Friday, December 17, 2010

The Truth of The Matter by Andrew Klavan

Charlie West has been on the go endlessly since he woke up with a year of his life gone from his memory, and being wanted by the police for murder. Oh, and did I mention the place he woke up in was a terrorist torturing chamber? But that's the first book. We're on book three.
Charlie finally finds a hope, however small, to remember- Waterman. Whether friend or foe, Charlie doesn't know, but he is not going to let hope slip through his fingers.

I read this without first reading the first two in the series. Why? I suppose you could call it laziness. I apologize; my opinion is slightly unfair plot wise.
Surprisingly, I was not confused once. It was quickly paced but not much description- I can't call the vocabulary an art. I felt the story to... simple; like I could‘ve spent a month and came up with the same result. Furthermore I detected his style, voice, and choice descriptions all in one book. The story was simple: hope, fear, hope, fear. And every time the character ate he was instantly filled with strength!
This is the book where the mysteries are revealed (always great) but for me it was spewing facts. I will not count that against it, it is my own fault. Overall, decent book. I may read the next book, but I'm not pulling my hair out in anticipation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

It is down to the final battle for control of Olympus. The titans are planning their final attack while all the gods are busy fighting Typhon. Thankfully, Camp Half Blood knows of their planned attack and will do their best to stop them. Unfortunately, they also know that a spy is still in their midst. And no matter what they do, Kronos seems to predict it. The Great Prophecy is finally revealed, and every line will be fulfilled. And the only one who can save Olympus is the last Olympian.

Probably the best of all five, although quite different than the previous four. While they are basically Percy and a group going on a quest to retrieve ______, The Last Olympian is basically a battle the whole time and all Camp Half-Blood is involved. There are a lot of little things that I think all help make a perfect ending. Although throughout the book you do have a sense that this is the end of the series. It was a great series and I am sad it's over. But the story doesn't end here. It picks up in The Lost Hero. Great Job Rick!


The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

When Percy Jackson runs into a mortal "friend" at freshman orientation, things get strange. The final battle between titans and gods is drawing near, and Camp Half Blood learns that Kronos somehow plans to attack the camp itself, piercing its very borders. Percy & co. must go underground into the never-ending, ever-changing maze of the Labyrinth in an attempt to stop them. Though there is no way to avoid the Battle of the Labyrinth.

In my opinion, each book is better than its preceder, with the exception of Sea of Monsters. Although, this is where it starts to get a little annoying that every stinkin' monster is impossible to defeat, when of course they defeat it anyways.
I was glad that Rick made one of the books about the Labyrinth, and I liked how it was made to be a living maze that always was expanding, and while I'm on it, now is a good time to mention how clever it was to make the Labyrinth, Mt. Olympus, and other Greek mythological places move over to America. Though I wonder, how does this make people in other countries feel when they read it?

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson & friends race to the rescue when Grover calls... well sort of. Two new very powerful demigods have been found, and no one knows either parent. Their history is quite foggy, but before they can think about that, they must rescue them, and it won't be easy. The group runs into an old bunch of “frenemies” that sends all Camp Half Blood in a spin. And on their next journey, they run in to a very dangerous, very powerful titan, and one of them must bear his curse.
This book was quite enjoyable, though somewhat different than the typical greek mythology you think of. This book goes back to a few beginnings and explains not only the titan's curse, but the curse on Percy's sword, riptide, as well.

This book was kind of sad. I saw it coming, but nevertheless, it was sad. Unfortunately, if you plan on continuing the series, get used to it! The series is full of action and humor, but from here on out expect sadness as well. But don't let that stop you- sadness is good. Awesome read!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Thalia's tree on Half-Blood Hill has been poisoned, weakening and potentially destroying Camp Half-Blood's borders. No demigod is safe, monsters are free to roams the camp's lands. To top that, the camp gets a new activities director who happens to be cursed and doesn't seem to have the demigod's safety at the top of his priority list. Percy and Annabeth go on a new quest to save their only true safe place on Earth. In order to do so, however, they must sail through the Sea of Monsters.

