The third installment in Joel C Rosenberg's series almost a forgone conclusion. It is a typical read in the series but the elements of Christian eschaThe third installment in Joel C Rosenberg's series almost a forgone conclusion. It is a typical read in the series but the elements of Christian eschatology are wonderful to read. The woodenness and derivative ]Jack Ryan/Red Rabbit nature of the main character and his cast of American CIA military personnel was as expected and typically just too much. That being said the actions of new believers is what pulls the story along. I found myself looking up verses alongside characters and mostly skimming through the violence of the book. The most compelling part of the story was the internal struggles of newly converted Muslim leaders and the tie-ins of eschatology and the events of the imam.
The Imam is, again, an unwieldy farcical character of evil and extremism which makes his moments both predicable and jarring. Around pg 300, I was only surprised by him because an entire scene progressed without him killing a subordinate. One of the final scenes has the Imam in the presence of subordinates and a believer but no one seems to really know what to do with the Christian. The lead up to the moment and the internal struggles of the characters who are believers is amazing and truly the best part of the read.
They were the true heores of the book and constantly discussed and struggled to find answers to questions like: Whom do I tell? When do I speak of Christ to a non-believer? How much do I reveal? Will the Holy Spirit truly use me a as mouth piece for salvation? If anything, Rosenberg should really pull out these kinds of conversations and dialogues to build a manual on how to become a Missionary or Evangelist after becoming a Believer. ...more
I like to read a series. There is something about getting a character and drilling down to the veins of truth that remain untouched as the world trampI like to read a series. There is something about getting a character and drilling down to the veins of truth that remain untouched as the world tramples past them. Patrick Bowers has his last moment in the sun with this book and the entire journey is completely worth it. For those new to the series, don't proceed past the spoilers below. In a nut shell this one is a bit light on the normal tech-heavy detective work of Bowers in the past books. How from the explosion at the NCAVC office in DC to final tent pole showdown this book is a runaway train. But along the way we see Bowers struggle with the overall idea of the series and a very Nietzsche-esque idea of the darkness staring back and becoming a reflection of the evil of another. Steven James also lets us peek in on a burgeoning marriage, Tessa preparing for college, and Brin's new baby. If you are looking for a great, smart version of the CSI genre, jump in at the beginning with either. All of this at the same time that we are chasing a bomber/serial killer with a penchant for telling stories and getting the attention of others. Any one interested in the history of Charlotte would also fine this as a great thrill ride.
(view spoiler)[Starting just a few months after his night along the Potomac, Patrick finds himself the victim of a conspiracy against the new NCAVC office for the FBI. Placed in a building outside of Quantico and the FBI office in DC the members of NCAVC are working on new geo-spatial tech when a random delivery results in an explosion on the delivery dock. It is gangbusters from here forward. I will say that I was on my toes and was fairly surprised. The only disjointed moments were those between Tessa and Beck. While reading The King I kept thinking that Tessa's date was some put up by Basque or another killer going after Bowers and his family. This time I was thinking the same thing and it just seemed to odd for the two to so quickly fall for each other. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Jeff Nesbithas developed a new type of Christian-thriller. Instead of random demonic violence running amok in the general population, we see the methoJeff Nesbithas developed a new type of Christian-thriller. Instead of random demonic violence running amok in the general population, we see the methodical and narcissistic Jude. Two brothers grow up but choose different paths. Jude makes a secret deal to get what he wants out of life while his brother becomes a simple reporter who is known as Jude's brother. The story follows how the secret of Jude's success begins to unravel around him. Those looking for a new writer in the same vein as Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker This should be on your need to read list. (view spoiler)[I plan on going back and reading the other books in this series and maybe revisit this one to get more of the story as a whole. Its readable as a standalone but I seemed to be missing a large part of the back story with the Regents and what has happened before the action in this story. (hide spoiler)]...more
