Cynthia Hand's debut novel Unearthly made my best of 2011 list this year and it looks like Hallowed will be on the my BIR list for 2012. I love this series! Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off, and had I a chance to do it over, I would re-read book one before picking up book two. I remembered the plot and characters well, but there are so many little nuances in this installment that you will miss if it's been awhile. Clara's vision has come to a close and now she is having dreams as well as an overwhelming sense of sorrow. She's made her choice clear between Tucker and Christian but that choice may be putting those she loves in danger.
Hallowed is a much more emotionally driven novel with less action than book one, but I soaked up every minute. So much so that I couldn't pick up another read for a while. I wanted to fill in the blanks on some things so I actually went back and re-read most of Unearthly when I was finished. We see all the same people in book two, but much less of Tucker's sister Wendy and her boyfriend Jason. Also, Clara's brother Jeffrey is a mystery. The one character I have not been able to connect with at all is Angela. So I'm gearing up for more of her in book three.
I had many questions answered about who and what the angel bloods are, about Clara's upbringing and why her mother has held so many secrets. But the best part of Hallowed by far are the two boys Tucker and Christan. Cynthia Hand knows how to write realistic, amazingly supportive, perfect heroes each in their own way. They are completely different, but each brings out a good side in Clara. So many noteworthy scenes with them both in Hallowed- including a ski trip, fishing, and learning to use glory. Both boys grew on me more than they had in book one. I really didn't think that would be possible!
Readers will be thrown for a loop with some of the plot twists and will laugh out loud as Hand pokes fun at Twilight stalkerish behaviors and love triangles (though they are used in this book.) The pace of Hallowed is slower but never drags and the tone a little more heavy as Clara is dealing with so many swirling emotions she is picking up from other people and non-people. Some of the content is better suited for an older teens since there are a few heavy make out, a partially undressed scene in a bedroom, and mild violence. No sex or swearing.
I highly recommend both Unearthly and Hallowed. If you are a fan of all things paranormal including angel mythology and the perfect swoon worthy male characters this is the series for you! I'm having a hard time moving on to another book because they influenced me so much. So, if you haven't read them yet, run and pick up Unearthly today! ...more
This book has quite the interesting little history. I found "Angel Burn" on Netgalley from Candlewick Press and started reading. Then figured out (froThis book has quite the interesting little history. I found "Angel Burn" on Netgalley from Candlewick Press and started reading. Then figured out (from all the reviews on Goodreads) that the book had been previously released as "Angel" in 2010 by Usborne books in the UK. The original edition is 500 pages long while this one to be released May 24th is 410 pages long. Candlewick has yet to publish the cover image for Angel Burn.
What I loved: Angel Burn has likeable main characters.
Alex, age 17 seems much older. He's been living the life of a CIA agent and angel killer since he was a child. Growing up in the desert of Albuquerque, NM. He's lost all of those close to him in the battle of the angel invasion. Closed, confident and cut, his character does a lot of growing. Readers see a completely different, more sensitive side of him as he begins falling in love.
Willow Fields is introduced as the main MC in Chapter one with he head under the hood of her best friend's car. She is considered "weird" by her friends at school. Thrift shopping, strong and independent, Willow fixes cars and reads the future to support her and her mom. They live with Aunt Jo in Pawtucket, NY. Her mother Miranda is schizophrenic and catatonic, completely disabled as a result to her interactions with Willow's father.
What I disliked: The side characters in Angel Burn are very much on the side. The bulk of the book focuses on Willow and Alex.
At times the switching in point of view from first person to third person omniscient gets confusing. And though the book is told from several different points of view, the personalities of each new character introduced is not fully fleshed out.
Weatherly introduces a much more sinister angel than those we normally see in YA fiction, a parasitic being feeding off of human life force. This was hard for me to swallow.
I hope: Angel Burn gets a new cover and book trailer. I wish we would have learned more about Beth's angel Paschar.
The main distraction: was the language. I almost put it down after two chapters because the repeated use of the Lord's name in vain- seemed like overkill for me. Also you can tell immediately that the book is written from a British perspective because of the word "right" in conversation instead of okay. I find it endearing but US readers may scratch their heads if they've never read a book from the UK before.
