Book Review: Rise of the Fallen

Rise of the Fallen

Remember the face of evil, my brothers, and never forget the price the righteous will pay because if it.

Two years ago, my brother and I met Chuck Black at a homeschool conference. We were thrilled when he told us he was working on a new series. When the first book, Cloak of the Light, released, we pounced on it. It turned out to be a totally unique story delving into the world of spiritual warfare. My brother describes it as “Spiderman meets Frank Peretti.” It’s an apt description, and Rise of the Fallen is no less unique.

Instead of continuing the tale begun in Cloak of the Light in a chronological manner, Rise of the Fallen switches point-of-view-characters and jumps back in time. We now get to view Drew’s story (and the history of the world) from the perspective of the angel assigned to protect Drew.

While Chuck Black’s writing style/technique is not nearly as polished as some other writers, he’s a superb story teller who knows how to weave Truth into his narrative with rare power. I put the book down not just with the satisfied feeling of finishing a good book, but also with a renewed appreciation of certain Bible events and an inward challenge to improve my prayer life. I love it when fictional books leave me feeling challenged but not hit over the head with a sledgehammer by the author’s “message.”

That said, some readers may be annoyed by the construction of this book. Chapters alternate between past and present. The “past” chapters work their way through Bible history, and are relatively basic in their narration. It didn’t bother me because I found it fascinating to “see” the events through such a unique perspective, but I think some might find it boring.

This is a book I feel very safe recommending to all readers old enough to handle intense battles where deaths are not glossed over. Readers sensitive to such things should be forewarned that there are two brief but heartbreaking scenes depicting the slaughter of the children of Jerusalem following Jesus’ birth and the death of a mother and child in the Sobibor concentration camp.

Rise of the Fallen kept me up till 1am to finish the book, and I can’t wait to read book three!

Free Book Alert

On a different subject, homeschooled author Sarah Holman is offering her short story, Cinderella retelling free on Kindle today (and for the next few days). Waltz into the Waves is a sweet little quick read (28 pages) that weaves a tale about a girl whose beauty is marred and her betrothed who chooses to love her anyway.

 

Guess A Quote (2.24.15)

Guess A Quote [The False Prince]If you haven’t read The False Prince, now is the time to check it out (the link leads to my review here on this blog). In case you didn’t already figure it out, last week’s quote came from this very book. Lydia, Jennifer Sauer, writefury, Aubrey Lidden, Jonathan G., and OnionTea all guess it correctly. (You all can decide of Melody gets half-credit despite sitting next to me while I posted it. She might have gotten it right if I didn’t blow the secret for her! XD)

Now for this week’s quote. Hmm. Okay. This one is from an old classic (fictional). I haven’t read it, but I’m pretty sure some of you have, and I really liked this quote! [HINT: If you haven’t read it, you may have watched  it.]

Be guided, only by the healer of the sick, the raiser of the dead, the friend of all who were afflicted and forlorn, the patient Master who shed tears of compassion for our infirmities. We cannot but be right if we put all the rest away, and do everything in remembrance of Him. There is no vengeance and no infliction of suffering in His life, I am sure. There can be no confusion in following Him, and seeking for no other footsteps, I am certain!

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: The King’s Scroll

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerWhen Jaye offered a review copy of The King’s Scrolls for the blog tour, I wanted to participate, but knew I probably wouldn’t have time to read it between the time I got it and now. So my brother volunteered to give it a read and share his thoughts. Here’s what he has to say.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00020]The King’s Scrolls continues the adventure of Kyrin, Jace and their friends. Arcacia is rapidly becoming a dangerous place for a follower of Elom to live. Kyrin and Jace struggle to protect their loved ones from the emperor and his men as they attempt to preserve the last complete copy of the King’s scrolls (aka, the Bible). The stakes raise as they are forced to choose between the two things they care about most.

This country mirrors, in a fantasy world, the path our own country is following. Just as the US was founded upon Christianity, Arcacia has been faithful to Elom, but in recent years leaders have plunged Arcacia into spiritual darkness. This book challenged me (Jon) to think about what my reaction would be if the US follows (or continues to follow) the same course. How much am I willing to give for my faith? This book is very clean, but due to intense situations would probably be best for young teenagers and up.

Thanks Jonathan for doing the review for us today! What do the rest of you think of this book? For those who have read it, what did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, does it sound like the sort of book you want to get your hands on?

FREE Books

The time has come to get books out of my room. After much agonizing of which to keep and which to dispose of, I’ve made a list. You are welcome to these books free of charge. If you want books, shipping will work out to $3 for the first book and $0.50/book for each additional book in the same mailing (some exceptions may exist for large books). I prefer to receive payment for shipping through PayPal, but a mailed check is also acceptable.

I’ll leave this up for a week or two before carting the rest of the books to Goodwill. So shop while you can and help me get these books out of my room! :)

NOTE: I have not read all of these books and am not endorsing them.

