Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson

Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson

book review –

Book Review – Bridgers : A Parable

by Angie Thompson

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2 Bloggers Review

 
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Dale E Lehman
Thriller Author

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Fish Sticks And Joan Of Arc

Bridgers: A Parable by Angie Thompson – wow, wow, wow! What a powerful contemporary telling of The Good Samaritan. Bridgers is an amazing read, packed full of Godly truths.

God came for everyone. God loves everyone. Who are we to judge when we should be loving?

Just as in the Biblical story, people walk on by with excuses for not helping. “I needed to get to church.”

A young man, rough to look at but with the seed of the love of God planted in his heart, lives out the love of God. He prays “begging a God you’re not even sure exists” to help him.

The novel urges us to be the change we want to see. We need to be the ones bridging the gap. We need to not just talk the talk but walk the walk. The novel asks “where would Jesus be?” He would be with the people who need Him most and need to hear about Him. Jesus asks us to do the same. “Don’t ever underestimate what God is doing through a willing vessel.”

Too many of us spend too much time on our appearances. We end up looking good without necessarily being good.

Bridgers: A Parable is just such a powerful read. Read it in tandem with the parable of The Good Samaritan in the Bible. Our God is a great big God who loves everyone. I will leave you with my favourite quote:

“He is stronger… than addiction… than fear… than any chain the enemy can use to bind us.”

I received this book from The Book Gobbler for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

A Smart and Funny Retelling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Upscale Woodbridge is separated from its neighbor and polar opposite Graveside by a river crossed by a single bridge. The social divide between the communities is alive and well at the local high school, which serves students from both sides of the river. There, teenagers from Graveside call the those from Woodbridge “bridgers,” while Woodbridge students just call their Graveside counterparts deadbeats. Fear and suspicion keep the two groups from mixing except under the most acrimonious circumstances.

One evening, track team member Brett Martens is running on the wrong side of the bridge when he’s attacked by a group of gang members and left for dead. Enter DaVonte Jones, a student from Graveside, who finds him and, knowing nothing of religion except that God cares for all people, goes to extraordinary lengths to get Brett to the hospital. This simple but heroic act of kindness sets off a chain of events destined to bring DaVonte into a fuller knowledge of God and to transform relationships in the two communities.

“Bridgers” is a smart and sometimes funny retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Aimed at a YA audience, it carries a strong, overtly Christian message, but because the focus is on universal principles, it can be appreciated by people of all religions. The tale unfolds through the eyes of a wonderfully drawn cast of characters, primarily young people but with a few key adults helping them along. The somewhat unusual device of telling DaVonte’s parts in first person and the rest in third works beautifully. My last real experience reading YA fiction was when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, but nothing here is dumbed down, so everything ticked along for me. You don’t want to put this book down, and it’s short enough that you may not have to. Five stars for story, five stars for writing, and five stars overall. Brava, Ms. Thompson!


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” ,”True Death” and “Ice on the Bay

This review will feature in his blog www.DaleELehman.com

 


 
Book Review – Veiled by Cyana Gaffney

Book Review – Veiled by Cyana Gaffney

Book Review – Veiled

by Cyana Gaffney

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1 Bloggers Review

Dianne James Book Blogger
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader 

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson User Sign Up

You Go Before Me

Veiled by Cyana Gaffney is an absolutely cracking contemporary Christian suspense that draws the reader in from the start.

The opening immediately presents the reader with questions. “If only she could go back and make different choices.” I was hooked. What different choices were needed? What had she done?

The novel is cleverly constructed with the timeline fluctuating and the character focus changing. I clung on to the action with trepidation and anticipation. The ending was brilliant and has set me up for book two. Let me assure readers though, the ending did wrap up my questions but whetted my appetite for what is to come.

Guilt weighs us down. Consequences of actions have far reaching effects. “She lost herself that day… and God whom she had not spoken to since.” Life will either draw us towards God or push Him away. “I just don’t believe anymore.” If we are wise, we will cling to God.

Though we may move from God, He is faithful to us, awaiting our return. His silence has nothing to do with Him not speaking and everything to do with us not listening. We need to draw near to God and hear His whisper.