Overall: I enjoyed Angel Burn more than I disliked it- enough that I would read the sequel. It is unique. Alex is one worth reading about. Angel Burn ends in an unresolved resolution that makes me want to learn more. The plot is action packed and character driven. As well, Alex and Willow's trip across the United Sates via road trip while on the run was a selling point for me. (You can see author photos of their road trip online)
Content: Swearing, drinking, violence.
Sequel info: Looks like Angel Burn is part of a trilogy. In the UK Angel Fire , book two is set to be released June 2011. No word on a release in the U.S.
Thanks to Candlewick Press and NetGalley for letting me read Angel Burn. ...more
At 21 years old Jordan McDonald has decided he's ready to be an adult and take on his dreams. Never mind the See our teaser here http://nblo.gs/cR11b
At 21 years old Jordan McDonald has decided he's ready to be an adult and take on his dreams. Never mind the fact that he still lives at home with an overbearing mother who is out to control him every step of the way. Or the fact that he's painfully stuck in socially awkward situations. He dreams of completing his pilot's license, his deceased father's wish for him. But he's experiencing turbulence while navigating the paths of his life.
Set in Lai'e, Hawaii , Bumpy Landings will sweep you away with the smell of tropical flowers, Polynesian culture and mouth watering foods. Donald Carey takes you through the setting with the ease of a native. I found the book to be a wonderful break from the winter we're having on the main land.
Bumpy Landings is a coming of age tale with just a dash of romance. The themes are ones all of us stuck between youth and adulthood experience: staying financially afloat, discovering independence, and following one's heart. Bumpy Landings is an island gem, complete with lots of laugh out loud moments. And it's a squeaky clean read I would recommend for all. Thanks to Donald Carey for leading me to greener pastures.
Fire and Ice is honored to be a part of the Blog Tour. Be sure to swing by Donald's blog at http://donaldjcarey.com/ to see his own photos of Hawaii and a schedule of all the other stops ...more
Colt McAlister was an every day teen, tan with blue eyes and shaggy blond hair. His life consisted of school and surfing until the summer of his 16thColt McAlister was an every day teen, tan with blue eyes and shaggy blond hair. His life consisted of school and surfing until the summer of his 16th year. Sent to Washington D.C. for a summer tour for a military academy he has no idea how his life is about to change. There he meets Lt. Lohr, otherwise known as sasquatch and his soon to be partner in CHAOS, Oz. The difficult detail is that Colt has no memory of his training once he walks out the academy doors. And things get more complicated when Colt's parents are both killed in an automobile accident that really isn't an accident at all. Who would want them dead and why?
Following his parent's death, Colt is forced to move from San Diego to live with his grandfather in Arizona. The plus is that he has his childhood friend Dani there- a computer whiz and girl who loves to challenge him at video games. The negative is that strange things are happening all around him. People are getting hurt, his grandfather has secrets of his own, and it seems Colt and his friends Oz and Dani are the targets. Do the three of them have what it takes to fight of a billion dollar biotech company that seeks to take over the world?
Invasion is an action packed sci-fi trip into things you've never seen on earth before. Flying motorcycles, jet packs, and advanced alien life forms that appear to be ordinary men. It took me way outside of my ordinary genre, but surprisingly I loved it! J.S. Lewis is a talented writer who held my interest. The original pull for me came with the eery cover and later I was sucked in to Basil's party in between our world and a whole other dimension. The vivid details and suspense made for an entertaining adventure.
I would recommend the CHAOS series to readers 14 and older since there is some violence. It's another book with appeal for both genders. I was completely surprised by Invasion, and happy to learn that it's a series. Watch for our interview with author J.S. Lewis coming soon! And in the mean time, beware of others with red glowing eyes......more
I've been hot on Laura Kreitzer's tail since picking up her first book Shadow of The Sun last year and giving it 5 stars. But, I had no way to read egalleys and keep pace with her new releases. Thanks to DH and my new Nook, this is the first ebook ARC I've read in 2011. What an awesome adventure it was!
Think of Hush by Donna Jo Napoli spliced with Inside Out by Maria Snyder and the Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld. It's a combination of pirate slavery tale meets time travel and poof 200 years into the Dystopian future....more
I am not a fan of scary movies so this probably wasn't a good match for me. Gripping suspenseful plot, excellent portrayal of the South but the truthI am not a fan of scary movies so this probably wasn't a good match for me. Gripping suspenseful plot, excellent portrayal of the South but the truth was too disturbing and dark for my taste....more
DINGO is a quick, fun fantasy adventure for middle grade to Young Adult readers. It starts out in Minter's Poll Connecticut and moves to England with a team full of four teens on a mission to help save US citizens from terrorist attack. I enjoyed main hero Zack's tenacity and bravery. He takes on the world as a neglected youth who finds safety in the friendships of others. Erin and Libby are endearing and feisty. The plot moves along quickly and the resolution has a few surprise twists of fate. DINGO is one I would purchase as a clean, intriguing read for tweens and teens. Thanks to Anne Bradshaw for sending us a copy for review and giveaway! What an awesome author.