Author Interview: Jaye L. Knight

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerIt’s been a long time since I did an author interview, so for those of you who enjoy author interviews, today is a day for celebration! :) Jaye L. Knight (previously known as Molly Evangeline) was putting together a blog tour for her newest release, so I signed up to host an author interview. Hopefully you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed coming up with the questions. Having done a bunch of interviews for the publication of Counted Worthy, I know how repetitive questions can become, so I wanted to give Jaye something fun to answer and us something fun to read. :)

  1. Who is your ideal reader? Describe the person who would most enjoy the Ilyon Chronicles.

My goal when I first published Resistance was to have a series geared toward new adult/college aged readers. I personally love young adult fiction, but sometimes you wish the characters were closer to your age. So Ilyon Chronicles is ideally for readers 18-25+ who enjoy YA fiction, but are looking for older, more mature characters. :)

 

  1. If Jace and Kyrin could pick one person, dead or alive (but from their world), to spend a day with, who would it be and why?

Well, Jace would probably choose his mother (and I can’t say whether she’s alive or dead as that’s for a future book). He doesn’t know anything about her, but I know he would like to find out where he came from and what his past is. As for Kyrin, I think she would choose her deceased grandfather, Jonavan Altair. For most of her life she was taught to believe he was a traitor, but since she found out he wasn’t, she would definitely like to get to know him. Especially since she lacks a close relationship with her other grandfather.

 

  1. What are Jace and Kyrin, respectively, most afraid of?

Besides losing loved ones, I think Jace’s greatest fear boils down to rejection, especially being rejected by Elôm (God). It terrifies him, really. As for Kyrin, she’s most afraid to lose her loved ones. She’s so close to different members of her family as well as Jace. She would give up anything else, but losing someone she loves would crush her.

 

  1. Which of your “good guy” characters would be most likely to rob a bank if teleported into our world?

Haha! Oh my goodness, that is so funny. I have no idea why, but the first person to jump into my mind is Kaden. I really don’t know why. But, giving it a bit more thought, I could see Daniel doing it. Maybe more so than Kaden.

 

  1. If you could chose to spend a day with one of your characters, which one would it be and what would you do together?

This is so hard because I could choose so many for different reasons, but I would probably have to go with Jace. He is, after all, my favorite character I’ve ever written. I’d take him to one of my favorite places to go hiking and spend the day in the woods exploring. (And keeping out of sight of his fangirls, lol!) I’d see how much I could learn from him since he knows so much about the forest.

Enjoy the interview? Visit Jaye’s blog to enter her release giveaway. She’s got a pretty cool package of stuff for one lucky winner.
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Guess a Quote (2.16.15)

Guess A Quote [Guess Kill a Mockingbird]Hello everyone. Did you miss this post last week? I was down with a flu and couldn’t muster the energy to make a post. Quite a few people got the last quote, which came from To Kill a Mockingbird. Chris T., Miss M., Annie Hawthorne, and Lina all guessed it correctly. How many of you have read and enjoyed this book? Have you heard (and are you excited to hear?) that the author is publishing a new book about Scout?

Here’s the quote for this week. It’s a book we’ve used for Guess a Quote before, but a different quote (of course).

In a crowd of a thousand boys claiming to be the prince, there would be only one with the same look of trouble in his eye.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Hope Springs Eternal

240923_Sch_PrairieRiver_0.tifThese books were first recommended to me in 2007 or 2008. At that time I loved the series because it was historical fiction and about an orphan. It always bothered me that the library didn’t own the final book in the series.

This Christmas, I finally got book four. Reading the story seven years after first coming to love the series, I found myself still enjoying the story. These books are deep for short, middle-grade stories. Nessa wrestles with tough issues — like how to treat some very unkind neighbors in a Christian manner — and doesn’t get pat, tied-up-in-a-bow answers. She makes mistakes, learns from them, gets back up, and tries again.

Mrs. Lockett is one of my favorite characters. She’s one of those motherly, always-has-the-right-thing-to-say kind of people. She leads by example and knows how to soothe Nessa’s fears without numbing her conscience.

This book–and the series as a whole–is completely child safe. The books are also well written and deep enough for older readers to enjoy them too.

Book Review: Uncompromising

uncompromisingAfter skipping the book review last week, I wanted to make sure one went up this week. Uncompromising was one of my Christmas presents this year. The book first came to my attention through The Rebelution. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely wanted to check it out!

In many ways, Uncompromising was very similar to all the other books written for Christian young women. It covered topics like dating/courtship, beauty, modesty, self-esteem, etc. When I flipped through the book before actually beginning to read, I noticed that trend and was a little disappointed. While those topics are certainly important, I’ve read about all of them before. A lot.

Thankfully, Uncompromising was more than the normal treatment of common girl issues. In fact, the whole book was worth reading for Chapter Three and the “Interjection” at the end of Chapter Three. I’ll being going back to glean encouragement and to spend extra time contemplating that section of the book. The author’s take on “the Cause”, self-esteem, and making God the biggest, most all-encompassing element of your life were thought provoking and challenging.

If you’re a reader who will throw up your hands in boredom or despair because of a heavy focus (and yet another perspective) on issues like modesty and self-esteem, Uncompromising is probably not for you. However, if you, like me, are always curious to look at those topics from a new angle and can appreciate the new content amid the old, you’ll really enjoy this book.