Free eBook : The Testament of Judas by M. Tyler Gillett

Free eBook : The Testament of Judas by M. Tyler Gillett

Free eBook : The Testament of Judas

by M. Tyler Gillett

Giving away:

  • 13 eBooks for Reviewers only (ENDED)
  • No Paperback giveaway for this one, sorry!

– Ends 31st  Dec 2017

Genre:

Horror , Novella , General Fiction

Blurb:

From the sands of Egypt comes a shocking ancient manuscript that could change our understanding of Christianity forever.
Judas Iscariot, long known as the betrayer of Christ, recounts in his own words his experiences as one of the Twelve Apostles, and reveals for the first time the deadly truth about Jesus.
Sent by a mysterious “secret Father”, Jesus comes to spread the gift of eternal life to all humanity, but this gift is no blessing – instead, it is an eternal curse.
Together with Jairus, whose daughter is raised from the dead by Christ, the infamous twelfth disciple must race against time to stop Jesus’ plans from coming to fruition and the world falling into “the outer darkness, where there are gnashing teeth!”

Message from the Author:

M. Tyler Gillett holds graduate degrees in religious studies, specializing in early Christian literature. The inspiration for The Testament of Judas came to him while he was rereading the Gospels as part of his dissertation research. When he came to Matthew 27:52-53 (“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many”), he immediately thought of the opening scene of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”), and the rest, as they say, was history.

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Book Review – Troy’s Possibilities by Rodney Strong

Book Review – Troy’s Possibilities by Rodney Strong

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Book Review – Troy’s Possibilities: Nothing Is Straightforward When Anything Is Possible

by Rodney Strong

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

2 Reviews

 
Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin
 Brittany
Brittany’s Pages

 


Book Review by Joni Dee

Ah! So Many Possibilities!

When I picked up “Troy’s Possibilities” I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was written by an unknown author, his debut novel, with a blurry description. Is it sci-fi? Drama? General fiction?

I don’t regret giving this book a chance, I have found a profound drama, which leaves you thinking deeply about the meaning of things and your own course of life. However, even after reading it – I can’t seem to be able to label it, which is maybe a good thing, but sadly may get other people to ignore it.

The idea in the heart of the novel is not original, we have seen it on the silver screen with “Sliding Doors”, “The Butterfly Effect” and even old “Groundhog day”. Although the way it’s manifested in Troy’s Possibilities is quite unique:

Troy gets to live choices he had made as alternative routes for his life. The problem is that he can’t control it. In fact, in a sense it controls him: he could be living a full life of years and years, not knowing if it’s real life or a “possibility” that will end with him blinking back to 2016, when he is in his early thirties. While it can be a blessing, Troy’s mentions numerous times that when you get this “do-over” you cannot control what the other person does, so even if you do everything right, and the other person chose differently – the future would be different. A good thing if the love of your life vanishes to Australia in a possibility; a bad thing if you are married to your high school sweetheart with a child and poof you are whisked back to your parents’ house when you’re fifteen, only now she doesn’t feel the same.

There’s one constant that seems to return to Troy’s existent, in whichever possibility he is, and that’s Cat. Is she for real? Is she part of a bigger scheme that the universe holds for Troy? Is she the sun for his moonlike measurable existence? And if so, why is it so darn complicated?

Again, I enjoyed “Troy’s Possibilities” and the idea that stood behind it. It doesn’t lack problems though: at times I wasn’t sure whether the author himself got confused from what’s real and what was just a possibility, referring to things that should not have happened. Also, the multiple futures Troy had, in which he lived a full life – weren’t convincing enough, at least not as much as the shorter scenarios that took hours or weeks. Moreover, while I was hooked in fully in the first third of the book, I felt like it lost momentum as the storyline dragged on, to a somewhat predictable ending.