Okay so it's no secret by now that I am an angel lover. The mythology, the biblical references, the source of the nephilum. This book though...WOW. It's refreshing, mesmerizing. I picked it up I will unabashedly admit, based on the cover that called to me from the shelves at Barnes and Noble and was not disappointed.
Unearthly is slower paced and took a while for me to get into, but once I clicked, watch out. Locked, loaded, and eyes transfixed until the very end. Easily five stars to this one.
Cynthia Hand emphasizes functional family relationships and I loved that Clara's mom tries her best to protect her children and keep them innocent. Despite the fact that she is a single mom, she holds her family tight and encourages them to follow their purpose. The idea that each of us has a unique role to fulfill in life and that we have the power to change the course of history is a powerful theme that rang through.
Clara the main heroine is quirky and awkward so there's quite a few places to chuckle. What I love is that while she's half angle, she's also very human, a believable teen. Tucker, one of the main men is a rodeo cowboy with wicked blue eyes and a fun easy personality. It's cute how much he looks up to Clara and adores her. I have to say though I am team Christian and was from the very start. He appears to Clara in her visions, is there to catch her when she falls. Granted he is popular and acts unaffected by Clara's preparatory swooning, but near the end I really hoped Clara would accept his reciprocal interest. I was frustrated when their relationship was left hanging by a thread.
There were a few things that I wondered about. Like why does her hair turn orange? Can't they take her some where professional and get it done right? And if her dad lives in New York, why didn't she follow Christian there over the summer to be closer to him? I'm hoping book 2 has a lot more back story and Clara/Christian time!
Unearthly is so far the best book I've read in 2011. I would recommend it to all as a clean, fun paranormal read. This book lives up to its hype and when you get to the last page you'll be craving more.
What a perfect time of year to pick up this book! Small, concise and great for gift giving, 33 Habits of A Really Good Man is an inspirational starting point for a New Year and a new life. Yvonne Swinson takes bits of wisdom gathered form her father over the years and combines them with quotes he loved to pass on to her children and to us. Some of my favorite thoughts included "Change Begins With Me", "Don't Take Offense and "Make it a Habit." Each chapter is a value Bill Wells stood by and lived. I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it it to all...not just fathers or men. It's a power packed read with life lesson learned and an underlying message of love.
We are giving away a signed copy of 33 Habits of A Really Good Man donated by author Yvonne Swinson for our readers. Simply comment below to be entered to win. Giveaway ends February 4, 2011 and is open internationally.
The Vespertine was a full sensory experience for me. I wanted to savor every page and soak in every detail. The first pull came from the fact that the majority of the novel is set in Baltimore, Maryland close to my childhood home. Main character Amelia van Broek describes places I know by heart and the sunsets she describes are ones I've seen. What most struck me about this book is that I truly felt the plot as if through Amelia's eyes, I saw things as if I were there. I sympathized with her chosen fate and her motivation.
Written in first person poetic prose The Vespertine has an ethereal feel peppered with historical and paranormal elements. The back history is well researched and author Saundra Mitchell adds finishing touches that make it authentic to the Victorian age.. The tone is pulled between dark and tragic overlapped with frivolity during Amelia's first summer season with her cousin Zora. The girls enjoy lighthearted outings with friends, picnics and archery. Their friendship as cousins is endearing and deep. All seems well enough, until Amelia begins to see glimmers of the future, premonitions that come at sunset. Soon the home is flooded with calling cards and visits from others seeking their fortune. When future telling turns to prophecies fulfilled all begin to question if Amelia possesses the power to make her foretold events come true.