The novel is mainly set in Saudi. Here the customs and way of life is very different. There were some hard to read (but realistic) scenes due to corruption and cruelty. Trust is the focus of the novel. People let us down. Regimes cannot be trusted. God is faithful. If we put our trust in Him, our feet will always have a firm foundation no matter what life throws at us.

Veiled was a powerful if disturbing novel. It was realistic and opened my eyes to the plight of women. It was an incredible story that tugged at my heart and played with my emotions. I can highly recommend it.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James User Sign Up

A story of pain & fear; capitulation & inner strength;  love & rediscovery of faith

“Veiled” is the story of a young woman’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which goes to hell in a hand basket from the moment she lands. Hailey is arrested by the religious police when she lands in Riyadh and is taken on a journey of horror and fear from that moment on. No spoilers here though.

I stepped out of my comfort zone in reading this Christian Inspirational novel, but I was seduced by the blurb and I was not disappointed at all. This is an excellent suspense novel, filled with emotion and fear, and takes you on a journey that will both amaze and horrify you.

I really enjoyed this book. At first I wasn’t overly enamoured with the main character, but as she gained inner strength and determination, it was hard not to be right there with her. Your pulse will race as the suspense builds…over and over.

It is a story of pain and fear of the unknown; of capitulation and inner strength, but it is also a story of love of humanity, and rediscovery of faith.

Though this book may horrify many readers as they uncover this very different culture, the story is told with a good measure of sensitivity and understanding. The suspense is palpable and the outcome not really certain until the end where it leaves you on a cliffhanger.

Will I read the next book? You betcha!


Originally posted on “Once Upon a Place” Blog
Dianne is running the book review blog Novel Experiences

 

 

 
Book Review – Oney, My Escape From Slavery by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley

Book Review – Oney, My Escape From Slavery by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley

Book Review – Oney, My Escape From Slavery

by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley

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1 Bloggers Review

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson User Sign Up

All Man Are Frec

Oney: My Escape From Slavery by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley is an epic historical novel that blends fact and fiction into a marvellous tale.

At its heart is the question of slavery. It is appalling to the modern reader that this vile trade ever existed. Slaves were not seen as people but commodities. Some were treated well, others not but a palace is as much of a prison as a shack if you are not free.

Oney was a forward thinking young woman who wanted not only her freedom. “I’ve had enough of bein’ property. I wanna own my own body.” She wanted an education too. She was a very brave young woman. The novel surrounds the plight of women. Even those who thought they were free, were actually subject to the will of their husbands.

There is a tentative bond between Oney and her mistress. She was treated kindly but still seen as a possession to be given away on a whim.
Religion is mentioned. There are some who want religion and the state separate, others who want them tied together. The African Free Church plays a part in Oney’s life. She also observes her mistress “prayed whenever she wanted a favor from God, but I never heard her thank Him afterward.”

The novel is a comprehensive account of life in the 1790’s. The reader hears about the War Of Independence – ironically not all men were free – and the French Revolution. The reader is party to parlour gossip.

Oney is brave, gutsy and likable. The reader cheers her on, urging her towards freedom. I liked her.
A powerful emotional read surrounding an abhorrent practice.

To all those brave men, women and children. “Slavery took our bodies but they can’t take our souls.”

I received this book for free from the Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

 
Book Review – Ice on The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

Book Review – Ice on The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

book review – Ice on The Bay

by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

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3 Bloggers Review

Dianne James Book Blogger
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader
     Joni Dee
Thrillers Author

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Gripping

Ice On The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman is a marvellous contemporary murder suspense. It is the third book in the Howard County Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Once again the reader is in for a gripping ride in this compulsive read. The police officers work together to get the job done. They remind me of the three musketeers with their dedication and their loyalty to each other.

A cold case collides with present day crimes of murder, blackmail, arson and burglary. The cases run side by side as the reader tries to guess the connection, if any. Literally a jaw dropping ending that had me hooked and reading with heart racing.

