Book Review: Comes the Dragon

Comes the DragonJudgement is coming to the people of God, yet they choose to ignore the warnings.

Comes the Dragon is sequel to Abaddon’s Eve, which I reviewed last August. The players remain the same. Flora, Rechab, Alack, and other key players struggle to determine the paths they should walk in an increasingly confusing and dangerous world. By assuming Flora’s name, Rechab has new-found security and freedom, but she finds the burden of decision making almost too heavy to bear. Flora, cast out from the community where she has spent years worshiping God, fears her pagan birth will separate her from the Lord she loves. Alack continues as Kol Abaddon’s companion and apprentice, but his compassionate nature often puts him at odds with his mentor.

For me, Kol Abaddon, the voice of destruction to The People, was the most interesting character in this book. He didn’t receive much “screen time,” but my interest in his character was validated in the epilogue. This nameless prophet is tortured by a pain private between him and God. While Kol Abaddon is God’s mouthpiece, he doesn’t seem to have a particular warm relationship with the Great God he speaks for. And there’s a reason for that. (Read the book to find out what it is. ;) )

Guess a Quote [4.13.15]

King of the Wind [Guess a Quote]Our last guess a quote struck another popular book for many of you. Lina, emilydm544, proverbs31teen, Amanda, R.G. Nairam, Addyson, Shaina, OnionTea, starshining4ever all correctly guessed King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry. Good job, everyone!

Since we’re doing so well with the animal story theme, here’s another one. Not a horse this time, though.

I remember like yesterday how he strayed in out of nowhere to our log cabin on Birdsong Creek. He made me so mad at first that I wanted to kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Orphan’s Song

Orphan's SongThis book has been sitting on my shelf since I got it for Christmas, waiting to strike my fancy in a moment I was searching for a new read. Fancy struck on a Thursday two weeks ago, but my day was so busy I carried it around all day and only read the first chapter. However, on that Friday my work got canceled because of snow (snow, on March 20th!) , so I ended up plowing through almost the entire book in one day.

The first few chapters had me worried. The story had it’s unique points, but seemed to fall into the tired pattern of many fantasy stories. You know the ones I’m talking about. Poor orphan with mysterious beginnings. Crotchety, abusive guardian. And a randomly talking animal.

Thankfully, uniqueness spun out of the mundane beginnings. The biggest strength of this story was the mystery. Gillian masterfully steered clear of explaining too much too soon. The mystery of The Song and the Songkeeper unravel slowly and require continued reading to discover what’s going on. The roots of pain that hold Amos to his past and cause him to fight destiny are slow reveal themselves. The reader must keep nose to book to learn what the prize the dark soldiers and the children of the Underground are fighting over is and why it’s important. And the talking cat? Well, he’s a mystery too. ;)

Read the synopsis of Orphan’s Song.

Guess A Quote [3.30.15]

Black Stallion [Guess a Quote]Hello everyone! I hope your spring has been more spring-ish than ours has been so far. It snowed twice week! The weather people say warmer weather is coming, and I hope they’re right. I like the cold, but it’s time for the snow to quit.

The last quote came from The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Most of you already knew that! CJ, writefury, R.G. Nairam, Lina, Elisabeth Sullivan, proverbs31teen, Jonathan G., Amanda, and OnionTea all got it right!

With that positive guessing record, I thought we’d stick to the animal theme with another of my favorite horse stories. I’ve done a quote from this one once before, but this time it’s the opening line of the book.

In the northwestern slice of Africa known as Morocco, a horseboy stood, with broom in hand, in the vast courtyard of the royal stables of the Sultan. He was waiting for dusk to fall.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Crazy Busy

Crazy BusyCrazy busy. Who can’t relate to those two words? When my friends ask me how I’m doing, I often reply with, “busy.” When they ask how my week has been, I say, “busy!” And I get the same reply from plenty of them.

To be honest, I like being busy. Jobs, activities, and goals that keep me on the go energize me. But there are those moments (days … weeks … months) that crazy busy becomes overwhelming and stressful.

This book and Just Do Something, both written by Kevin DeYoung, received rave reviews from a few of my Goodread’s friends, so when I noticed Crazy Busy available for Kindle for 99 cents, I decided to give it a try.

DeYoung made a lot of good observations and comments about our busy lifestyles. He talked about the importance of being still before our God, the danger of assuming a god-complex by feeling like we need to “do it all because God is depending on us, and the fallacy of feeling wronged when our busy schedules make life “hard.”

Overall, I liked the content but wasn’t overly inspired by this book. On the other hand, I recommended it to a few of my friends because I thought they would enjoy and be encouraged by it. So, if being busy isn’t something that bothers you, this book might read a little dry. If being busy stresses you out, you’ll probably like this book a lot (if you can find time to read it)!

Guess A Quote [3.16.15]

Guess a Quote [Prophet]To everyone who guessed Prophet by R.J. Larson for the last guess a quote, you’re absolutely right! It was fun to see the enthusiasm many of you replied with. You all are right. It’s a great book. Melody, Miss M., Spencer R., Hanna R., and writefury all got it right. :)

Here’s the quote for this week. This is an opening line for the animal lovers among us.

He was a giant of a horse, glistening black–too big to be pure Arabian. The head was that of the wildest of all wild creatures–a stallion born wild–and it was beautiful, savage, splendid. A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection to match his savage, ruthless spirit.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: When Sorry Isn’t Enough

When Sorry Isn't EnoughI don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t include apologizing in a list of things I’m good at. Making a good, heartfelt apology is downright hard! I remember many times when I was younger that my parents would lead me over to my brother or playmate and tell me to apologize for something. You’re probably familiar with the scenario.

Mom: Tell your brother you’re sorry for taking his toy without asking.
Me: *grumbles* I’m sorry I took your toy.
Brother: *quickly* You’re forgiven.

That type of apology may be enough (sort of!) for little kids, but I think you’ll agree that our apologies should grow more sincere and sophisticated as we get older. This book offers a guideline for growing in this area.  I read the entire book in one sitting, which is extremely rare for me to do with a non-fiction book.

If you’d like to improve your apology skills, this is definitely a book you should read.

Want to read a more detailed review? One of my Goodreads friends read this book right after I did and she wrote a fantastic review. (It’s far more eloquent than mine. :D )

Book Review: Resistance

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]After my brother’s review of The King’s Scrolls two weeks ago, I decided it was time I read the first book in the series. Resistance. As a result, you’re getting the reviews rather out of order, but now that you’re interest has been piqued for book two, you should know a little something about book one! (Reviews of Ilyon Chronicles books should be in order of release from now on. I’ll definitely be on top of reading future installments!)

“But, my friends, we must resist this evil. We must never be idle while it destroys the lives and hope around us. If we don’t stand, who will?”

The emperor of Arcacia has positioned himself as ruler appointed by the gods and has plans to eliminate all threats to his claim. With immorality spreading through the country, the emperor’s cruelty is tightening around followers of Elom, the one true God. The time has come when faith in Elom must be courageous unto death or abandoned.

I started this book with interest due to the enthusiasm my brother and various online acquaintances have shown for the series. The beginning drew me but didn’t immediately demand my undivided attention. That changed quickly. The magnetic draw increased as the story progressed.

Reading true stories of Christian courage in the face of persecution has convinced me that these stories, both real and fictional, are among the most gripping, heartbreaking, and beautiful when told well. Resistance is told well and it is inspiring. I can’t wait to see what happens to Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, Trask, Trev and Daniel next.

Bonus Tidbit: Jaye announced today that she plans to release a series prequel about Jace this summer.