Christian

Book Review: Thr3e

Thr3e
Author: 
Dekker, Ted
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Thr3e by Ted Dekker (great title after reading the book) is one of the greatest murder mystery novels out there. The book begins with the main protagonist, or so it seems, Kevin Parson. He receives a phone call from a psychopath in Killer named Slater saying that he has three minutes to confess his sin to the world or else his car will blow up. This is just one of the many events that take Kevin, Samantha, his greatest friend, and Jennifer, an FBI agent, through a world of mystery and motives. The twists and turns are the main attraction of this novel, as the reader won't expect what comes next. Character backstories also play a gigantic role in this novel, and all of them are well crafted to fit the plot. Anyways, I would recommend it to anyone willing to take the time to read a book.

Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L.

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters
Author: 
Lewis, C. S.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Perhaps the first documented fictional exploration of spiritual warfare, The Screwtape Letters is an expertly crafted examination of what the enemy of our souls is plotting. The reader is given insight into one side of a correspondence between two demons of differing influence and rank, thus providing a “behind the scenes” look at what the enemy is plotting and what they consider to be a victory for them. At moments, it can be difficult to follow along since the context of Screwtape’s “enemy” is really the “good” side of the spiritual battle. Either way, C.S. Lewis has crafted a brilliant satire about how little humans understand of their spiritual lives.

While I wouldn’t necessarily ascribe The Screwtape Letters to pure theology, there are plenty of eye-opening and thought-provoking statements in Screwtape’s letters to his nephew. From the demons’ acknowledgment that pleasure is of God’s design but overindulgence in pleasure is in their realm to the ever-constant battle to bring humanity’s spiritual fervor into the “lukewarm” category, many of the topics covered in this book are still applicable today. In fact, an astute reader can pick up exactly where the demons have gained victories in today’s society filled with apathy and spiritual malaise.

My biggest qualm with this book is that it wasn’t longer. Lewis unquestionably had the creative spark to package theology in an entertaining context via books like this, so I would have liked if there were more letters included in the set to stir up more conversation and induce more moments of reflection in our own lives. If someone were to write the unauthorized sequel to this book that could do so, I would certainly read it in a heartbeat.

The greatest example of writing from an antagonist’s perspective, I give The Screwtape Letters 4.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin M. Weilert

Book Review: Emissary

Emissary
Author: 
Locke, Thomas
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A fantastic world of adventure and legions come alive. Elves and dragons and ethereal powers colliding together in this fast paced journey where EVIL again is trying to 'take over'. It was an easy read and kind of a fun romp. A 'page turner' as they say that left me with a desire to get the next book quickly. It's also another '1st book' so it makes it easy to know what to read the next time. (check out my other "1st books" in the staff reviews. The main character has a noble upright spirit in him and his quest in part is about him becoming all that he can be. Many friends join him along the way and he soon learns that without them he will fail. If you like The Lord of the Rings series; you'll probable like the books that I read.

My curiosity is up about these reviews - so If I could get some feed back (at least 7) - I'll tell you the next "best fantasy saga", I have found, after the Lord of the Rings.

Reviewer's Name: 
Bruce

Book Review: A Cast of Stones

A Cast of Stones
Author: 
Carr, Patrick W
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book starts out really slowwwwww, but hang in there 'cause it starts picking up speed about a third of the way through. Errol Stone lives in a barrel of ale most of the time, he's an orphan and the one who was raising him was killed. It's a hard luck story that lifts you up at the end. He discovers he has hidden talents and true friends that help him overcome life. He has to fight through with work and is discovers a great adventure to live. Most of the stories I like are about people that overcome the odds and learn how to live uprightly. This is another '1st book' and I'm looking forward to the next. I read books that are "clean" from bad language and lustful sex. There's plenty of those, no challenge to find them, so I seek out those that are not. A little Romance and a Noble Spirit, mixed into a great Adventure are what I enjoy. The Return of Sir Percival and The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman are other '1st books' I have read, reviewed and enjoyed recently.

Reviewer's Name: 
Bruce

Book Review: Traces of Guilt

Traces of Guilt
Author: 
Henderson, Dee
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Small town crime is the plot of the novel. Cold cases are reexamined by Evie Blackwell State Police Detective to launch a new state task force. The novel kept my interest to the end because I wanted to know if and how she solved the cases. It seemed unlikely that all these cases would have occurred in a rural town setting and many of them overlapping, but perhaps I am naïve about such things. . It was interesting to follow the thoughts of police work and the background that goes into solving cases. The characters were enjoyable, particularly the Thane brothers. I enjoyed these men of integrity, their caring hearts, and the family they belong to. Evie is tenacious in her thoughts and work. I enjoyed some visiting characters from other Dee Henderson novels that I had read previously. I wouldn't say there is a lot of action suspense, but rather character development more along the lines of regular fiction. There were some touch topics that affected the characters deeply. I would recommend it if you like character driven stories.

Reviewer's Name: 
Angie

Book Review: Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons
Author: 
Creech, Sharon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

On her way to Ohio to find her mother Salamanca, and her grandparents journey across the country to get there. On the way Sal tells the story of Phoebe Winterbottom a peculiar girl she met. I rate this a 5/5. The hidden messages really gives this book depth. Such as the irrationality of Phoebe, but also how Sal can understand her friend. They don't have a perfect relationship, which makes it very realistic. I recommend you read this, it's filled with suspense, action, and drama you won't be able to put it down.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Emily T.

Book Review: The New Recruit

The New Recruit
Author: 
Williamson, Jill
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book caught my eye because of the title. Just the sound of "The New Recruit" makes the book sound like it is full of adventure...and it is!
The story opens with the introduction of the main character, a prospective freshman varsity basketball player named Spencer Garmond. He is living with his grandmother in Pilot Point, California, and has been living with her ever since his dad left the family and his mother died. Spencer's grandmother threatens to pull him out of his Christian school and put him in military school. Fortunately for Spencer, a mysterious man named Mr. Stopplecamp wishes to recruit Spencer for a Bible club called Mission League. Forced to chose between military school and the league, Spencer signs up with the Mission League, but soon realizes the true purpose of the league (which is not to be Bible geeks). This book is filled with adventure, action, spying on Russia, and other "fun stuff." A must read for anyone who is looking for a James Bond type story with lots of humor and, maybe, a bit of romance.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex N.

Book Review: Elsie Dinsmore

Elsie Dinsmore
Author: 
Finley, Martha
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Elsie Dinsmore Series was published between 1868 and 1904. In the first book of 28 novels, we find Elsie, a half orphaned, love-starved child, struggling to obey her Heavenly Father, while missing her own dad terribly. Elsie’s mother died when she was only a few weeks old, and, since her father was traveling, she lived with a guardian until he also passed away. Elsie was only two. She was then taken under the wings of her grandparents (her father’s parents) who don’t seem to care a smidgen for their granddaughter. At the start of the book, we find Elsie, now eight, living in the cold shadow of her grandparents. For some reason, her young aunts and uncles also despise her. One of her only comforts is when her nurse “Aunt Chloe” teaches Elsie to love even when others do not love in return. But the most important thing Aunt Chloe has taught her is that God loves her. Elsie’s other comfort is her well-loved Bible. When Elsie’s earthly father returns from his long travels, his cruel treatment of his daughter leaves Elsie feeling more sorrow and need for God’s everlasting love than ever before. Read this adventure to find out the rest of the touching story. I think this book has a good Christian message as the reader follows Elsie through a number of faith-building trials in a desperate attempt to gain her heartless father’s longed for love. This is a book I recommend for those searching for a strong spiritual message and a faith-based challenge to love even the unlovable.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Cosette P.

Book Review: Circles of Seven

Author: 
Davis, Bryan
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Wow! This is one of my favorite books ever! It is engaging, interesting, and super WOW! I love that the dragons come to life off of the page, and they seam to make you feel like you could see one flying around if you looked closely! :) It also has values that promote good thoughts, and birth wonderful new ideas! This is one of my ultimate all time favorite book!
:)

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

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