Not only is there great action but the reader really gets to know the characters – their back stories and their families. They are not just flat characters in a book but well developed 3D characters that leap out and engage the reader.

Meeting up with familiar characters gave an air of consistency and a feeling of catching up with old friends. The police officers are very personable, the reader cares about what happens to them. The ‘baddies’ are well drawn too, eliciting feelings of dislike from the reader. For some, we recognise they are caught in a spiral of crime due to circumstances of their upbringing. For others we see the result of poor choices.

These Howard County Mysteries are cracking detective novels. I think they would make a marvellous television mini-series. I am hoping there are many more books to come.

Absolutely compulsive and nail biting reading.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James

A Cracking Crime Novel with Enough Twists and Turns to Make a Belly Dancer Faint

Howard County PD; three separate police investigations – a murder, an arson and a two year old missing persons case. All unrelated – or are they?
Detectives Montufar, Dumas And Peller try to make sense of their respective cases and as they follow the leads they have – slim as some may be – a darker, more complicated story starts to emerge. It is a complex tale of drugs, deception, blackmail and murder and contains all the elements one might expect from a good crime suspense novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The characters are well developed and realistic and it moves at a good pace to build the suspense. The more I read, the less I wanted to put it down – to do mundane everyday things. In the end, mundane things lost and I read this in one sitting.

It is a cracking crime suspense novel with enough twists and turns to make a belly dancer faint.
Definitely recommended.

I got this book free from Bookgobbler and was not paid to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Dianne is running the book review blog Novel Experiences

 


Reviewed by Joni Dee

A Good Howard County Sequel

I liked Dale E Lehman’s debut novel “The Fibonacci Murders”. For some reason though, I did not read the second book of the series “True Death” but went straight the task of reading and reviewing the newly written sequel, in collaboration with his wife Kathleen.

I believe that good sequels are measured if they manage to stand-alone as a book on their own. It’s a big issue in my view, if reading the first book is mandatory in order to understand the next. Albeit a hard task for an author no doubt, would you imagine needing to read nine of Agatha Christies’ superb Poirot novels before reaching the famous “Murder on the Orient Express” ? Not likely. I am pleased to report that in that aspect, the Lehman’s did not fall into a trap that many “sequeling” authors do. The book can be read as a stand-alone, and details from book II were easily filled. I did however thought that if someone read the book as a stand-alone he would have found Lieutenant Det. Rick Peller a bit timid, and over-fatherly. However, I’ll attribute it to him (Peller) simply playing a smaller role in this novel, and maybe just getting older, like most of us.

As always with Howard Country, there are few cases which seems at first not-connected, but interlink as the story draws near its end. Peller is working on an old two-year old case of a missing person; Detective Sgt. Montufar, now engaged in a hot & heavy relationship with Detective Sgt. Dumas, is trying to figure out a copycat arson event; and Dumas – who’s undeniably the main protagonist, is investigating a stone-cold murder of a hustler.
There are also subplots of Montufar’s father dying in the hospital and Peller getting involved with a socialite, both which I found completely redundant and not contributing to the plot (Dale Lehman would have to excuse me on this, as the hospital scenes are probably taken from some personal experience which he wanted to set-free).

The writing is precise as always, but sometimes too precise. It’s humouristic when the boys make wise-cracks for using high vocabulary words, but when the villains use them or an immigrant family, it somewhat hurts the overall flow.
I especially liked The Lehmans’ flirtation with the cold weather, reminding me a lot of my descriptive writing style which, on numerous occasions, was blamed to be throwing the reader off the main subject. I liked it, it gave the story a body.

My main criticism involves the story:
It is a similar problem to that which Mr Lehman had when he wrote solo “The Fibonacci Murders”. Basically, a lot of the details are revealed but the story kind of solves itself before they can serve as clues. The reader doesn’t really have a chance to reach any conclusion on his own, and one witness who could have easily given the story to begin with, if enough pressure had been applied, sings at the end, after we have already speculated what had accord. For me, it was a good story, portraying mundane police work, with likeable characters, but it lacked sophistication. The Howard County detectives came across as too naïve, and too trustworthy, but I liked them.