To be honest, I like The Lightning Thief better. This is also my least favorite out of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series; sorry to disappoint you. Nonetheless, I still liked this book. It still was filled with action, suspense, and humor, but I guess I did not like the story line and setting as much. I still recommend you read this though, as the content is essential to the series as a whole.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson lives an anything but average life. Diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, as well as being expelled from school every year for the past six years, it is safe to say Percy was different. When his pre-algebra teacher tries to kill him, life changes forever. He is sent to Camp Half-Blood and learns that he is the son of the mighty Greek god Poseidon. If thats not enough, he is accused of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt. Percy, desperate to clear his name and prevent World War III, embarks on a dangerous quest to recover the bolt and reveal the true lightning thief.

If you saw the movie and expect to read the same story in book-form, think again. The movie is NOTHING like the book. The only things consistent are some of the names and a few of the places. That being said, I enjoyed the book much more than the movie. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie. I just think it left out some cool things like a week of Camp Half-Blood and some huge battles.

I am very glad that there is now some modern-written, modern-setting Greek (and Egyptian) mythology. On a basic level, the Percy Jackson series is a re-telling of the old tales, and I think it still has the same air. It brings the stories to life in quite a nice, fast paced-way. A great(but unfortunately quick) read.

Friday, October 15, 2010

City on Our Knees by Toby Mac

Ever wonder what could happen if you answered God's call? If you stopped ignoring that nagging feeling that you should stop doing this or you start doing that? This book is filled with those stories. Stories of people "when we step across the line". And reminding us that "through the fog there is hope in the distance". Read these stories, and see how God uses people to get cities on their knees.

“City on Our Knees” is one of my very favorite songs. It has been ever since I first heard it. So you can imagine as, being a book lover, how excited I was to see a book titled after a song that deeply touched my soul. Of course, I read it and I happened to use it as a devotion reading a story a day(in case you are wondering, that is not quite how it is designed but it works just fine that way). In some ways they are simple stories. God tells Bob to do this, and Bob does. But in many more ways they reach much deeper and implant the question into your soul what if I actually did what God told me? My only dissatisfaction was a couple of the stories seemed a little plain and regular, but then who am I to judge? A single lost soul finding its way is a thing to ecstatically rejoice. Let this book be an illustration of when "two worlds collide in a beautiful display."

Rooms by James L. Rubart

Micah Taylor is rich, successful, powerful, good-looking, and young. What more could you ask for? Micah is about to find out. He gets a somewhat suspicious letter from his deceased great uncle claiming he built a house for him. In Cannon Beach. The one place he'd try to avoid all these years. Of course, Micah goes to the house planning to sell it, but the house feels....right. It feels like...him. As time goes on, strange things go on in the house. Micah is torn in two. And the things chewing at his heart are...rooms.

Overall, this was an excellent book. It dives into the subjects of redemption and the supernatural and wont let you escape to you hear the whole thing. However, it does have a few flaws, from my perspective. For one thing it was somewhat predictable. The first chunk is quite a mystery, but once the meat is revealed, the rest seems pretty obvious. My other problem is it seems somewhat repetitive. Not dreadingly so, but enough to have you occasionally think okay, I get the point. Lets move on now. Overall - great book. My only wish would be a few more unexpected twists.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

It is 1772 in the country of Moldavia. Toma Nicolesecu and Alek Cardei are assigned the task of protecting the inhabitants of the Cantemir estate. During a party occurring almost immediately upon their arrival, they meet a strange group of Russians. They are shockingly rich and unbelievably attractive, so what's not to like? The seemingly easy job of protecting the Cantemirs gets increasingly difficult, and the strange becomes unnaturally queer. Love is displayed; watch the blood flow through Immanuel's Veins.