Davis Bunn hits the Marc once again. This latest addition to the Marc Royce novels is a great example of when a writer is in his stride with a long teDavis Bunn hits the Marc once again. This latest addition to the Marc Royce novels is a great example of when a writer is in his stride with a long term character. In this one, the US and Israel believe that the Iranian nuclear program has bought missile and launching components from North Korea, thus enters Marc Royce. As always, he is unofficial layman working for CIA. The plot seems like a reversed Iran-Contra. Semi-rogue agents within the Iranian government are secretly selling forged artworks to pay for the development of nuclear program. Royce is sent to investigate and Kitra is pulled into the action. Beginning with a bombing inside of an art gallery this story continues through the richest parts of Europe's art dealer lifestyle. This time the espionage is layered with relationship issues as the two try to find a way to love one another and still be the people God wants them both to be. As always, faith and the underground church play a major role, this time the Iranian diaspora are put center stage. In the end, this a punchy, quick read that is right on point with the Marc Royce from the first book, Lion of Babylon. If Bunn continues this way with the Marc Royce series I could have a new replacement for my go to spy novels....more
Took me far longer than I wanted, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is a great read for the casual christian audience. It compares to his otherTook me far longer than I wanted, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is a great read for the casual christian audience. It compares to his other books Heartland and Impostor. The biggest take away was that it was a bit slow after he gets caught/stuck in Mexico. The adrenaline rush started by the crash and chase scene are lost as he goes into hiding. The flipside is that the locals he meets and befriends give him a great mirror to think about life and faith. Good read in the genre of basic faith drama but not a hit like his other action packed work. Would highly recommend to new Christian reader and anyone who is a big fan of Andy Andrews work....more
I haven't read a book by Jerry Jenkins in a long time. His style and pace was something I remember enjoying with the Left Behind series but I never brI haven't read a book by Jerry Jenkins in a long time. His style and pace was something I remember enjoying with the Left Behind series but I never branched out into his other writings. With all of that being said, I liked about 90% of the book. I didn't necessarily love it, but it was fun to read. New characters in the christian archaeology thriller genre are hard to beat out the old ones but this one is worth the time for the new perspectives it brings to the apostles Luke and Paul. (view spoiler)[The premise of the novel is in the same vein as The DaVinci code and the Templar Novels. Paul's lost manuscript has been found and is now being sought after by art thieves and archaeologist. Enter, August "Augie" Knox, a theology professor at a small independent theological seminary in Dallas. His connections with tour guides and theologians in Rome pulls him into this now crazy race to find, protect, and ultimately reveal the precious artifact. I really like this new Augie Knox character and would be willing to read a story with him again. His faulty and quirky in a wholesome way that is continuous approachable. The problem is that the bad guys and psuedo-bad guys are wood characters and for the most part transparent in both motive and scheme. At the same time that we get this story, three others are layered on top of it. The story of Augie and his future wife. Paul in the last few weeks before his execution in Rome and the actually autobiography that Paul has written. The other major problem I have with the story is Paul's motivation for persecuting Christians. We get a great POV into how he is trained in Jerusalem and becomes a member of the Sanhedrin. We even see how he logiaclly stands against Jesus's ministry during his times at the Temple Mount and crucifixion. The problem occurs when it is assumed by Jenkins and MacDonald that a broken heart is his major reason for persecutions, it lost me. It actually got to a point were I wanted to speed through the story of Luke and Paul to get back to reading about the lost manuscript being found and moved around. In the end I cared more about Luke not getting caught in Rome, during the writing of the manuscript, than I did about Paul's pre-conversion story. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Steven James has quickly become one of my favorite reads in the christian fiction genre. Whereas other crime novels still have rough edged and brokenSteven James has quickly become one of my favorite reads in the christian fiction genre. Whereas other crime novels still have rough edged and broken nihilistic heroes, Patrick Bowers is a logical and faithful man of the law. He uses science as a means and not a ethical crutch to do he wants, that is directed at you Sherlock Holmes. In this novel, we really get to see the emotional and logical connection that law enforcement has to make everyday and it is not done in the stylist Lethal Weapon or Rush hour buddy cop kind of way.This time we find Bowers on the cusp of his wedding and what would turn out to be one of the worse weeks of his life. Richard Basque, the cannibal psychopath, is slowly working his way closer and closer to Patrick Bowers. Meanwhile, someone is tainting shipments of anti-depressants as a means to cause mass suicides across the US. As if this is not enough, Tessa, Bower's step-daughter, is in the final weeks of her Senior year, no Prom date but a cute guy is interested and a possible graduate speech to boot. Toss in a pair of garden sheers, a crime novelist, her daughter, and a side trip to India and you have the one of the best novels in the series. For those looking to find a hard science based legal thriller, without the sex and cursing, this is your series but do your self the favor and start at the beginning, The Pawn. Spoilers!!!!(view spoiler)[ After reading Opening Moves, I couldn't figure out what made that whole story seem off to me. I thought maybe it was the publisher/editor or the fact that it was a flashback. The novel was good but just wasn't the Patrick Bowers I was use to, then I read this one and it was obvious. I like the Patrick that is more like me. Family guy with stress from both sides of life, family vs career. Techie but still has friends and can unwind around regular people. Some of the best scenes for Patrick are the ones where he is trying to figure out how to handle being Tessa's "dad." Brineesha and Ralph are great foils for this and provide him parental advice that he desperately needs. Alternatively, after Lien-hua's attack she is mostly pointless in the story except for the wedding at the end. Her encounter with Basque really turns on the heat but I like her as a character and at times she completely disappears for chapters because of her recovery. Brineesha helps to fill the role and some muddled and teenage angst driven conversations from Tessa help, but Bowers is on his own in this one and that what scares him the most. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
James Rubart has found his place in the supernatural christian genre. This new series is in the same world as Rooms and The Chair but exist separatelyJames Rubart has found his place in the supernatural christian genre. This new series is in the same world as Rooms and The Chair but exist separately. What makes the book special is that the characters are asked to believe the amazing elements of the Bible that so many of us just glaze over and ignore. Teleporation,ESP, and Second sight. The main premise is an old one, Satan uses groups of his minions, demons, and fallen angles to manipulate our weakest places. However, a group of aggressive prayer warriors are learning how to ask the Holy Spirit for ways to battle these evils and personal sins. We are taken on a journey into the soul of five different people and the beginnings of a new type of quest. By using a middle aged Business woman, a hunky Rock star, College professor, and a Yoda like pop culture Christian hermit, we get to see the way the Spirit moves in an all encompassing way. This is a great origin story about faith and spiritual warfare. I'm really looking forward to what he has in-store for the Warriors Riding....more
What a great additions to the Fantasy genre and right in the wheelhouse of the GRR Martin explosion on HBO and in the public. The best part is that heWhat a great additions to the Fantasy genre and right in the wheelhouse of the GRR Martin explosion on HBO and in the public. The best part is that he tends to be PG/PG-13 version of the Fantasy genre troupe. Patrick W. Carr has developed a new world with fantasy at its core. Errol Stone is a boy lost in a world consumed with magical myth and Echoes the likes of Martin, Brooks, and Pratchett. This long but quick read takes us on the journey of discovery as Errol finds his abilities and and begins to define himself. The interesting part is that Patrick W. Carr separates himself from Lawhead, Stephen, the other major christian fantasy writer from the past decade. Instead of moving back and forth in time. This story is rock solid in the medieval period. This is the first in a series and I look forward to more from him in the future.
I read this book as a part of a review for NetGallery....more
For those who are big fans of Marc Royce's story, this will be a welcomed addition but not as great as his exploits in Iraq. The idea of a UN/HalliburFor those who are big fans of Marc Royce's story, this will be a welcomed addition but not as great as his exploits in Iraq. The idea of a UN/Halliburton based conspiracy is great and interesting but tends to fall apart at times. The uplifting elements come from the relationships developed between Royce, Kitra, Charles, and the local elders. The digital edition from amazon was nice but some noticeable copy/edit issues started showing up in the second half of the the book.