Another point is that I wasn’t quite sold on how the stories interlink, nor do I think that Peller and Montufar had contributed much to the cracking of the case.

The story redeems itself with a nice twist right at the end, although the way it was discovered and the entire charade seemed a bit messy. I’m not going to reveal anything here, but just as you think the novel reaches its end, The Lehmans’ give us a much-needed climax with a bursting action scene.

“Ice on the Bay” is a precise written novel, which shows the hard task of police detective work. The characters are likeable, the imagery is a pleasant surprise – but the story which is crucial, is somewhat lacking, for this die-hard crime thriller fan

 

 
Book Review – True Death by Dale E Lehman

Book Review – True Death by Dale E Lehman

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – True Death

by Dale E Lehman

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2 Bloggers Review

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
  Rodney Strong
BookGobbler Author
& Top Reviewr

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Three Musketeers

True Death by Dale E Lehman is a marvellous contemporary murder thriller. It is the second book in the Howard County Mystery series but could be read as a stand-alone. I would, however, recommend reading book one, The Fibonacci Murders, first as this story follows straight on from that, being set just a few weeks later.

The plotline was intricately constructed and grabbed my attention from the start. I immediately became engrossed in the action and remained glued to the end. The story alternated between present day and the past, which set the scene for the action to come.
In True Death the reader hears the back story of the main characters. They are more than just detectives, they are ‘real’ people who have loved and lost. The three detectives reminded me of the three musketeers, with the police chief as D’Artagnan. Their loyalty to each other and their fight for justice was admirable.

There was an unknown voice that drew the reader in. I was asking questions – who is this? What have they done?
A cold case collides with present day crimes in the novel. The reader is intrigued and wonders if there is any connection? Or just coincidence?
The story has the themes of regret and revenge. Both have the power to destroy from the inside out.
A theme with far greater power than regret and revenge, is that of forgiveness. Forgiveness frees us from the past, enabling us to step into the future. Without forgiveness, we can become trapped in a prison of bitterness.
Faith in God was a theme that bubbled away beneath the surface. Sometimes life events mean we wander away from God. When life makes no sense or little sense, we realise our need for God and find ourselves returning to Him. God is the God of restoration and new beginnings. We can lean on Him in any storm.
The criminal underworld features. Dale Lehman has constructed an intricate story that has the reader guessing and trying to join the dots from the start.
Dale Lehman is a new author to me and I cannot get enough of his books – fabulous, clean murder mysteries that have me hanging on his every word. I do hope there is a book three.
I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Rodney Strong

The 2nd Book in the Howard Country Mysteries Series…

True Death is the second in the Howard County Mysteries, after The Fibonacci Murders.  In this book the main characters are still dealing with the aftermath of the Fibonacci Murders, and their desire to move on is temporarily thwarted by a writer, who desperately wants them to talk about their experiences so he can write a book at it.  Rick Peller is the only one who escapes this scrutiny as he leaves for a long overdue vacation to visit his son.

Meanwhile the other detectives are caught up in a car theft ring, that may or may not hold the key to the death of Rick Peller’s wife in a car accident years ago.

The main concern I had with this book was character motivations and lack of follow through on set up. Detective Dumas has a subplot relating to his Uncle and running away from family that doesn’t pay off.  Peller is told while on holiday that his wife was deliberately targeted for death, and instead of jumping on a plane to go home and help out, he stays on holiday.
Then there are a lot of flashbacks showing how Rick and his wife Sandra met and their early life together, but halfway through the book these just peter out for no real reason.

All of these are just frustrating and serve to distract from the main story.  It means that for me this wasn’t as strong as the first book in the Howard County Mysteries.  3/5 stars.


The reviewer is the author of the novel “Troy’s Possibilities”, available from Amazon

 


 

 
Book Review – Sacrificial Lam  by Gary Guinn

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam

by Gary Guinn

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3 Blogger Review

   
Stephen Bentley
BookGobbler Author
 Rodney Strong 
BookGobbler Top
Reviewer & Author
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic 

 


Reviewed by Stephen Bentley

A Good Read!