Having said all the above I liked the clues that the author planted towards the conclusion, I liked the characters – they were very complex and I could easily identified with Troy, and I liked the rich world of metaphors and language. “A thousand quips formed and died on my lips” thinks the protagonist and I couldn’t identify more, being an aspiring author myself.

I also liked a cute recurring scene where Troy helps this old couple chose something, between the husband’s choice and the wife’s, I found it a playful way of demonstrating Troy’s problem that each “future” can turn differently if one person chooses a bit differently.

For a debut novel, Strong has done a good job, and while it doesn’t lack issues it is a good read that will live you thinking. Hence why I decided to rate this book 4 stars, and to recommend it.


Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

Wonderful story of hope and love

Wow. All I can say is wow. When I got this book, I was not expecting the epic tale that would I would be taking. I’m still sitting around just thinking about the whole book and having a difficult time writing this review.

Troy’s Possibilities is the story of Troy, a man in his early twenties working at a bank and spending his time with his flatmate Emily. He keeps to himself, no matter how Emily tries to push him out into the world to start living. But Troy is haunted. His life is interrupted by possibilities. These possibilities happen in the blink of an eye, Troy has lived hundreds of lives all with different outcomes. Troy is trapped by his ability and unable to really live life. Until Cat knocks on the front door and everything changes.

I really cannot express how much I really loved this book. It has so many good themes and elements. It was written beautifully and the story really flowed.

Troy’s Possibilities is a story about life. Troy has the ability to see how life MIGHT turn out. Unfortunately, it’s not the future. Each possibility is based on Troy’s decisions and the decisions of other people. He might save someone in one possibility, but in reality that person decided not to go to the same place Troy was. Life does have a lot to do with your own, personal decisions, but at the same time other people’s decisions affect you.

It’s a story about family. Because of everything Troy has seen, it negatively affects his relationship with his mother. Troy loves her so much, but he’s seen her suffer in so many possibilities. His dad has a hard time accepting this ability, and writes Troy off as mental. It’s sad to see his parental relationship crumble. Emily is Troy’s roommate and best friend since forever. She acts like a sister to him and tries to get him to live life.

It’s a story about love. Love has so many different possibilities. There are so many decisions and outcomes that could happen in a love story. But when you fall in love, it’s not only destiny, it’s also hope.

Troy’s Possibilities has filled my soul with hope. Definitely a book that has made me pause and reflect on all the possibilities not just in my past, but my future as well.

Troy’s Possibilities gets 4.5 stars.


Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages


 
Book Review – The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Book Review – The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

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Book Review – The Golden House

by Salman Rushdie

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Book Review by Joni Dee

All that Glitters is Not Gold – Brilliant New Book by Rushdie

I normally start a book review with an introduction, but since Salman Rushdie needs none, I’ll get straight to the plot: Powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates with his three adult children into a grand mansion in downtown Manhattan. They arrive after a catastrophe had occurred to them in the “old country” which is forbidden to name.

The narrator, and ultimately the unintended protagonist, is their Manhattanite neighbour and family confidant, René. He takes upon himself to tell the chronicles of the “Golden house”, and in a sense becomes the family historian, who is much involved in shaping their story.

The Goldens are everything you could dream of, and in a sense their appeal pulls René into their world: They are socialites, rich and influential. The house is packed with intrigue and mischief, of brotherly rivalry and everything takes a turn to the worst upon the introduction of Vasilisa, Nero’s second gold-digger wife.

Rushdie does well to tackle to significant subjects of our everyday lives through the narrative of the Goldens, and the introduction to their world, as examples:

  1. The constant struggle of East and West. The old country of the Goldens and modern Western Manhattan life are constantly on an axis of strife. Full with Eastern idioms and concepts, with a terrorist act that sets the motion of our tale, he subtly plays the strings of the Clash of Civilizations. It is very apparent with the allegory of the old tale of the appointment with death in Samarra, vis a vis Manhattan and Mumbai (deliberately referred to as Bombay throughout the novel, the old degrading Western mispronunciation).
  2. The folly of the latest American elections, along with criticism of the elected president, is constantly in the background. The Goldens arrival is shortly after the inauguration of Obama – a time when they are established at the apex of the NY society. As the family starts crumbling down, the narrator describes the madness of Gotham, who is falling to the flute of the coloured hair candidate represented by the green haired Joker. The more vulgar he gets the more they like him.

