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.

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.
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.


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