Thoroughly enjoyed Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn. He certainly knows how to write suspense. I know it’s a cliché but this really was a “page-turner.”
Reminded me of John Grisham and James Patterson.
 What, for me, makes it a slightly unusual thriller is the setting – academia. The plot is set almost entirely on campus. It is where the protagonist, Dr. Lam Corso, is employed as a professor. It becomes clear early in the book that someone is threatening him and his family because of his liberal beliefs. The question of who that someone is remains almost to the very end, when the identity of Corso’s antagonist is revealed.
The storyline captures the zeitgeist of modern America in depicting an essential conflict between those with far right leanings and the liberal thinkers. The author deals with all of that in a thoughtful, stylish way without resort to any kind of tub-thumping. He also skilfully deals with issues surrounding the Second Amendment but in such a way as to weave it into the story without overt politicization. 

Guinn’s writing style smoothly takes the reader along on interesting journey. At times, the author over indulges on the literary references sprinkled throughout the book which became a little irritating as it appears he is trying to “show off” somewhat. Apart from that, and one plot twist involving police procedure, nothing in this book grated upon me.

The characters are real and the pacing is just so. Once I made a start I simply had to finish it.
A good and even a great read!


The Reviewer is the Author of “Who the F*ck Am I?” and a former undercover cop 

 

Reviewed by Rodney Strong

I Look Forward to Seeing What Else Gary Guinn produces.

Professor Lam Corso is a liberal teacher at a conservative university.  His views can often lead to conflict with students, teachers, and parents.  But when he gets a death threat he dismisses it as a prank from a colleague. As it turns out it is a big mistake, as things quickly escalate and he finds not only his life in danger, but the lives of his family.

About halfway through this book I found myself getting frustrated with Lam’s apathy towards the threats, and that’s when I realised that Gary had done his job right.  I was drawn into the world he had created, so job well done.

The book mostly flows really well and there are some very descriptive well written pieces.  The plot, although nothing terribly new, moves along at a nice pace and there is certainly no chance of getting bored by the story.

Sometimes the descriptive pieces came at the wrong time.  The author tends to have his characters conduct internal monologues right in the middle of a tense action piece, which is distracting and unnecessary.

I don’t want to go too much into the story as that will contain spoilers, but I wasn’t overly convinced by the antagonists reasons for targeting Lam in particular, and there were some confusing motivations from other characters as well. I live in a country where there aren’t a lot of guns, so it didn’t seem natural to me that a clearly anti-gun character would think of buying a gun as the first line of defence, but perhaps that’s simply a cultural difference.

All in all, an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what else the author produces.

4 stars out of 5

The Reviewer is the Author of Troy’s Possibilities

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Whom To Trust?

Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn is an edge of your seat contemporary thriller. It will have you hooked and guessing from the start as you become absorbed in the action.

The reader ‘feels’ the threat and danger that lurks around every corner. “A part of him was afraid of everyone.” We suspect most characters until the culprit is revealed.

There are themes of loyalty and family. Family is everything. A mother’s love and instinct to protect means she will do anything for her young… even if it means sacrificing her principles.

Family loyalty may become warped over the years. Impotence to act in the past may influence behaviour in the present.

The novel has religious intolerance and behaviour that will incite hatred. God is a God of love. To use His name to incite hatred is the complete opposite of all that God stands for. “Religious intolerance and extremism… It was the reason she stopped going to church.” Churches should be a place of safety not a place where people in positions of influence abuse the trust of others.

There is a vast difference between standing up for what you believe and abusing your position. We must be people of principle but we must not be people inciting hatred of others.

Sacrificial Lam was a nail biting thriller. It was a compulsive read that had me hooked, guessing and following red herrings at times. A read to be read with the lights on and the doors locked.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


 
Book Review – The Path of the Child  by Sojourner McConnell

Book Review – The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – The Path of the Child

by Sojourner McConnell

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2 Bloggers Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Of Isolation And Hope

The Path Of The Child by Sojourner McConnell is a powerful contemporary novel which I really enjoyed. It was a compulsive read which drew me in from the start as I put on my ‘Mom and nurturing’ hat.

