This is the excellent conclusion to the Chadash Chronicles. The tale is compelling the characters complex and realistic. In every way this is a superbThis is the excellent conclusion to the Chadash Chronicles. The tale is compelling the characters complex and realistic. In every way this is a superb series....more
When Tricia told me her book was a YA Christian fantasy with similar themes to Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles, I told her I wanted to review it. EvWhen Tricia told me her book was a YA Christian fantasy with similar themes to Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles, I told her I wanted to review it. Even though the Ilyon Chronicles were not as good in my mind as her earlier Makilien Trilogy, they are still very good, nearing epic proportions.
So, it was with some anticipation that I started reading Dare last night. When I saw it was only 163 pages, I was a bit concerned. However, even though the length of the book does not allow for the type of world-building I like, this is a very good tale. There are many cultural and societal questions left unanswered, along with most of the history. The King of Acktar seems more like a Russian Mob leader than the leader of a large nation. Nevertheless, this smaller scale story has clout.
The King is trying to eliminate religion, especially those horrid Christians.
Yea, we’ve heard that a lot. But that’s the main theme of this book, along with how will believers react when it gets really bad? The book is evangelical, using the KJV, but it’s not preachy. It’s slightly jarring to have straight Christianity in the midst of this obviously different world. But, Tricia pulls it off.
For a first book, this is quite impressive. I suspect we’ll see some very good fantasy from this woman.
Ok, I don’t like clean reads or fantasies which devolve into a man and a woman struggling with thwarted desire. This book is both. Because it’s just aOk, I don’t like clean reads or fantasies which devolve into a man and a woman struggling with thwarted desire. This book is both. Because it’s just a clean read, I had to give it a one-star rating in Reality Calling. However, on Amazon and the rest, it’s nearly a four-star book. The book’s production is professional with a very attractive cover and no formatting issues inside. The author knew what an ePUB is and provided me with a good one, no problems. She gave me a copy with no strings, just asking for a honest review.
This book starts out as a wonderful fantasy
It’s one of the better ones I have read recently. I was totally involved in the tale within a few pages. The heroine plays the bright teenager convincingly. But the depth of character needed is there. Then she meets the Lord who will join with her. He’s cold and repelling, massive, non-emotional, yet strangely kind at times. The world she lands in is in desperate need of her. The fantasy story is proceeding beautifully. Then she sees him with his shirt off—and the tale stops, replaced by the typical yearnings of the emotional titillations of romance. The Lord goes through similar angst. The last quarter or less of the story is about the angst and it stops with the romance unresolved and the problems of the nations still largely unknown.
Spiritually it’s nothing There is a generalized force of Good and a much stronger force of evil. Evil is winning the day. How easy it would have been to personalize the Good and evil—a Creator and the top angel fallen into rebellion. It would have made the story make sense. For me, the story grew sadder and sadder as it became clear that the heroine was on her own with no spiritual help. So the book is mixed bag. My guess is that they love it on Amazon. It could well become very popular. But it could have been so much more....more
This is a fun read. It reminded me of the Venture Trilogy—without any spiritual side. An orphan is saved from himself by wise adults and mentors. ThisThis is a fun read. It reminded me of the Venture Trilogy—without any spiritual side. An orphan is saved from himself by wise adults and mentors. This is almost an urban fantasy in another world with strong parallels to ours.
This is not Christian fiction It’s good clean fiction written by a Christian author—a coming-of-age morality tale about a marital artist determined to save his sister from human traffickers. Annie gets us involved in her speculative world and the story is satisfying with many twists. The hero is flawed but betters himself by will power with strong, wise mentor encouragement.
Do I recommend the book? Yes, The Collar and the Cavvarach is a fun read. More than that, it is clean fun with an uplifting finish. However, the spiritual vacancy left me less than satisfied. But that’s me. Annie doesn’t work for me, and the content of her tale is between her and her Lord. She gave me a copy of the book for an honest review....more
Those who know me know what is coming. I really dislike lyric, allegorical fantasy of the Anne Elisabeth Stengl type. I think this type of book shouldThose who know me know what is coming. I really dislike lyric, allegorical fantasy of the Anne Elisabeth Stengl type. I think this type of book should be a separate genre. But that’s just me.
The Visitor is a lyric, allegorical fantasy written by a Christian I was given a copy in return for a review. I told the publisher what my reaction was and got the go-ahead to write it. I couldn’t finish it. I guess I’m just dumb, but I simply couldn’t figure the story out—even after nearly 200 pages of the 272 page book. The good guys and gals seem to be clueless. You really can’t even tell they are good, for there are very few indicators of godly character. The god-like characters play with time (or time plays with them). They don’t seem to understand what is going on either—outside of their assigned roles. I couldn’t get a handle on them at all, except some were good, some were bad. Some die and go to a good place, some go the other way. But there is no evidence of a Savior in the first 200 pages, at least. The bad guys are stereotypical, almost camp. But I couldn’t get involved enough with them to even chuckle—let alone hate them. In fact, I found it impossible to get involved with any of the characters or the worlds they inhabit. Believe me I tried. I wanted to enjoy the book. But there was no Truth in it.
The spiritual level The basic difficulty is that even though I was told this is a Christian metaphor, I could find no evidence of that. Like I said, there is no Savior—the basic requirement. There is no metaphoric Holy Spirit either—another requirement for Christian fiction. It isn’t even much Old Testament spirituality, though there is some sort of special book the reading of which will straighten out your life. But neither the source nor the content of the book is covered.