However, the Batman reference is not the only cinematic allegory. René being an aspiring filmmaker, and the son of two professors intellectuals, means that he incorporate many literary, pop culture, and cinematic references as he tells his story. This is a brilliant way of getting the reader to identify with the scenes, and painting a vivid image of them. We also encounter many allegories to popular folk tales such as Baba Yaga and Vasilisa, Vasilisa with the Golden Tress, and more as another way of spicing up the civilization bridge. While throughout the pages the author spares us nothing of his criticism of many aspect of the American life “Guns were alive in America, and death was their random gift.”

In a way, by actively getting involved with the Goldens, René is not just telling his tale but is in a voyage to self-discovery. “The trouble with trying to escape yourself is that you bring yourself along for the ride.” Tells him Apu, one of the brothers, before he embarks on his own catastrophic journey. It seems like René will discover this soon enough himself.

This is a brilliant novel, seems very different than anything Rushdie has ever written, but not shy of his usual opinionated self and social criticism (“Lies can cause tragedies, both on the personal and the national scale… Telling the truth can also cost you what you love” René recalls he had told Apu in one of their talks, this is apropos the 2016 elections). If one word of criticism is due to the novel itself, is that it’s too long, many of the monologues are overstretching, trying to convey a point which has already been taken. Nonetheless – shining 5 stars!

 
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

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

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.

 
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

by gobbler 0 Comments

Here I Am

by Jonathan Safran Foer

I have been given the opportunity to preview & review Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest critically acclaimed book “Here I am”.
I have never read Safran Foer’s previous book so have thus faced this novel with a “tabula rasa” – blank page.There is an old Israeli song in Hebrew by Haim Hefer, performed by Yehuram Gaon which is also called “Here I Am”, in which the singer exclaims his longing to a woman. He is confident and sure of himself: “I am here like a rock, like a well … I am the man who always comes back, Back!”.
In Safran’s book, the (anti)hero is Jacob Bloch, an American Jew, whose self-confidence is far from Hefer’s protagonist a million light years.
Bloch, a father to three boys, struggles through his own midlife crisis; his deteriorating relationship with his wife “Jewish mama does all” Julia; his eldest son Sam’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony which is in jeopardy due to a hateful note he had written in school; his old grandfather holocaust survivor Isaac who lost the will to live as well as his old dog who is dying and suffering. This all amplifies by Jacob’s own insecurity and the feeling of lack of any real achievement in life.The other plot-line which is important (and used to reflect on Jacob’s own selfishness) is Israel’s destruction. Israel is facing a humanitarian crisis and a war to end all wars in the Middle East, while his cousin (and long friend and instigator) Tamir is “stuck” in Washington with his young son, visiting for the Bar Mitzvah. Tamir’s other son, Noam, is a soldier in the Israeli army when hell breaks loose, and while Jacob’s struggles with his own oh so Jewish triviality – the macho Tamir has to struggle with his home and universe crumbling down, and being helpless to help.
In an interview I have read with Safran in the British Times, he had said something like the book was a journey, a struggle to write hence took him so long. Well, it was the same to read… While I expected something new, I found on more than one occasion an attempt to be a new-age Philip Roth which did not succeed in my opinion, due to overly crowded pages in Jewish schmaltz: Wailing Wall included, Jacob is handling every Jewish stereotypical problem available. It was just too much.
However, on the occasions where Safran let himself run loose of the Jewish author shackles – the novel was a joy to read.In a sense, Jacob’s Via Dolorosa is the reader’s too: Some parts are too long, some chapters are extended beyond what is needed, but always the redemption (the conclusion) is in sight.
“The destruction of Israel” comes in the middle of the book, giving it a needed “kick in the shin” and to Jacob as well – stirring the plot line faster. A much needed event.