The novel is two-fold, dealing with a child and her mother. Told in the third person from various viewpoints, the reader gets to intimately know the characters.

There is the voice of mental illness. I found this a powerful chapter as the voices played their part. They seemed to empower the person as their will took over.
Another area discussed was love and care. A child needs to be nurtured. My heart just broke. “She had been told all her life that she ‘wasn’t worth the effort.’ ” Every child matters. No child asks to be born. Whatever the circumstances of conception, children need love and care.

The voice of neglect really upset me. “She wanted someone to know she existed.” Everyone wants to be noticed. No one wants to live in isolation.
The novel was about roots and a search to belong. A need to know who you are and your heritage, so you can move into the future.
The tongue is a powerful weapon. It can build up or tear down. Both cases apply to the novel. To witness a blossoming and awakening into a world of love was beautiful to behold. “She knew love existed in  books; she was just realising it existed in life too.” This I think is one of the most powerful phrases in the whole novel, encompassing both isolation and hope.

As an avid reader, I loved all the references to books. Many I had read and they awoke memories in me.
Kindness is vastly under-rated as a quality but we all need kindness. Little acts of kindness can produce smiles and swell hearts.
Friendship and families are presented in the novel. The love and care is beautiful to witness. The gentleness, like handling a delicate flower, really comes across to the reader.

thought The Path Of The Child was a unique and powerful book. I could empathise with all the characters. There were some very beautiful moments that have left hope in my heart, with the promise of a new tomorrow.

A wonderful read.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Joni Dee

The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell Book Review

I must admit that “And the Path of the Child” is not my go to genre. Being a thriller reader, I always expect the worst in any novel: when is the next twist, when is the next accident or death, and thus I find “regular life” fiction normally dull. Having said that, this is by no means my view of “And the Path of the Child” which showed me, how a rough, “everyday” life, can be painted in vivid colours.

Alabama good girl Melanie has never been loved by her mom. In fact, she is regularly neglected and as a result became a wall flower, as both her mom and schoolmates disregards her. She has no other family, and never knew her father or heard of any relatives.
This all changes when kind-hearted Rob takes an interest in Melanie, and helps her break free from the shackles of her hard life, on the path of discovering her family and roots.
We learn about her mom’s past, and embark on a new voyage along with Melanie.

This is an interesting novel, with complex characters and an ambiguous ending: it is happy and has a tang of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Christmas Carol” but it is anything but plain straightforward (no spoilers here).

If you like general fiction, you will enjoy “The Path of the Child”. If you like “Christian Fiction” or stories in which humans, with their flaws and misjudgement or their kindness and good nature, are the centre, you would love it.

 
Book Review – The Redcroft Journals: The Missing Journal by KY Eden

Book Review – The Redcroft Journals: The Missing Journal by KY Eden

by Julia Wilson 1 Comment

Book Review – The Redcroft Journals: The Missing Journal

by KY Eden

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2 Bloggers Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Rodney Strong
BookGobbler Top Reviewer

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Thrilling

The Redcroft Journals: The Missing Journal by K.Y. Eden is the first book in a thrilling new YA fantasy series. I am much older but I really enjoyed it, getting caught up in the action from the start.

Inheriting a house from an elderly neighbour means a pair of teenagers get far more than they bargained for. Bound together, the pair must right the wrongs of the past, searching for clues and artefacts along the way.

The novel shows that life is a spiritual battle that we do not understand. The realms are easy to tap into if you know what you are doing. There are good spirits and bad demons. The clue is knowing who to trust.

I am not usually drawn to fantasy novels but this is a real cracker. I read it, totally engrossed in the action and cannot wait for the second book. The ending is perfectly poised to continue the tale.

The characters are well drawn, realistic and likable. The reader wants them to succeed in their task and ‘feels’ bound to them in their quest.

The Missing Journal has an unusual plotline that gripped me from the start. I cannot wait to read the subsequent books.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Rodney Strong

Nice set-up for future books and an enjoyable read!

When old man Bernie Watts dies he leaves more than just his physical possessions to village children Zak and Natalie. He also leaves a mystery that involves time travel, other realms, missing journals, and monsters.

