Nerdvotional was one of those interesting-concept Christian devo books that instantly grabbed me. I met author Kyle Hopson at an event where he was selling them and had to take it home.
Using pieces from pop culture (and especially nerd culture, by whatever metric you wish to use,) Hopson intertwines everything from Ghostbusters references to Power Rangers to The Legend of Zelda to explain scriptural truths I easily digestible nuggets. Continue reading Review: Nerdvotional
I want to draw attention to another free read this week. This one is a magazine that I’ve been a supporter of since the beginning. Lorehaven is a quarterly publication for faith-based speculative fiction. Lorehaven is the magazine side that has tons of “flash reviews” on Christian speculative fiction (SF/F/H genre stories) and SpecFaith is their growing, online collection of articles that discuss the intersection of faith and fantasy. (Here is an article that I wrote.)
Lorehaven serves Christian fans by finding biblical truth in fantastic stories. Book clubs, free webzines, and a web-based community offer flash reviews, articles, and news about Christian fantasy, science fiction, and other fantastical genres.
You should totally check out their most recent issue here: http://lorehaven.com/lorehaven-magazine/ I highly recommend this and encourage readers to check out their reading groups, as well.
The Witchstone by Victoria Randall is absolutely spellbinding!
The story is a wonderful tale and thick with history and worldbuilding that is seamlessly interwoven into the narrative (I especially loved the usage of books with author names and snippets of text that are interspersed throughout the tale—especially the first several chapters—as the tale unfolds.) The Witchstone intertwines a few narratives from different characters, all seeking one terrible hell-borne stone. Continue reading Review: The Witchstone
I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Patrick Canning’s Cryptofauna. When I was queried for a review, I almost passed and I’m glad I did not.
Down on his luck Jim is something of an Arthur Dent kind of character from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… amid his life falling apart all around him, he is whisked away on an incredible (and mostly unbelievable) adventure. The humor is similar as well and Canning is able to write some incredibly potent hooks into the story (the first line, for one) as well as some concepts that are normally so antithetical that they feel absurd—but in context, they are the right kind of absurd that makes the story work. Continue reading Review: Cryptofauna
D.L. Jennings uses tight language and well-paced action to move his hero, Thornton Woods, along on his quest to save his father in Gift of the Shaper.
This is very much a coming of age tale as Thornton comes into his own, alongside his friend Miera, at the beginning of the book. But Thornton is not a stranger to hardship, as the son of a blacksmith. Continue reading Review: Gift of the Shaper
James Boswell’s debut novel, The Dead Sea Gospel, proves that there is plenty of mystery and intrigue revolving around the ancient world… and around the modern one which grasps to understand it. He pens an intricate web very Dan Brown style about a new discovery: a scroll believed to come from the first century… one that was possibly written by Jesus himself. Everyone wants it… and some are prepared to kill for it. (An intriguing tale, and one worth reviewing at my Inside the Inkwell blog).
Boswell’s characters are likeable and believable. I especially found the supporting cast (some of the college students, especially Rebecca Chatsworth,) and scenes to be very believable and even endearing. Continue reading Review: The Dead Sea Gospel
I got a copy of John White’s fantasy tale, A Dead God Awakes. It’s not really like other fantasy stories. White doesn’t let the normal fantastic archetypes rule his story, and that can be a good thing.
The world building is seamless and immediately you sense the foreignness of it all, but White is able to keep from info-dumping and engages in the narrative while dropping hints about the larger world he has constructed. His writing is good (I noticed a nod to his editor in the front matter for an editor who helped trim the purple prose… White’s writing style echoes of my own, and I know it’s something I’ve battle in the past as well, but its kept to a minimum,) and it has just enough of a flowery ring to make it poetic at times, but not so much as to make it unreadable. Continue reading Review: A Dead God Awakes
I recently picked up Philipp Metzger’s first installment in the Kings of Men series. The book is something of a “portal fantasy” which I’ve read quite a bit of lately. It starts off immediately with worldbuilding that intrigues me: a quest for Atlantis that follows an archaeologist character. It’s not quite Indiana Jones, but I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid (and I think many of us secretly did.) While the story doesn’t stay in that mode for long (it turns into something of an adventure tale within the first few chapters,) the book has set the hook and the stage for Henry Thorpe who befriends Cora and her family as they navigate the ancient intrigues. Continue reading Review: The Sign of the Sibyl
Traditions of their Fathers, book 1 in the Sieger Chronicles, is one part dystopia, one part mystery, one part thriller, Cory Ellsworth’s characters have to flee their home as government agents try to destroy it. During that flight, Ben Sieger learns all about the true nature of the world: that corrupt governments have tampered with the water and are controlling the populace, and that the one in charge, their much beloved political, leader might be the Devil himself. Continue reading Review: Traditions of their Fathers
When I came across Secrets of Peace by T.A. Hernandez I immediately thought, this book cover is gorgeous. We all judge books by their cover, and this one hooked me right away. I’ve had people stop at my table at book festivals for the same reason: gorgeous book covers.
It’s a good thing that Hernandez also has fun ideas for the fiction she puts between her covers. (According to her bio, we’ve got much in common as far as writing inspirations go, so it’s no wonder I clicked with this book right away.) Continue reading Review: Secrets of Peace