(view spoiler)[ My favorite parts of the book had to be his time in Israel. His dreams of a simple future and helping keep the watch of his newly adopted peoples in the Rift Valley. What completely tears this down is the idea that Royce wouldn't accept this as his true future and walks away from it and Kitra in the last chapter. Other elements that surprised me were that I could see Royce and Crowder redeveloping Lodestone or a new group based out of Kenya to do the work for Ambassador Walton. Overall the openness of this stories ending is too much for my taste and didn't seem to jive with the development of Royce as a character during his time in Israel. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
My wife found this at our favorite used bookstore. It was shelved in the Christian Fiction section and is distributed by B&H. First, Ralph Reed knMy wife found this at our favorite used bookstore. It was shelved in the Christian Fiction section and is distributed by B&H. First, Ralph Reed knows his way around beltway politics. His characters at times come off as being copies of current or former politicians and their actions are founded in truth. Second, he can develop a mystery that makes sense and seems to be believable. In this book a US Senator is found murdered and it may be connected to CIA/NSA investigations on the Iranian Nuclear program. The problem is that even though it is a political thriller, it is masquerading as Christian Fiction. Granted it is not laden with expletives, like many in the Political Thriller genre, and characters have some kind of faith, many are associated with a group similar to the Family Foundation, but the issue is that their faith is not necessarily motivating their actions. The reflective introspection of many characters as they challenge their faith with secular politics are lacking or completely missing. Compared to others who write in the genre their is no overwhelming faith driven characterization.
I would put his prose and storytelling on the same level as Joel C Rosenberg and Davis Bunn but there are times that his writing seems a bit flawed. If you are looking for inspiration from a character who is a prayer warrior of a flawed character looking for faith in a broken world this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a David Baldacci without the cussing and gratuitous sex, this is your book. In reality it should be a political thriller written by a Christian instead of Christian Political Fiction. I may try and find one of the other two books in the series but I've got others in the que ahead of this one....more
My daughter received this book as a Christmas present. I hadn't read it until last night and was completely surprised at how much I liked it. The folkMy daughter received this book as a Christmas present. I hadn't read it until last night and was completely surprised at how much I liked it. The folktale is a re-telling of the life of Christ's life( His birth, the storm on Galilee, and Crucifixion) from the viewpoint of three trees. Each has an individual dream of what it wants to be when it grows up. Disappoint is given by each until they realize the awesome moments of Christ's life that they are a part of. I happily recommend this for any home and my daughter seems to really enjoy it. The simple wording and brilliant pages make it easy for her to understand the story. ...more
James Rubart is starting to hit his stride in the Christian supernatural fiction genre. What ideas he started with in Rooms continues to build. Even tJames Rubart is starting to hit his stride in the Christian supernatural fiction genre. What ideas he started with in Rooms continues to build. Even though the two stories are unrelated )e is starting to create a solid vote of the world and the possibilities of God's grace and compassion. This book also tend to be much darker than Rooms but is lined up in the same way with his new Soul's Gate series.
In this story we follow Corin Roscoe, an antiques store owner with a broken past and a spirit that is sorely lacking. We found out that a series of events form ten years before left his brother paralyzed and Corin emotionally scared permanently. Then we are introduced to the chair, a mystical device that may have been created by Christ himself with the ability to "heal people." Add in the a strong willed anti-religion karate instructor and love interest, a MMA training concrete laying best friend, the strange old lady and previous owner of the chair, a radically obsessed pop culture mega-church preacher and a wide old crank to round out the cast.
As the story tumbles forward, we get a good view of how each of these people is broken and in need of some kind of redemption and grace. It takes a while to build up steam because Rubart takes his time showing the pain in Corin's life and how his choices have rocked his soul. Not to give any spoilers away but some of the things that happened were expected but the twist ending was completely unexpected. My only gripe is that I wish I got more of Mark Jefferies and his personal struggles. He is so well constructed early in the book and then left alone to become a straw man character till the end. That is probably my only real beef with the story and the main reason I gave it 4 stars. I would have gone more for 3.5.
I read this book as a reviewer for NetGalley.com...more