Over the course of the book more questions are raised than answered for the two main characters, which nicely sets it up for future books. Zak and Natalie are well defined, as is the village and its other inhabitants. Zak’s family, including the annoying older brother Adam, will be very familiar to a lot of readers, in particular the bickering that’s common between siblings.

I enjoyed the story, and the world the author has created. However it felt like the book could have benefited from a good edit as there are some formatting issues, and patches where sentence structure could have been tightened.

All in all though, an enjoyable read.


 

 
Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – And the Wolf Shall Dwell

by Joni Dee

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4 Bloggers Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Rodney Strong
BookGobbler top reviewer
Brittany
Brittany’s
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Maureen Carden
BookGobbler top reviewer

 


Book Review by Julia Wilson

Waiting. Watching.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee is a marvellous political thriller that will have you glued and guessing from the start. With the action twisting this way and that, backwards and forwards, the reader is in for a thrilling ride throughout the novel. This was not my usual genre But I really could not put it down. It’s great to explore something new that you then love.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell deals with spies, intelligence, counter intelligence, espionage and terrorism. It is a cleverly constructed plot that draws the reader in. I was questioning from the start. Joni Dee’s style engages the reader in the novel. I ‘felt’ included in the action. As I ‘met’ the characters, I found myself mentally assessing them and wondering – who could be trusted?

And The Wolf Shall Dwell has some fabulous themes including trust, power and greed. “All heading towards the City in an obsessive pursuit of money that would bring neither joy nor happiness” Joni Dee explores how people with a warped lust for money and power will do anything for self advancement. They care not for others, using and abusing them along the way, so long as their back is covered.

With the action hopping from 1990 to present day and across countries and evoking old alliances, the reader does well to keep up with the action. I absolutely loved it as I tried to join the dots along the way.

Joni Dee has a vivid imagination that not only entertains but also raises the question in the reader’s mind that fiction could possibly become fact in this strange world that we live in. This should strike terror into the heart of all.

The locations came vividly to life with descriptions that painted pictures in my mind. I found the main character charming in a very British way, and his side kick was likeable and lovable with his youth and naivety. He was a breath of fresh air. The villains drew a sneer from my lips as I participated in the novel – although at times I wasn’t sure who could be trusted.

And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a fantastic debut novel. It would make a fabulous BBC drama, having the ‘feel’ of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to it. I picture Daniel Craig in the leading role!

This is a book that cries out to be read. Whatever genre you normally read, open your eyes and mind to something new, and read And The Wolf Shall Dwell today. And if political thrillers are your usually read – you do not want to miss this one. It’s appeal is for male and female, young and old – whatever you are in to, And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a fabulous read. I cannot wait for book two. More, more, more please Joni Dee.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originally Posted on The Christian Bookaholic Blog

 

And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

 


Book Review by Rodney Strong

I look forward to seeing what’s next for him

And The Wolf Shall Dwell is a thriller set mainly in London.  John is unwillingly drawn into the world of espionage thanks to a chance encounter with a man moments before he is killed.  From there his life spins out of control as he encounters the world of spies, terrorism, and it’s clear he will never be the same.

The characters in the book are well written, and there are some really nice descriptive pieces through out.  You really get a sense of the world they live in, from the buildings to the people, everything is well fleshed out.

The book follows a number of characters as the action unfolds, and while that may suit some people, I personally found it distracting and difficult to know who the protagonist was.  If it was John and Adam then they were missing for long periods of time so it was hard to build up empathy for them when there was so much else going on.

There were some issues with tenses throughout which was a little distracting and a tendency by the author to tell the reader things rather than incorporating them into the story.  There was a lot of information to pass on and most of it important to the story, but too often the action stopped while the reader is given background on something, which I personally found frustrating, as I just wanted to get on with the story.

All in all it was a solid read, and I think the author has real potential in this genre.  I look forward to seeing what’s next for him.

3 out of 5 stars.


 

Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

Overall And the Wolf Shall Dwell is such an exciting ride!

