, entertaining, insightful and so much more.

Also, I had the privilege to receive the book on CD and I just wanted to add that the reader did a wonderful job bringing the book to life. 
B

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ale Boy's Feast Give-away Winner!

At the beginning of May I announced that I was hosting my first book give-away on Arrowhead Reviews. I have to say I was amazed at how well it went. 9 people signed up and earned a total of 36 entries.
Now for the lucky winner....
Of Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet.
is
Cson!

Congratulations Cson, I will be contacting you for your address shortly.

Thank you to everyone that signed up, if you would like to try to win another book Steve Groll has donated a copy of Beyond the Dead Forest.
To enter click

Thank you to everyone that participated.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Grolls Give-away! (closed)

Steve Groll, author of Beyond the Dead Forest has kindly donated a copy of his book to give-away. He is willing to personalize Beyond the Dead Forest to the lucky winner. This give-away will be open through June 30th 11:59pm (central).
How can you win?
Leave a comment below telling me what you have done on the following list.
The review for Beyond the Dead Forest will be posted in a couple days. Thank you Mr. Groll

~You can follow this blog. A follower widget is located on the blog's sidebar. (earns 2 entries)
~You can post about this giveaway on your blog. Comments MUST have a link. Limited to once a week. (earns 2 entries)
If someone comes to this blog from your blog post and comments, you get one extra entry. (Make sure to tell them to say you sent them!)
~You can tweet with a link to this post. Comments MUST have a link. Limited to three times week (earns 1 entry each)
~You can read any of my reviews on this blog and comment on it, as long as you have not already done so on it for another giveaway. (earns 1 entry each)
~You may link this giveaway on facebook. Comments do require links, since I am not a member of Facebook I am allowing this through honor. Don't say you did one when you didn't. Limited to once a day. (earns 1 entry each)

Open to U.S. residents only.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet

Thank you Waterbook Publisher for giving me this book to review.
They’re on the move. Tabor Jan is leading his people through the dangerous forest of Fraughtenwood. Trying to lead them the way their king would have, if he wasn’t missing.
Mean while Queen Thesera and her children Partayn, and Cyndere are discussing ways they might be able to help the beastmen trapped in the curse. 
Ale Boy is lost in the core of Cent Regus, vainly searching for survivors in the slaughter the beastmen made of his people. And the Seers haven’t given up yet, new creatures and dangers are hiding waiting for their bidding. The Expanse as they know it is turning against them, and no one knows how to stop it.

For me this book was long, and I’ll take some of the blame for not liking it. Due to a busy life I was forced to spread the book out over 3 weeks. With the time lapses I had between reading I am sure I missed and forgot quite a few important details that would have helped me enjoy the book more.

With that said I’ll go into character development. Jeffrey Overstreet did a great job showing us everyone’s true colors in this book. Toward the end I felt like I didn’t know a lot of the people in the book, that is how much they changed. I am still debating whether I like this or not. People I trusted seemed to turn, while people I felt should have been dangerous became heroes.  Ale boy, and a few others remained steady, people to cling to as the Expanse changed.

As I said above the plot was slow, I was hoping for a big climaxed ending and was disappointed to see it curve to its height of thrill. The last 50 pages of this book were the best in the series though, as far as action goes.
Another thing that I didn’t fully understand, are a few of the character wrap-ups. Some people it seems Overstreet just had to finish up, so he came up with the easiest way to do that, (Spoiler) killing them off. (End of Spoiler)  Now I don’t mind that too much but I got the feeling the series wasn’t as well planed as it could have been. Almost like the ending was rushed.
Now this book is sold to a Christian Market and I think that some people might not see the Christian teachings in the series. They are very evident toward the end but you have a long wait to see the lessons the series teaches.
I guess it was a good ending and had a lot of interesting twists in the last 50 pages. Just with some threads left untied I have a bitter-sweet after taste of this book. Sweet because it was a series worth reading, bitter because the ending wasn’t all I had hoped it to be.
 B

 Final Notice: this is the last book in the series. Even though the author has an overview in the beginning of this book you really must read the entire series to understand this world and the people. Read, Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight and Raven’s Ladder before you read Ale Boy’s Feast. I made the mistake of trying to read the series out of order and was forced to go back to read everything else before I finished this book.