I did not suffer as much as Jacob does, reading this book. I thought the Safran’s characters are intriguing and deep (albeit the overly exaggerated Israeli cartoon-like cousin). I think better editing was in order. Brave editing would have gotten Safran to omit a large part of the final act which does not provide any life changing conclusions, not to Jacob – nor to the reader. This fact has kept this a 3 stars book for me, though a recommended read to any Jew in the diaspora or to anyone who wants to understand one.

 
The Painted Ocean by Gabriel Packard

The Painted Ocean by Gabriel Packard

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The Painted Ocean

by Gabriel Packard

The book tells the story of a young Indian-English girl called Shruti. The most miserable girl in the world, left by her father, given up to foster care by her mother and truly has no one in the world to care for her. Her so called saviour – a horrible Indo-English girl called Meena, is the queen of the class, a spoiled brat that though comes through at times for Shruti, takes her on a bogus adventure in India during college years. That’s as much plot as I can give without ruining it.
I am very ambiguous about this book: on one hand I was reading it to keep seeing how it concludes and to hope for a good ending… on the other, the story line is so implausible that it angers me. The only reason this has earned 3 stars from me is the fact that it brought out emotions out of me and that I was curious to see it through. Otherwise, I would have given it a much lower score and I’ll explain why:
– The narrative is set out to be juvenile, since the story teller is a young girl, but at some point it started getting on my nerve. Grammatically it’s terrible reading sentences that keep starting with “And” and I just about had it at one point.
– The story line is terrible… It first looked like some kind of a cross-over between “the Beach” and “Slumdog Millionaire”, so I was thinking to myself – okay this had been done in the past, but that could be a fun read. Then the other half of the book is takes a turn to the worst. I cannot even place this in a genre, it goes over memoir,. Thriller, general fiction? young adult? (I hope not!) … where do I place this book? I am still struggling with understanding the wrapped up fast ending, and placing it in real-life context – spoiler alert: if anyone can explain to me how to travel from Asia to the UK with a fishermen’s boat, a GPS and no sailing experience – please send me an email.
– Last, the characters are hollow, the only thing with a sort of dimension is Shruti and her cynical take on things (driven from her bad experience in life), which just makes you want to pity the human race. There is not a single complex, elaborated character that is not scheming or basically is a horrible person.
In conclusion, I suffered through this book. It provoked feelings from me of irritation and sadness, and that is the only reason I gave it a relatively average plus score. I was not impressed with the story nor from the writing, I’m genuinely sorry to say.

 
Women Like Us by Jason Pomerance

Women Like Us by Jason Pomerance

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Women Like Us

by Jason Pomerance

Women Like us is the debut novel by Jason Pomerance. It tells the story of Susan, a chef in her late 30s, whose life’s course had been somewhat re-routed by an unexpected pregnancy and marriage at college age, to Andrew, a privileged law student from a Pasadena “aristocratic” family.
Having divorced, and carried on with their respected lives, Henry their son had been practically brought up by the all mighty Grandma, Edith (Edie) Vale, a control freak, old fashioned Pasadena strong woman, who run her house and family like a tight ship.
When Susan has a midlife crisis and decides to take a road trip with Henry, that’s where our story truly begins… or has it actually begun years and years ago?

Anyone who knows me, knows that this is not my particular go-to genre. Having disclaimed that, I must confess that I could not leave this book alone. The story is intriguing, the characters are deep and complex (you simply want to know more of all the little stories the writer so eloquently throws your way here and there); the rapports between the characters are intriguing (i.e. Susan still being artificially entwined into the family); and the dialogues are witty and full of subtle humour which reminded me a lot of Howard Jacobson‘s writing style.

Give this awesome tale a chance – you won’t regret!

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