I haven’t read that many spy novels in my life, and since I cannot think of a single title at the moment the number must be on the low side. I’ve seen James Bond movies and the like over the years, so I know a bit of what to expect. My original thought going into this was how someone could bring all the secrecy and complexity of a spy story and bring it into a book was beyond me. But Joni Dee nailed it! I loved this book so much! If I didn’t have a full time job to keep me away from reading, I would have devoured this book in less than day.

Yochanan, or John, is a computer programmer living in London. His mind is focused on his company’s release of a new computer program that can help financial companies buy, sell, and trade stocks. John’s day suddenly turns unexpected when an older man plows into him at a subway station. Two men in dark coats come into the station after him. The man tells John a cryptic message before he gets up and takes off toward the trains. As John rights himself, he hears the sound of a train squealing on his breaks, the older man has fallen to his death in the subway.
The man turns out to be an old acquaintance of retired super spy, Adam Grey. Grey was to meet with his informant the day of his death. With the help of John, they discover a plot to bring a Russian nuclear professor out of hiding. With the fear of a new nuclear threat, Gray, John, and a whole cast of spy characters, must put a stop to corruption and destruction.

I love the way this book is written, it’s not too heavy with complicated politics and spy material. It seems light-hearted, but serious at the same time. There are some very difficult moments in this book. But it is all handled very well.
I love John. He is definitely a relatable character. He is excited to meet a real spy and then he discovered a hidden package all by himself! He brings it to Grey, but as soon as they know about it, Grey and John find themselves running from gun fire in Chelsea. John definitely wants nothing to do with anything now that his life is in danger. I can related to that. I would love to be a spy! But at the same time, I don’t want bullets flying at me, and let’s not talk about potentially jumping across a building.
I learned a bit more about the structure of English government. I am a historical, British Royalty junkie, but getting an inside look at how the modern government works and is structured is very interesting.
Overall And the Wolf Shall Dwell is such an exciting ride! It gets 4/5 stars.

*Thank you Book Gobbler and Joni Dee for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review


Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages


 

Book Review by Maureen Carden

A Welcome New Voice

I have a weakness for spy thrillers. I have a weakness for English spy thrillers and Israeli spy thrillers. So imagine my delight when I was handed a book that combines elements of both; new author, new series even better.
An old source contacts his retired handler, Adam Grey. Later, while running for his life, the old source knocks over an Israeli computer maven working in London leaving him a garbled message. Through the wonders of CCTV and facial recognition software the Israeli, John Daniel, is identified and contacted by the former SIS agent, Adam Grey. Grey has been tasked by internal security elements of SIS to discover the meaning of the out- of- the- blue contact and later the message he leaves behind. It looks like some elements of SIS have gone rogue and embarked on a dangerous game of their own.
This is a concisely told story, with not too much extraneous detail, the type of detail that can bog down a story. However, Dee took a few trips back into the past to remind of us a history where hope was actually possible, first in Russia when Yeltsin and the citizenry stood up against the Gang of Eight and to Ramallah in the West Bank in the period between the Oslo Peace Accords and the second Intifada. A time when both peace in Russia and prosperity in Ramallah were on the rise. A heartbreaking reminder, but so necessary to help show why Western Europeans are now experiencing what Israelis have experienced most of their lives.
Dee tells a complete tale, slowly building the tension while developing his characters, enough of the characters that I was left intrigued and wanting to know more about them. I will say every now and then the John Daniel character seemed just a bit wimpy now and then, even for a civilian.
The story switches back in time from 1990 to present day. Sometimes I had a bit of trouble following the time switches.
I am fascinated by detail Dee gives at the workings of Britain’s government and their security services. Ad a Yank I am still confused at the Parliamentary system. As to the accuracy of his SIS scenes, I don’t know, but they sure sound accurate to me.
I had to smile when one of the characters was bemoaning the lack of secrecy concerning Vauxhall Cross, the SIS HQ. Umm, that ship has sailed, it’s been blown up in a Bond film and had been shown in a million other TV shows and movies.
An enjoyable book, a terrific new voice in the espionage canon. I hope I soon see follow ups to it.