1889 in Baltimore is also a summer of looking for the perfect husband, a coming of age. Formal dances with dresses made of lace and organza as well as courting and interested callers. Zora, Amelia's cousin has her heart set on Thomas Rae, son of the local doctor. He is genuine and of impeccable manners, my favorite character in The Vespertine. Amelia, on the other hand, is dangerously and mysteriously drawn to Nathaniel Witherspoon, a fourteenth by profession-- one hired to round out the odd 13 number at dinner parties. He's an artist who smells of turpentine and oil paints, one below Amelia's society. I personally found him a little creepy, but captivating none the less. Nathaniel holds a secret and Amelia wants to know more.
Words can't describe how much I enjoyed this book. Everything from the beautiful poetic writing to the minor details of dress making and courtship. The Vespertine is more than just a book, it an emotional journey that will whisper to you long after you've shut the pages. Everything about it is haunting and lush. Saundra Mitchell masterfully writes in the actual voice of a young girl in the Victorian age; it's is authentic, moving, and magical. I can not wait for the companion novel Spring Sweet to be released in 2012.
In this second installment of Maria V Snyder's Inside Out series Trella "the pipe queen" has led a rebellion against the uppers and the Trava's. Divisions between the two are supposed to be smoothed over by a committee of 19 leaders but things aren't going so hot. No one wants to work, old prejudices abound and squabbles turn into more...bombs begin to rock the Inside. Their lives may be in danger as they hurdle through space in a giant cube and systems are down. It's up to Trella, Riley, Logan and their crew to find out who is threatening them and bring order t0 their community.
Trella has some important decisions to make about who she is and how much responsibility she wants to take on. Her character is forced to do a lot of growing up to shift into position as leader. All the old cast is back but you'll be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who is sincere and who is evil. Plus we meet a fun new character named Bubba Boom. Duplicity and high tension is riddled throughout Outside In. We learn more a lot about Dr. Lamont and grow to see a different side of her. But, my favorite character this time around is Logan, TechNo extraordinaire.
Outside In had me hooked despite the technical descriptions of quadrants and time which I had a hard time with in the first book. Snyder does an excellent job of crafting personalities and pitting them for and against each other. She adds much more sci-fi to the mix which makes it more than just dystopian.
The climax caught me completely by surprise. I had NO CLUE who was controlling things on the Inside until it was spelled out to us. The only set back for me in the book was the two sex-y scenes that seemed to literally come out of the sky. One minute Riley and Trella meet, then they barely have time to spend any time together. The next thing they are fighting and two seconds later comes more than I think the plot suggested they were ready for. Unfortunately, this makes for a mature teen read of 16 and over.
Overall, I thought the writing of Outside In was ingenious. Maria Snyder captures details and creates a world like no other we have seen. Thanks so much to HarlequinTeen and NetGalley for introducing me to book two. I enjoyed it more than the first, Inside Out, and I fell head over heels for Riley's sheepy. So, here's your chance to win one plus get your own beacon device just like Trella's.... ...more
After seeing Personal Demons on our list of books for the Best I've Read 2010 I figured it was high time I check out Lisa's series. I was thrilled when Tor Teen sent me a copy for review because I devoured this book. It's the classic good versus evil, two forces fighting against each other for rights to tag the soul of a girl. Frannie is not just anyone...she has the power to change both heaven and earth. Lisa Desrochers uses all of your senses to pull you to her characters hook , line and sinker. First on the scene at Hades High is Luc, bad boy who's voice is sticky sweet like honey, is hot to the touch and smells like Cinnamon. He has full reign of his intended target, Frannie, until Gabe shows up to counteract Luc's evil plan.
Gabe is the left hand of angel Gabriel, he smells like snow and summer and makes Frannie feel enveloped in love. How are we to choose between to polar opposites? Luc is cultured with Dante's Purgatroio and Inferno and has the ability to smell other's emotions. Black Pepper for fury, grapefruit for fear, anise for envy, rose for sadness and chocolate for love. This was one of my favorite concepts of Personal Demons. Gabe on the other hand, is willing to give up his wings for Frannie, promises he will always be there and has the capacity to help her forgive herself.
I have to say I fell for both forces for different reasons and in the end I wished Gabe had a more definitive role in Frannie's heart. I will definitely be reading he second in the series, Orignial Sin which is scheduled to be released by Tor om July 5, 2011.
Lisa ties in literature, music and art to culture readers. As well she pushes the imporatance of a pure soul, the sway of personal intent and the vital role of forgiveness in our lives. I appreciated Frannie's parents and grandfather as they are solid and protective. They are present. My only distraction was the overuse of the word 'cause in Frannie's self-talk and the constant barrage of physical seduction used by Luc. I personally like the audio book cover better than the print cover, but the tattoo effect on the inside and outside of the paperback is beautiful.