I am always anxious to get my hands on Ted Dekker's newest novel, and this one was no exception. I love Ted's mega-series: The Books of History Chronicles, and I was ecstatic to learn that Immanuel's Veins has ties to it. If you love BOHC, and are looking for more, have no fear - this book lives up to those expectations in a way that I did not imagine. Now, don't worry I am not saying that you must read the whole Circle Series first, I am simply saying this is the newest addition to the fantasy collection as far as I'm concerned. However, it is a stand-alone novel and can be read independently. That being said, this was a book of constant suspense that had me clenching my fists desperate to see the outcome. It is a tale of true sacrificial love - the willingness to give everything, even your life, for the sake of another. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, suspense, or romance novels. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Here is the trailer for the book:

To anyone who enjoyed Immanuel's Veins: I am giving away a free Immanuel's Veins t-shirt. If you are interested, please leave a comment below by September 30th. The winner shall be selected at random.  

I review for BookSneeze®

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Kit Livingstone is on his way to his girlfriend's house when an old man named Cosimo approaches him. The man goes on about some psychotic theology that the world has multiple dimensions and alternate realities; saying more than what’s required for Kit to make an assessment that the old man is insane. The problem is however, that what we think is correct, isn’t always in line with the truth. Kit finds himself thrust into a world where time is... different. He must find the Skin Map at all costs, but it won’t be easy – for others share the same goal.

This is the first book I have ever read by Stephen Lawhead. I didn’t really know much about him, but the book looked good so I decided to read it. I must say, I was quite impressed! It was well written, and pulled me right in at the beginning instead of waiting a hundred pages. I am not a huge fan of sci-fi, but still, I enjoyed this one. A few of the concepts were in line with Ted Dekker’s Blink but that was fine by me because it is a perplexing line of thought. My only complaint is that I don’t think the ley lines and how the other worlds came to be were explained well enough; but can’t wait to read the next book! Overall, a great work!
Here is the trailer:
I review for BookSneeze®

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Havah by Tosca Lee

It is just after the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden. Eve has just been created, and Adam is the only other human in existence. It is paradise. Pain doesn’t exist, evil is unfathomable, and the fruits of the earth flourish incredibly. Then with a single bite of a seductive fruit man is cursed with sin and mortality. But the story does not end there, obviously not, or you would not exist. This is the story of Havah – mother of all.

This story is told in first person, the perspective of Havah. I love how this story is told in first person because it shows all the emotions that must have taken place in the dramatic events. This story takes the first few chapters of Genesis and turns it into a whole book filling in gaps to create a story that I think is probably quite close to the actual historical events. This book forever changed my viewpoint of the story and gave me a new respect for it all. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Adam and Eve. Supreme job Tosca!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thunder of Heaven by Ted Dekker

It is deep in the Amazon. Tanya, whose parents are missionaries, and Shannon, who’s parents own a coffee plantation, are madly in love. Everything is going wonderfully for Tanya and Shannon. But then, the unimaginable happens. In an evil massacre, Tanya and Shannon are separated, and forever scarred. Years pass, when the story is finally unfolding. Terrorists have formed a plan that will forever put a dent in America’s history, and not in a good way. Pushed beyond her limits, Tanya must play her part in stopping it. But it won’t be easy. And then an unimaginable twist happens, and it all gets weirder. Evil is revealed, and the thunder of Heaven is unleashed.

I read this book after Heaven’s Wager, which I loved, so I had high expectations. I think it is safe to say that it proved worthy to be in the same series so to speak. It is a story of a terrorist attack, and it is a story of love. If you find either of those interesting, I think you will enjoy it. I recommend this book to people who enjoy suspense books. I suggest that this be the fourth and last book you read in The Martyr’s Song

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heaven's Wager by Ted Dekker

Kent Anthony's dreams are all about to come true. He has a wonderful wife and ten-year-old son, not to mention he just designed a program for his company earning him millions of dollars! Seems to good to be true? It is. Right as everything was going perfect, everything suddenly went wrong. Very wrong. Being so depressed that he practically reaches insanity(or does he?) he comes up with a plan. A very "beneficial" plan that could change things again. The die are rolled, the lots are cast, and Heaven's wager will be revealed.

I loved this book. It was very sad, but it was quite good. It had very powerful spiritual warfare, and showed the power of prayer. I recommend this book to anyone who has someone that they are trying to bring to Christ. I suggest that this be the third book you read in The Martyr's Song Series.


