Friday, April 18, 2014

Cloak Of The Light By Chuck Black Book Review

Cloak Of The Light

Wars Of The Realm, #1

Book Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Cloak Of The Light
Author: Chuck Black
Source: Blogging For Books
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 306
ISBN: 978-1-60142-502-7
Publisher: Multnomah
Year Of Publication: 2014
Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Author of the popular Kingdom Series returns with this thrilling new novel for young adults.

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn. Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl offers encouragement through her faith, but Drew is too logical and scientific to believe that her prayer of healing was anything but coincidental in the restoration of his eyesight. As his sight returns, he discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to see fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist? The only one who can help him, his genius friend Benjamin Berg, has disappeared. In Drew's quest to find Ben, he discovers that the invaders themselves are at war, for his efforts to thwart the devastating actions caused by the dark invaders are aided by invaders with a different nature. Time grows short as the dark invaders close in on Drew. With skills that no other man possesses, and help from Benjamin and Sydney, Drew initiates a plan to expose the invaders to the world.
Book Review
 Chuck Black, beloved author of The Kingdom Series has written another page-turning novel that will grab your attention and not let it go until the very end. By reading this book you will get a look into the world of supernatural battles and how angels and demons could potentially be changing our lives as we know it as we speak. I have read (and re-read) The Kingdom Series to a point where I could quote it. When I found out that Chuck Black had authored another book, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review it. This book is the first book in the Wars Of The Realm Series, and I can already tell you that no other book I have read this year can even come close. When I started reading it, I was a little concerned at first. The first several chapters were all about Drew's backstory. Had my favorite author written a boring book after all? NOPE. When I got farther into the story, I realized that all the time spent on Drew's background was completely necessary in order for the story to make sense and pull together. Black knows what he's doing. He perfectly blends the worlds of Christians and Non-believers. He describes angels and demons in a realistic sense. No pointy horns and red skin, just very creepy, dark, mythical creatures. I also liked how he included a guide in the back of how each chapter resembled biblical doctrine and prophecies. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the end of it. It totally left me hanging until the next book comes out! (Does anyone know when that might be, by the way?). My favorite character is Sydney. She was the only one smart enough to figure out what the heck was going on. Granted, she didn't piece the pieces together until the last few pages, but in her defense, she wasn't the most informed person in the trio (Drew, Ben and Sydney). I can't wait until the next book comes out. If you can get your hands on a copy of this book, READ IT. It's also family friendly, so I'm sure that the youngers ones in your family would enjoy reading it as well.

~Madi For The Literary Maidens

Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book by the Blogging For Books review program in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Monday, April 14, 2014

For Such a Time By Kate Breslin Book Review

18008080// For Such a Time //
By Kate Breslin
{ Review By Bethany }
Number of Pages: 430
ISBN: 0764211609
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //
Taken From Good Reads
"In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?"
// Book Review //
An adventure and action packed novel set during WWII, based on the Bible story of Queen Esther, this novel is full of emotion and is sure to prove a tear-jerking story of tremendous suffering alongside unwavering faith. Filled with lovable characters and plenty of action to keep you turning pages, this emotional story is one that makes you think, and will not be quickly forgotten. A top favorite of all the books I've read this year, I highly recommend this inspiring novel from author Kate Breslin!
Where do I even begin to describe how outstanding this novel is? From the very first chapter I was drawn into the story, and felt truly connected to the characters, feeling a deep sympathy for many of the Jews who barley survived-some of whom did not even survive-the extremely harsh conditions of the concentration camps, whose lives were written in detail in this story. The characters all had such great development throughout the story, and I particularly found myself loving Joseph and the little girl Hadassah friended in the camps, who adopted her as her "mama". Reading such detailed accounts of the horrid realities of this time period was sobering, and the way they were written not only contributed to Kate Breslin's lovely writing style, but added so much heart to the story.
Usually I'm not a big crier when it comes to novels. The reality of it is, few novels actually move me to such an extent that I shed tears, or get emotional in the reading process. But the combination of the wonderful writing style of the author, the detailed accounts of the suffering Jew's lives, and the realities of the Holocaust that actually DID happen-those who truly did loose their lives under such conditions-made me unable to read the last chapter without shedding a few tears and paying respect to those who did die in this time in history-those whose stories weren't a fictional work.
While this story is a work of fiction, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that there were many instances that were similar to this story, that actually did happen during that time, making it all the more surreal to read this book. While it was by no means a light read, being that it deals a lot with war and the realities of things done to Jews, I would say that this is a point that makes it better, and gives it heart and emotion. You can tell that the author has a deep admiration for the people who lost their lives unjustly during this horrid time in history, as it's evident in the way she writes-contributing all the more to my adding her to my list of favorite authors.
Ever since I first learned that this book was a unique combination of the Holocaust time period and a re-telling of the story of Esther, I was extremely intrigued, and eager to read this story. Now that I've finished it I can truly say this novel is a unique gem; for sure on my list of favorite books read in 2014, and one that will forever hold a place on my very-jammed bookshelf which is earned by a truly treasured story.
The amount of this novel that was heavily based on the story of Esther in the Bible was actually quite surprising to me, and I found it fascinating to read how the author tied it in with the story of Hadassah and Aric's story. It was made complete with believable bits that pertained to the time period that must have been a challenge to line up with the adaption to Esther, and made me admire the work that must have gone into preparing and writing this novel. I particularly loved how most of the chapters started with a verse from the book of Esther, and it sparked an interest to study the book of Esther in my daily devotions during the time I read this book, which I greatly benefited from. Even most of the important characters names were the same/extremely familiar and similar to those in the story of Esther. I just love how heavily the author relied on the story of Esther and made her novel as close to the original as she could. Also, the ending was just fabulous!!
The only thing I'd say was a bit of a downer for me was the amount of romance/kissing scene. While it never got inappropriate, there were a lot of kissing scenes, and at times I was a bit uncomfortable with the details of those scenes, and usually just skimmed the sentence describing it in detail. While it wasn't ever inappropriate or by any means a reason to not read the book, it was just a personal thing I didn't care for all that much. However for me it didn't really take all much away from my love for this novel.
Overall I absolutely loved every page of this novel, and soaked up the unique storyline with Esther and the WWII time period! I'd highly recommend this novel to fans of Holocaust fiction or Bible story adaptions, as this novel is sure to not disappoint! I eagerly await future novels from this author!!
D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of For Such a Time from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and was not required to write a good review if I didn't like the book. All thoughts expressed in my review are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Sensible Arrangment By Tracie Peterson Book Review

