Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: "The Calling"

Rachelle Dekker has given her readers a brilliant sequel to The Choosing in her new book, The Calling. This book focuses on Remko, a former CityWatch soldier now living outside the city with his wife, daughter, and a growing band of Seers struggling to make new lives for themselves. Now that Authority City has a new leader, though, the group has a new threat. Remko, like some of the others, is torn between the desire to stay close enough to the city to continue to rescue people from it and the instinct to run away and start over someplace safe.

As in her first book, Dekker explores some great Christian themes through her character’s struggles and experiences. One is learning how not to live in fear. Another is the reality that faith in someone else’s faith isn’t really faith at all. The story also explores thoughts on the importance of living obediently and sacrificially and doing the right thing whatever the cost.

I’ve enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to the final part of the trilogy. I thank Tyndale Publishers for sending a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Q & A with Rachelle Dekker

1. The Calling is the second book in The Seer Series. Does it pick up right after The Choosing leaves off?

No, a year and a half has passed when we rejoin the characters in The Calling

2. This book is written from Remko’s perspective. Did you face any challenges writing from a male point-of-view?

There was definitely a looming pressure as I started to write the book. As a woman writer, I wanted to make sure Remko felt masculine and authentic, so I was constantly aware of how he sounded, and how he reacted. Once I got into a flow with his character though, it started to feel more familiar I didn’t have to think about it as much.

3. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

I hope they take a moment to see themselves as children of the Father. I hope they see that true freedom and fearlessness rest in surrendering, and that when they stand with the Father nothing can stand against them. There is incredible peace in that truth, and I hope, like I am beginning the experience, that readers feel that same peace.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Review: "Behold the Man"

Behold the Man, the third book in Bodie and Brock Thoene’s Jerusalem Chronicles series was the perfect read for this week. Through this book, readers get to witness events of Jesus’ earthly ministry, from his baptism and the calling of the first disciples to his death and resurrection, through the eyes of Roman Centurion Marcus Longinus, whom readers have met in previous books by these authors, and Claudia, Governor Pilate’s wife. They also meet many other amazing characters, some from the Bible, some from other historical texts, and others invented to help bring the Bible story to life.

I’ve been reading the Thoene’s books for years and always appreciate the way they use fiction to help me understand historical facts. In this book, their account of the interaction between Caesar, Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas helped me get a better grasp on what was going on politically in Jesus’ last days on earth. Their invented characters, Josephus, Jono, Philo, and the starling led me to worship our living Savior right along with them.

Though Behold the Man is the third book in a trilogy, it stands alone. You can read these books and those from any of the Thoene’s other biblical series in any order and still get just as much from each. I recommend them all and thank Zondervan for sending me a complimentary copy of this latest one for this honest review.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: "Cold Shot"

This first book in Dani Pettrey’s new series, Cold Shot, is a winner. I hope she writes the next book fast! Though Cold Shot is a self-contained story, it’s also the beginning of the next one—or two. It’s a suspense-filled mystery in a mystery with another mystery on the side.

Now who can resist that?

In this first book, we meet Griffin McCray and two of his best friends from childhood, friends he’s worked hard to separate himself from because they remind him of painful events of the past. Griffin enjoys his quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg—until grave robbers uncover a body that doesn’t come from the Civil War. Both of Griffin’s friends are called in to help solve the crime, forcing Griffin to face the past he’s tried to leave behind.

Because Finley Scott, a forensic anthropologist, has been doing research of her own at Gettysburg, she is called in to help with the case. But when she finds her life in danger, she must confront issues from her past as well.

Griffin, Finley, Declan, Parker, Kate, and Avery are a few of the great characters that readers meet in this book and will get to follow through the series. You won’t want to miss this one!

I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Review: "Always Watching"

If you haven’t yet read any books by Lynette Eason, her newest, Always Watching, is a great one to start with. This novel is the first in her Elite Guardians series, a set of stories about a group of bodyguards and the people they are hired to protect.

As Always Watching begins, Wade Savage’s father has hired the agency, in secret, to watch over his son who has been receiving what his son thinks are innocent gifts from an enamored fan. When Haley, the bodyguard assigned to the case, is attached and left for dead, the father’s suspicions are confirmed. Wade is living in the sights of a dangerous stalker. Olivia Edwards takes Haley’s place and begins working closely with her friends on the police force to catch the stalker before the stalker catches Wade.

Always Watching is a complex story full of suspense. The characters all have interesting backstories to overcome even as they struggle together with the current crisis. Their triumphs in the darkest moments of the story are inspiring and worthy of celebration. If you enjoy intrigue, you will want to read this book.

I thank Revell Publishing for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.