While the theme of Heaven's angels is one I 've read previously, I enjoyed Lisa's spin on things. (You may also like The Fallen series by Lauren Kate, The Heavenly Series by Jennifer Laurens and Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.) Lisa Desrochers does enough to set her book apart as original and gain a spot in my heart as one of my favorites this year. It's content has references that would be better for a reader over age 16.
Visit Lisa Desrocher's website at http://lisadesrochers.blogspot.com/ for more information and to view trailers from each character. I along with Gabe and Luc had fun immersing myself in The Fray, Mozart and Vivaldi while reading and was excited she has a play list posted on her blog as well. Here's to book two...can't wait!
I first picked up this book from Simon Schuster as an E-ARC and then last week when I got a paper copy in the mail you know what I did? Something I've only ever done with a handful of books...I read it again. The paper in my hands and the awesome cover was too big a temptation to pass up. I loved Possession even more the second time around with it's layers of meaning and depth. Once you know what's going on with the main characters and reach the surprise ending, I'm sure you will want to do the same.
I felt an immediate draw to Possession's protagonist Vi with her sarcastic, fiery personality. She is one strong 15 year old who stands up for herself and isn't afraid to throw punches. Victoria Schoenfeld is a water worker living in the Goodlands with only her mother after her father went missing and sister died working in the hands of the government. Vi's a free thinker who's had more than one brush with the law. So when she's caught crossing borders to meet her match Zenn, a newly recruited special forces agent, the Greenies want consequences for Vi. They wish to rule a society where their model citizens, Goodies are "walking paper dolls" devoid of personality. All must plug into transmissions including messages about not lying and sticking to the rules. But Vi has stopped plugging in and has a mind of her own. Those in charge have an upper hand with advanced technology capable of modifying memories, scanning fingerprints and tracking identities. Vi can feel the tech in her bones and though her father invented it, she's not convinced it's not all that it seems. In the end it's a choice for Vi between "control or don't control, alone or together, Zenn or Jag, duty or death." (p.366)
Jag...oh Jag. Bad boy who likes to read, leader of the Resistance, lover of wicked hair and distributor of hair gel & illegal tech. He stole my heart with his laughter, calmness, and laid back personality. He'll snag yours the first time he utters the words "nice" and shrugs his shoulders. Reader beware that Jag is not alone in his efforts to win Vi and freedom, Zenn is fighting behind enemy lines.
Elana Johnson is genius. She's crafted characters that push and pull you in all directions. There is not a clear cut line between what is bad and what is good. The last 1/3 of the book feels like a choose your own adventure quest for the truth, full of action and suspense. Possession is an ingenious mix of dystopian, paranormal and science fiction that had me thinking long after I finished the book. If you're a fan of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, prepare yourself for something even more mind blowing. Control or be controlled? Join the Resistance.
Content: minor profanity and sexual tension...more
I recieved a copy of this book from the author for review and finished it all in one sitting. Kaylee Baldwin tackles grief, divorce, and the power ofI recieved a copy of this book from the author for review and finished it all in one sitting. Kaylee Baldwin tackles grief, divorce, and the power of change. Meg's Melody begins as young Meg Sanders finds a note in her apartment from her husband Austin, stating no more than "I'm Sorry." His clothes are packed and gone...after eight months of marriage she is alone and left to pick up the pieces. Factor in that her pregnancy test comes back positive and her ex-husband remarried in a flash. Meg is about to become a young divorced single mother. In the years of her courtship and marriage she has successfully pushed away her family as well as the church she was raised in. Now she has no where else to turn but back to her roots. Meg has to start over on the path to healing what is broken within herself.
Matt Wilkes has just lost his wife in a tragic car accident and is left to father his little girl, Lilia. He is ready to make a fresh start in a new town and to come to terms with his own grief. The two main characters cross paths when Dr. Wilkes becomes Meg's OBGYN. Her life is about to become interesting as a crush for her High School days begins to pursue a relationship, and Matt becomes a friend to rely on, but is she ready to move on? Can she rediscover her voice and the happy melody she has lost?