Friday, August 20, 2010

When Heaven Weeps by Ted Dekker

World famous author Jan Jovic is living the life. He is known world-wide, has all the money, and is engaged to the woman he loves. It did not all come about easily though, no, there was quite a price paid for it. He experienced the love of Heaven, and wrote it in a book to share the love with others. But in a minute, his whole life if flipped over. He rescues a young woman named Helen from her pursuers, and life is never the same again. Jan is given a choice- one that is not easily or lightly made. He experiences the ultimate sorrow of Heaven, and sees why and when Heaven weeps.

When I first started the book, I must admit I was kinda disappointed. The beginning "book" labeled "The Priest" is basically a paraphrase of The Martyr's Song. While I loved that book, I wanted a new story. However, once I got past that part, it was an excellent story. It is about loving as Christ loves. And is quite a realistic display of our failures and His forgiveness. I recommend this book to anyone who is curious as to the curious to the value of each soul, or has questions about agape love. I suggest that this be the second book you read in The Martyr's Song Series.

The Martyr's Song by Ted Dekker

It is near the end of World War II. A group of soldiers stumbles upon a small community in Bosnia that appears to be untouched by the war. At first they can't figure out how. Then they decide it must change. The community is given the ultimate test; one that will forever change them and many others in ways that they can not yet imagine. Everyone must live and die, the only question is, in what order? The life in death is revealed, and the laughter of Heaven echoes all over it. This is the martyr's song.

This was an amazing book. It is a wonderful display of the love we should all share for Christ. This book touched me deeply, and is quite emotional. I recommend this book to those who need inspiration, and I suggest that this be the first book you read in the Martyr's Song Series.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee

Clay lives a sad, disappointing life. His wife cheated on him then divorced him, his career as a writer failed and now he must be an editor. But one night can change his life forever. He is visited by a demon. Not the way you might expect - a fiery beast, but in the form of a human. The demon asks- no forces Clay to listen to his story, and then publish it. The demon gives his account of falling from Heaven, his observance of the creation of the Earth, and his view of the birth and death of Jesus Christ. At first, Clay wants to escape the demon, but then he becomes obsessed. And he will never be the same.

I loved this book. It pulled me right in and demanded to be finished. It gave me new perspectives on demons, angels, Lucifer, and some major events in the Bible. It helped illustrate spiritual warfare, and made me ponder certain stories, and peer into their deepness what I once thought obvious and certain. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has questions about demons and angels. The only thing about this book that I am not particularly fond of is that is an open-ended book. You must decide upon the ending for yourself. However if you have read the book and wonder what the author was thinking for the ending, check out this video:

Also, here is the trailer:

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

He is searching for seven perfect brides to deliver to God. Because he is God's messenger and he is God's favorite. And the brides are God's favorites. Which is why he must deliver them. But he chooses only the most perfect. He makes sure they are perfect even once they are dead by drilling holes in their heels and draining their blood, then filling the holes. This way there are no marks to ruin their beauty. But the seventh bride, she is the most perfect, and the other six are all leading up to her.
FBI agent Brad Raines is in charge of the case, and they cannot find any evidence at the crime scenes of the first six victims except occasionally notes. When a note points toward the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, Brad desperately turns for help. There he finds a gifted, but crazy group of four. But more specifically, Paradise. Paradise has the gift to see into the unknown world and can see the last moments of a person's life if she touches the dead body.

As Brad works with the CWI, something happens. Paradise starts to fall in love. But no, that can't happen because she is unlovable, and she is the dirt of the world. No one could ever love her back.

Ted Dekker has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time. And while many of his books pull me right in such as Blink and the Circle Series, I must admit Ted has let me down with a few of his latest books. Specifically, Adam and Boneman's Daughters. After reading those two, I was a little nervous as to how The Bride Collector would turn out, but it was absolutely amazing! It pulled me right in, and hardly allowed me to put it down the whole time. The suspense kept me at the edge of my seat, and adrenaline was flowing through my veins! This book was definitely was up to standards with Ted's old books, and I strongly recommend it to any Dekker, suspense, or thriller fan! It is also the perfect display of unconditional love. Excellent work Ted Dekker!