If you like this type of fantasy, you’ll probably like this book So, I’ll give it two stars. The book is not poorly done. It is edited well (as far as I can tell). For this type of book, it actually may be written well. But I was very disappointed....more
The best book of Ollie I've read, assuming Hamer helped a lot
Political/military thrillers don't get much better than this. The undercover realities arThe best book of Ollie I've read, assuming Hamer helped a lot
Political/military thrillers don't get much better than this. The undercover realities are exceptional. The North Korean angle certainly seems real. They're not nice...and of course Hezbollah is. Real class act. Disgusting, but the good guys win. yeah!...more
Early quibbles: I signed up to review this book because it looked like a fantasy or at least a “Robin Hood” type of story. It is a Robin Hood-type ofEarly quibbles: I signed up to review this book because it looked like a fantasy or at least a “Robin Hood” type of story. It is a Robin Hood-type of story, but mainly it’s a romance. I was afraid of that. Huge portions of a book which could have been so much more are spent with “OMG, where are these feelings coming from?” “Nope, I can’t do it. It’s too risky.” “I don’t trust him or her.” “Am I evil or sinful?” “Why am I feeling this spark and compelling attraction?” The last question has an easy answer, “They are fleshly feelings which have little to do with what the Lord wants to do in your life.” But then I’m very strange. I knew my wife well as a friend and close fellow traveler of the narrow way. I settled who the Lord wanted me to marry well before I asked her, and before feelings got in the way. [Yea, I know. Weird!!!]
There is a good story hidden behind the romance And, the romance was fun—if you could disregard the angst of teenage love/lust/confusion. It is extremely predictable, but thankfully all the many twists are resolved to the good by the end of the book. I hate books which punch me in the gut. This one is often tense, regularly grabbing me with concern for the good guys and fear of the bad guys.
About the cover: I don’t like the cover at all, for many reasons. It’s pretty, but does not really have anything to do with the story. The tale’s about an outlaw leader and a lesser noble with no station dealing with the trouble, danger, and shear nastiness of medieval England at the time of the emergence of the Magna Carta. All of these compelling issues are overwhelmed by the romance.
As usual, the woman I visualized in the book has nothing to do with the image on the cover. I wish authors could realize that the internal images developed while reading a book are much better than a supplied face on any cover (other than in a biography or non-fiction history book). This story is about a wonderful, strong, gifted, female leader. The archer part is but a very small portion of who she is. The level of makeup is far beyond the reality of the story. And the cleanliness of the woman merely makes me laugh. It’s as bad as the characters found in a 1950s Western.
The male lead is not even hinted on the cover. He is largely a very confused boy driven by the flesh with his desires for position, fame, power, grief avoidance, and the list goes on. It turns out good in the end. But the distaste I developed for him in the first two thirds of the book hadn’t left my mind by the time he actually turns into a likable, solid person. He never makes it (in my mind) to trustworthy.
The vacuous, unrealistic white space by Merry’s head in the cover should be dark leaves. A forest is dark—especially old-growth forests like these. It is glorious, beautiful, and inviting to those who know forests and Merry certainly does.
I was given a free copy to review.
The rest of the world Dina built has similar issues. The culture, architecture, customs, geography, and all the rest are given short shrift in this book, and it hurts the story.
Will you love the book? Probably. This is entertainment. It really is a very good tale about admirable people in very difficult circumstances. I’ll give it four stars, but as a fantasy two stars. Sadly, it’s CBA friendly—translated a clean read with little or no spiritual content of any importance.
Spiritual level: mainline PC It is Christian, but it’s not really the core of the story. It will offend no one, meaning it’s not edifying or helpful spiritually. Thank God, it’s at least on the Kingdom side of things. But much of the Christian living shown is not believable, and none of it is about the realities of walking in the Spirit in the midst of an antagonistic, heathen world run by the Enemy....more
It doesn't get much better for a Christian Science Fiction military thriller
The spiritual side of things is downplayed, but realistic. The military siIt doesn't get much better for a Christian Science Fiction military thriller
The spiritual side of things is downplayed, but realistic. The military side is wrenchingly violent with ugly nasty aliens. Evil is really not known as there is no explanation for the alien presence. Evil is more present in the black Russian super warriors. But the characterizations are very well done. The people are realistically drawn and many are compelling. Scott Remington is a true, Godly hero. He seems to be the only believer in the military.
But that's enough. For a scifi military thriller, this book is truly excellent....more
A vital message presented again: Jesus is coming soon!
Yes, the message is repetitive. We are to look for what the Lord is repeating. We know the imporA vital message presented again: Jesus is coming soon!
Yes, the message is repetitive. We are to look for what the Lord is repeating. We know the importance in the Lord's eyes by how much attention He gives it. Jesus is coming soon! Sooner than you think. Get ready!...more
So, your grandmother, who you've unknowingly relied upon spiritually through the years, has a stroke. You go to thA delightful tale with great insight
So, your grandmother, who you've unknowingly relied upon spiritually through the years, has a stroke. You go to the hospital and pour your heart out to her asking her to pray for you. Shortly thereafter Jesus shows up in person, visibly and audibly, for a long time. I was concerned, but the story is wonderfully handled with a reality that is extremely rare....more