A Sensible Arrangement

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: A Sensible Arrangement
Author: Tracie Peterson
Source: The Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 324
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Book Description
Marty Dandridge Olson is a widow looking for a way out of Texas. Widower Jake Wythe has secured a job as a bank manager in Denver, only to discover that the bank board wants him to be a married man. With Texas in his roots, he advertises for a Lone Star bride, and Marty answers the call. They both agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

Marty works to carve out a new life in high-society Denver as Jake works to guide the bank through a collapsing economy. But when money goes missing at the bank and accounting discrepancies point to Jake, he must find a way to prove his innocence. Yet all he wants to do is go back to Texas and own his own ranch. Marty, on the other hand, owns a ranch–one she’s never told her husband about. She hates Texas because it represents the losses in her life. But as the couple grows closer and love begins to bloom, Marty realizes she needs to tell Jake the truth. Can she come to terms with the past and her anger toward God in order to make room for love?
Book Review
 I would like to start off by congratulating Tracie Peterson for finishing this, her one hundredth book! That it quite the accomplishment, and I know that your writing has touched the hearts of many. Now, for the review! I loved the setting of this book. Though most of the story takes place in Denver, Colorado, it contains quite a bit of Texas charm with it as well. My personal opinion is that Texas is the ideal location for most novels (though I may be a LITTLE biased about my home state). I love how though Jake has become "refined" and lives a more luxurious life, he is still a Texas cowboy at heart. I wish that his personality had reflected his roots a little bit more, but I do understand that it had to be tamed a little bit to fit the story. Maybe just not as much? I also like Marty's character. Now THIS, this is a character with a backbone. Her entrance to her new, regal life was anything but. I love how she stands up for what she believes in and how she doesn't conform to what the high-society matrons expect of her. You can take the gal outta Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the gal. Or the guy, for that matter. I love the southern roots that occasionally come through the exchanges with Marty and Jake, and I really liked Marty's simplistic views on life. Who needs all the finery that is being lavished - forced actually - on her? She is content with the clothes that she has and sees no need for fine cuisine or new draperies when the ones already in use are completely serviceable. I guess I just really like how she's so down-to-earth. Most women would be completely thrilled with the opportunity to be treated as a queen, but not Marty. Give her a day of labor in simple clothes any day. All the characters are so relatable, and I became attached to them almost instantly, (especially Alice). My only critique is that it was kind of slow for the first half or so. I was having a hard time paying attention to what I was reading. I kept finding myself admiring my pretty Azaleas that are now in full bloom, or getting up to get a snack or taking a "break". If the book that I'm reading is really interesting, I can sit in one position for hours on end. Thankfully, it picked up about halfway into it and I became fully engrossed in the story. Overall, it was a good book and I look forward to reading more from Tracie Peterson.
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book by the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.