Friday, January 28, 2011

The Sword by Bryan Litfin

400 years after the modern world is destroyed, a medieval style kingdom called Chiveis comes forth. Christianity has long been forgotten, and now the Chiveisians have their own polythiestic religion loosely based on ancient Greek and Roman mythology. When a Bible is accidentally discovered, the ultimate clash of religions will take place.

An excellent story. Descriptive, but fast moving. A great example of how much we should cherish Christianity every day. The setting is pretty believable since there are no mythical creatures. It is possible in the way The Bride Collector is possible, are there serial killers? Yes. Are there victims? Yes. But is it likely that an actual serial killer kills those victims that way? No. The Sword is kind of like that. Could the world really be destroyed that year that way? Yes; but highly unlikely.

The characters are well defined, and it is about their personal journeys just as much as it is about the re-discovery of Christianity. A brilliant novel, recommended to Christian adults, especially those who want to have a better appreciation for both Christianity itself and the religious freedom we experience in America today. I am very excited for the second book, The Gift.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy

Promise is dying. Suffering from cystic fibrosis, and having multiple peers surrender to the disease, she knows her time on this earth is limited. But she doesn't want to be a tumbleweed in the wind, no she wants to be remembered and loved and she will accomplish that with her incredible voice.

When Promise survives multiple should-be-dead situations, an aging pagan witch named Porta believes she may have finally found the goddess of immortality. What's more is Zack, who Promise hardly knows, was present at each close-call situation.

Then there's Chase. An autistic artist with a love for trees, he has a revelation and has gone either completely insane, or might be on to something.

The first book I've read by solely Erin Healy. Her writing style is very similar to Ted Dekker's, only much more descriptive in a way that fuels your mind's eye without going overboard. I love how there is a sorceress in the novel; it just makes everything more... interesting. Though she's not quite what you expect. Very suspenseful, but not really dark. The ending has a fabulous twist that I never expected. Amazing book, almost impossible to set down. Erin, this is a work of perfection.

I review for BookSneeze®

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Egyptian gods are real. They are, after many years, being released from the Duat and not all of them are very happy. Sadie and Carter Kane find they have amazing powers. Their discovery of their powers shoves them into the ancient world of Egyptian mythology, only in present-day. Having to battle magicians, beasts, and even gods, the Kanes go on a journey they will never forget. And they cannot allow the completion of the Red Pyramid.

I must admit, I am obsessed with Egypt. Specifically ancient Egyptian Mythology. So naturally when I passed the book section in Meijer, The Red Pyramid caught my eye. A second glance confirmed my hopes were true: I found an Egyptian book. Now, you must understand, Egyptian books are a rare find so I was quite excited. However, this book has a young adult reading audience so I was somewhat cautious as to if the book would be to easy. Obviously, I gave in, and I was not disappointed in the least! Here is a succulent piece of fantasy marinated in the juices of Egyptian mythology, grilled over the fires of magic, drizzled with suspense, and sprinkled with humor. My one mild disappointment was the occasional "kid" reference or term such as "I hate it when grown-ups..." however, other than this, excellent book Rick!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S.Lewis

Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their nuisance of a cousin, Eustance return to Narnia. They are brought aboard the Dawn Treader, the best ship Narnia has seen for ages. Now that Narnia is at peace, Caspian is fulfilling his oath to sail East and find the lost seven lords and (to Reepisheep's delight) possibly sail to the utter East, the end of the world.

I first read this book about 3 years ago then I re-read it, hopefully in time for the movie (I half succeeded). It is a book for children, but I think any adult will be fine reading it. It's a relatively quick read, and it has some great spiritual aspects and good morals. One of my favorites in the series, due to all the magic and tropical islands. An excellent classic.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher.

The body brutally broken for us. The blood mercifully shed for us. This is the heart of Christianity. This is what communion is about. This book is about the author's personal insight and experiences with communion. It is supposed to answer your questions about the Sacred Meal.
The majority of this book is filled with personal experiences "about communion", though almost all of them have nothing to do with communion. Some may be good Christian testimonies, but I don’t think they belong in a book about "communion". Further, it scarcely speaks of the first communion, the Last Supper, and slightly more often (though not nearly enough) does it speak of Jesus.
There are many things I disagree with in this book; most are flat-out, hands-down false teachings when placed next to the Bible. Here are a few examples of the poisonous doctrines mixed throughout the text:
TSM: Communion is all about community. P.6,11-13
MR(My Refute): Recall what Jesus said, Luke 22:19 "...This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Remembrance of JESUS, not the community.
TSM: When Jesus turned water to wine at the wedding feast, the wine was "hidden" in the water; Jesus found and restored it. P. 65-66
MR: Really now? Is Dr.Pepper hidden inside a coconut? No. Jesus made (Greek – ginomai: to come into existence) the water into wine.
TSM: Nora speaks about how she "accidentally" ended up participating in an Islamic dance/prayer ritual and how amazing it was. P. 98-100
MR: The God of the Bible is not the some of that of the Quar'an. Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me."
TSM: We make Jesus into our personal savior; but he was half that, half political activist. P.111
MR: I don't know about you, but Jesus is my personal savior. Can't he be that and also against political corruption? Against corruption doesn't make him less a savior. I am all novel lover and I still love movies. I’m not half and half.
TSM: When we die, we become part of the earth, the birds, the trees - just like Jesus. P.134-137
MR: I was very disturbed by this choice morsel. While this theology may look dazzling in 3D and bring millions to the box office (Avatar), it is not in line with the Bible. 2Corinthians 5:8 “…we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
TSM: "We are all the ongoing incarnation." P.137
MR: No refute even necessary.
Zero stars. I strongly recommend you DO NOT read this book! 

 Normally I would include an Amazon link to the book, however, as I am strongly against this book, I am including a link to the NIV Bible instead: