I loved this book. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I think Ravitch failed in a few of her arguments. Nevertheless, it remain...moreI loved this book. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I think Ravitch failed in a few of her arguments. Nevertheless, it remains an insightful and enlightening look at the current educational climate (I found myself yelling out: "Amen sister!" a few times). A great read for anyone with any investment in education.(less)
Overstreet continues the Auralia series with perhaps the best story yet. His writing is so rich that it reminds me greatly of Tolkien's poetic prose....moreOverstreet continues the Auralia series with perhaps the best story yet. His writing is so rich that it reminds me greatly of Tolkien's poetic prose. For example:
"The midday sun was hot, but the light was drained of health or hue. Each step he took scared ghosts of ash from some slow, invisible burning into anxious southward flight. How could he be sure of a direction north and west? The world around him was disintegrating; he saw nothing he might have recognized." p366
He even breaks the narrative with long (and sometimes drawn out) stories such as those told by Krawg in the Bel Amican camp. I find some passages reminiscent of the songs and poems included in The Lord of the Rings.
The most difficult part of this book for me was remembering everything that came before. I did not have time to reread the first two books before delving into this one and it took me awhile to catch up with things. One thing is for certain, I will read the entire series again once the fourth and final book is released.
Overstreet walks the fine line of Christian alegory perfectly. His story is strong in its own merits without the clunky burden of having to make everything tie in to a spiritual truth. The characters continue to be engaging, the plot exciting, and the imagery and richness of the writing is among the best I've ever read.
Overstreet's writing is intelligent; sometimes to the point of being confusing. One cannot rush the reading for there is too much to lose in doing so. The themes are not obvious or cliche, one must search for them (and ideally, discuss them with others).
The book ends with just enough of a cliff hanger to keep us wanting more. The ending does not feel contrived or unplanned; a cheap way to sell the final book of the series. Rather, one gets a sense of tale heading for its natural and inevitable conclusion...whatever that may turn out to be.
The overarching theme of the series is one of color; many different threads weaving together in unexpected ways to tell a single story. This is indeed how it appears to be playing out.
There's a large part of me that would give this book 3 stars....but given that Dekker has tried to something original (and very difficult) in writing...moreThere's a large part of me that would give this book 3 stars....but given that Dekker has tried to something original (and very difficult) in writing a book that is BOTH a prequel and sequel to his existing Circle Trilogy, I threw in the 4th star.
I had a hard time following the book due to the time lapse between the publication of Green and the 2004 publication of Black, Red, and White. A plot refresher would have helped.
But in trademark Dekker style, there's plenty of suspense, action, and symbolism. It'd be good to read in a reading group....if I knew anyone else that read Dekker that is.(less)
This was a very informative read. Morris tends to be "over the top" when it comes to predicting the consequences of the current political trends....bu...moreThis was a very informative read. Morris tends to be "over the top" when it comes to predicting the consequences of the current political trends....but he does a great job of explaining the history behind various economic philosophies and how they've worked in the past. He has also done his research when commenting on public figures like Chris Dodd and various "stealth lobbyists."
Some chapters are more valuable than others but overall it's a good read for anyone who wants to be up to date on what's happening in Washington. Morris is obviously conservative so his writing will appeal more to people who tend to agree with him. However, his tone is objective (though passionate) and he doesn't resort to name-calling to make his point.
If the list of federal bailout recipients doesn't make your blood boil, I don't know what would.(less)
I couldn't quite decide between 3 stars and 4 stars. If there were 3.5....I would have gone there.
I won't spoil any parts of the plot here. The book t...moreI couldn't quite decide between 3 stars and 4 stars. If there were 3.5....I would have gone there.
I won't spoil any parts of the plot here. The book takes roughly 100 pages to get rolling but once it does, it's hard to put down.
I loved the mystery and the intrigue. It kept me glued to the pages and up later than I wanted. But I didn't particularly like the characters. I didn't sympathize with any of them or really care what happened to them. The very last scene with Salander and the Christmas gift kind of hit me in the gut. But I like that not everything got wrapped up neatly.
This is a quick read that makes a lot of sense. Some of the underlying principles are not totally compatible with a Christian world view but I didn't...moreThis is a quick read that makes a lot of sense. Some of the underlying principles are not totally compatible with a Christian world view but I didn't find that too problematic. The only major difference is the idea that we make love happen as opposed to God bringing two people together.
The general principles of: * letting the man pursue the woman * holding back and keeping some things "mysterious" * looking your best as often as possible and taking care of yourself * getting out there in places where you can meet men and * filling your life with meaningful activities and relationships (and not moping around waiting for a man to satisfy you)
are general guidelines that transcend moral values and religious beliefs. The authors give some specific rules including time limits for conversations and gift-giving which are certainly helpful. But I think it's the principles behind the specifics that make them work.
I found this book to have more than a little in common with "Passion and Purity" by Elizabeth Elliot Passion and Purity even though the format is completely different. If you are considering giving this book to a young woman but are concerned about the discrepency between Christian values and the "Rules values," I would suggest reading both together and discussing the differences. "The Rules" has a lot of great advice that can be applied to Christian dating.
"The Rules" also addresses engagements and even marriage. It's an insightful read for just about anyone.(less)
This book was unexpectedly good. Not that I thought it would be bad....but I didn't really expect it to grab me the way it did. I had a hard time putt...moreThis book was unexpectedly good. Not that I thought it would be bad....but I didn't really expect it to grab me the way it did. I had a hard time putting it down.
Kiernan manages to explore the depths of family issues and relationships, the truth of how past experiences affect our everyday lives, and the controversy over what it means to be a "genius" without getting bogged down with excessive exposition.
The plot moves. Connie's divorce proceedings take several unexpected turns. June's family history lends unexpected insight into the family's history. And Estella's undisclosed health problem provides ongoing questions and suspense. Something of significance happens in every chapter.
On a personal level, this book intrigued me with it's exploration of math and music. As a math teacher of gifted students who found her niche growing up in music, it struck several chords with me. Having a sister who lives nearly 1000 miles away made it reelevent on another personal level.
First of all, I'm really stingy when it comes to giving out 5 stars, so unless a book profoundly changes my life....it's between 3 and 4 provided it's...moreFirst of all, I'm really stingy when it comes to giving out 5 stars, so unless a book profoundly changes my life....it's between 3 and 4 provided it's a worthwhile read.
I have read all of Hancock's books and while I enjoyed this newest one and had trouble putting it down in places, I liked it the least of all.
The book reminded me of Frank Peretti's work more than previous Karen Hancock work. The elaborate conspiracy by the K-J Institute had shades of "This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness." The end was reminiscent of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons."
Hancock avoids being overly preachy which I appreciate. However, I had felt that she was making progress in writing fantasy and would rather she stayed with that. Her skill at weaving spiritual themes into alternate realities where the "rules" of Christianity don't apply was improving. Instead, she makes a move towards Christian action/adventure.
I also felt that she opened some issues without giving them full treatment. She establishes her main character as a stanch 7-day creationist but never gives a compelling argument for WHY he would hold such a view. Aside from "researchers" at ICR, most Christians in the sciences hold to old earth views and accept at least some of the tennents of evolutionary theory. If she wants us to believe that a world renowned geneticist accepts a 6000 year old earth, she needs to back it up with something.
Fans of Karen Hancock will most likely not be disappointed in this latest offering. However, those who are interested in Hancock for the first time might consider her "Lengends of the Guardian King" series first. If taking on a four volume series seems a bit much, then her first book, "Arena" would be a good place to start.
All in all, I was not disappointed in "The Enclave." But I know that Karen Hancock is capable of better work.