I loved every page of this book. Author Kaylee Baldwin made her heroine less than perfect, on the path to growth. She writes engagingly about what has become a sad reality in today's world; with so many young marriages ending in divorce. Her characters have depth and their feelings are genuine. Both of the main characters have important choices to make and a long, hard road ahead of them, but as they learn to lean on each other and trust their feelings the path becomes clear.
Five stars to Meg's Melody. It's a squeaky clean romance that kept me engrossed with simple truths woven in between. As a reader, I connected with both the story and the people. I look forward to more from Kaylee Baldwin and would recommend this book to any and all readers... loved it! Find the author at her website: http://www.kayleebaldwin.com/...more
I have really mixed feelings about this book. From the beginning the relationships seemed WAY too rushed until you find out a little tidbit of info. near the end. However, there were several points during my read that I almost put the book away and didn't finish due to content. I really wouldn't want my teen reading this book. While pitched as YA fiction with 18 year old main characters, I think it is written more as adult romance. The flashbacks to Laney's previous life I skimmed right past and didn't read because of how violent they were. I understand her past was hard and she is on the run but do why the need to elaborate so much?
That being said, Human Blend does have a very interesting storyline that kept me intrigued enough that I did finish the book. Lori's writing felt a bit choppy at times but the basic premise of the plot and the personalities of the characters are a winning combination. She takes a new slant on two paranormal creatures that come into contact with each other when Laney takes a volunteer position in a hospital. It has your love triangle going on but the relationships were complex and the author keeps you guessing through the whole book. I felt connected to the people and liked the new mythology introduced. Sometimes I wish that books came with filters like TV and movies do, because I genuinely would have loved this one without the sex and violence. This is a trilogy, so I am hoping the next two books are age appropriate. I can only give it 3.5 stars since I bordered between liking it and hating it all at the same time.
I was disappointed by a couple of "F" words as well as other swear words thrown in there that were totally out of place. As well, the ending seemed liI was disappointed by a couple of "F" words as well as other swear words thrown in there that were totally out of place. As well, the ending seemed like a lot of build up and not so much resolution....more
I picked this book up for a light, fun Christmas read and that's exactly what it was. Aubrey Mace, author of Spare Change and My Fairy Grandmother offers up a fun scenario of what might happen should our grown up Christmas wishes actually came true. This is a perfect book for those who once believed. The resolution is a little far fetched for the cynic that I've become, but Abbie and Ben make it work. My only wish was that we knew a little bit more of each of them. Santa Maybe is a short sweet read with lessons about learning to trust after you have become jaded and the power of possibilities. I walked away form it with more hope and holiday cheer....more
From the back cover: Trying to escape form his Texas Baptist Upbringing and a troubles past, Christ Kerry came to Salt Lake City to get an education--and nothing else. But keeping his promise to stay away from the Mormons proves difficult, especially with two cute college girls living across the hall. And when Chris finds a new job at a tuxedo shop, his promise unravels as he discovers new friendships, hidden secrets and a lost heritage he never imagined he had. The Rogue Shop illuminates how we recognize truth even in the most trying of circumstances. Michael Knudsen's hilarious debut will remind you about the value of faith, family, and friends as Chris learns from his past to move forward into a better future.
This book was finished several days ago and it continues to resonate deeply within my heart. What I got from it was not at all expected: real pure lasting peace and a warm feeling of hope. The Rogue Shop stole my heart and expanded my love for fiction. The main character Chris comes full circle from being orphaned by a drunk driver living with his aunt to a young man finding his way in the world and seeking for truth. His past is not perfect, in fact he has some giant ghosts in his closet. But in his dreams he is offered a tiny glimpse of eternity and the parents he lost at such a young age. Bound and determined to make it on his own he heads to the University of Utah to stake his claim on the world...alone and penniless. When he takes a job at the local tuxedo shop and an apartment downtown he has no idea how drastically his life is about to change.
Michael Knudsen's characters are brilliant, even down to the small seemingly insignificant landlord. I felt I knew each of them personally. His historical downtown Salt Lake was a charming, almost lost world of ZCMI stores and 50's ball gowns. I think the back story of The Rogue Shop resonated with me because I grew up in a part member family, split between two religious beliefs. And the Washington DC temple he uses as an anchor in his plot was the closest to our little army base in Maryland. But, most of all I will remember the lasting impression Chris's conversion left for me. What a solid, wonderful debut for Michael Knudsen. Thanks to him sending me a copy of his book. The redemptive message of The Rogue Shop has the power to change, to uplift and to comfort.