In New York City circa 2034, the city has been devastated by climate change. Coastal areas have been nearly leveled by massive storms. Refugees from low-lying areas have congregated in slums sporting their own money. On the morning of April 19, it is 114 in the shade. Down these mean streets, old-school detective Manning and his junior, and our narrator, female detective Dewey are looking for a massively strong and invisible killer of the 36 Righteous Men.
With two victims in NYC and two in Russia, the killer’s MO is the same. Hold the victim up with one hand by the neck strangling the victim. Toss the victim aside. Somehow cause a branding from the inside on the victim’s forehead. Not appear on any surveillance cameras while doing so. The branding mark is an LV, which is Hebrew for the 36 Righteous Men.
Part science fiction, part hard-boiled detective story, part Christian fiction and part paranormal tale, this book is a near-perfect example of the blending of multiple genres into a coherent and compelling tale. However, I enjoy all these genres on their own. If you only like one or two, the world-building details may just slow down the pace rather than be fascinating in their own right—or vice versa. The Christian paranormal aspects may feel unbelievable. Therefore, I would only recommend this book to people who enjoy all four genres. 4 stars!
What a fine movie this would make! The world could be shown rather than described speeding up the mystery’s pace. Someone, with more money than I have, should scoop up the movie rights quickly. I, for one, can’t wait!
Thanks to W.W. Norton & Company and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Christian, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Paranormal, Science Fiction Tagged with: Nov 5 2019
Caleb is created in an unusual way and born into an ultra-religious home in the new novel, Into Captivity They Will Go.
After her father’s death, Caleb’s mother, Evelyn, begins to believe she and Caleb are God’s chosen ones. In fact, they both believe Caleb is the second coming of Jesus. To prepare Caleb, who is in elementary school, Evelyn teaches him the Biblical Book of Revelations backward and forwards. Then they begin to proselytize on street corners…
If you have studied Revelation, there are wide swaths of pages that will be as boring to you as they were to me. The story does eventually pick up the pace and plotting. However, the question is if it is worth waiting for it. For me personally, the answer is no because I didn’t need or like the elaborate setup to the main action. But you may not be as familiar with Biblical prophecies and may need the extended explanation. However, I can only rate Into Captivity They Will Go by my own experience with it. 3 stars.
Thanks to Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Christian, New Books Tagged with: Oct 1 2019
Alpha and Omega is the most thought-provoking thriller I’ve read this year.
A dirty bomb carried by a suicide bomber destroys the Tel Aviv bus station in Israel. An American talk show personality is on site and gets the aftermath on tape. Israelis are understandably upset. They decide to flout the long standing agreement with the Muslims by beginning an archeological dig under the Temple Mount. What they find will stun the world. What happens later will affirm God’s power over mankind. But which religion is the “correct” one?
Alpha and Omega is an awesome book. It ties Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious theory together with Middle Eastern politics and history. Readers are guaranteed to learn something new by reading this book. However, it can also be read strictly as a thriller. Will the Muslims or Jewish people win the battle over the Temple Mount? There are two love stories here too.
I can’t recommend Alpha and Omega highly enough. I loved it! Even if you are staunchly religious, this book will treat your views with respect. I liked it much better than the Left Behind series. 5 stars!
Thanks to Del Rey Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Christian, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Alternate history, Jul 2 2019
It is tempting to quote large swaths of Shameless as the quotes are so perfect. However, just take my word for it that reading this book is transformative.
Is the Christian Church interpreting the Bible correctly to determine God’s thinking on sex and gender? This book sees parallels to when Martin Luther broke from the Catholic Church due to its interpretation of the requirements made to “true Christians” to pay for indulgences. If church teaching are hurting people, would that be how God would truly treat his children?
The book also takes society to task. Instead of fixating on consent, shouldn’t people be using concern as the benchmark for whether sex is a good or bad thing. If you are having an extramarital affair, you and your mistress may be consenting adults but is your wife also accepting of your affair? Shouldn’t you have concern for your wife’s feelings?
Shameless includes many issues that will make the reader think long and hard about how the church and, perhaps even he or she themselves, may not be thinking as God would want. If you have ever wondered about the reasonableness of some church doctrines, this book is highly recommended reading. 4 stars!
Thanks to Convergent Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Christian Tagged with: Jan 29 2019
Rewired is the story of how one doctor changed the ways amputated arms’ nerve ending are left to allow the amputee to actually feel the fingers of the prosthetic. It also shows what doctor’s feel when working with a patient.
Melissa is an animal lover. When her two dogs cornered a raccoon on her fence, she went out to encourage the raccoon to leave. The raccoon did but first bit her on one side of her right arm and then scratched the other side. At the small hospital in the Midwest near her home, her doctor, Dr. Seth, assured her that he could save her arm. After a series of medicines and surgeries, that proves to be impossible. Dr. Seth pilots a new type of surgery allowing Melissa to be able to feel her prosthetic’s fingers. She is the first in the world with this ability.
While Melissa’s story is fascinating, the best part is seeing the emotions of Dr. Seth as Melissa is going through weeks of painful surgeries. We think of doctors as omniscient. That they don’t have feelings. However, Dr. Seth has many feelings about how he has let his patient Melissa down. This is a very Christian book with Dr. Seth taking no credit personally for his innovative surgery but instead attributing all of his contribution to God.
Rewired is recommended as an inspirational story of how one physician overcame long odds to create a better prognosis for all arm amputees. 4 stars!
Thanks to Thomas Nelson for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Christian, Non-fiction Tagged with: amputees, Jan 8 2019, memoir
Doesn’t everyone want to be an Avid Indoorsman? Sitting on your couch watching Netflix or playing video games with no special wardrobe required. Sure beats sweating in out in a pickup basketball game in expensive gear. Or worse, hunting, fishing, or camping. If this appeals to you (or perhaps to you as a not-so-subtle gift for your spouse), then you need to buy the Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman.
Beginning with a 20-question test called the Indooreagram to determine how close you are to achieving Avid Indoorsman status, the book is genuinely hilarious. An example: If you were to encounter a bear, what would be your first inclination: A)Eat the bear alive; B)Run as fast as you can; C)Make yourself bigger to scare the bear away; D)Look for snacks to share with the bear to make friends with it; or E) Use the Scare Bears Away app on your iPhone. Another question’s best answer to what is your definition of exercise: E)Shopping for two hours on Amazon for a treadmill-no purchase required. Note I paraphased a bit. However, if you found those funny, then you will love the Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman. When I took the test, I had already achieved the Avid Indoorsman level even though I would never, ever go anywhere where bears live. I respect Yogi and BooBoo’s privacy.
The Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman is the perfect bathroom read. A little goes a long way so 5-10 minutes per day (and seriously if you spend more time in there, you should eat more fiber) is about right. 4 stars!
Thanks to Harvest House Publishers for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Christian, Non-fiction Tagged with: humor, Jan 8 2019
Enter this book giveaway to grab a paperback copy of Only by Death by Kathy Herman. Only by Death is a Christian family mystery set in the Ozark mountains. It has 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Giveaway begins November 15, 2018 at 12:01 A.M. PDT and ends November 23, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
How To Enter
Complete the entry form below.
Enter once per person.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Winners will be selected at random on or about November 24, 2018.
Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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Posted in Christian, Giveaways, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Nov 23 2018
Da Vinci Code + World War Z + Jurassic Park divided by the Bible = Maze Master.
The LucentB virus is 100% deadly and is moving outward from France. Anna enlists the help of Christian professor, Martin, to find “Marham-i-Isa, the legendary healing ointment created by Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead”—perhaps the only hope for humanity. While searching the Middle East for the ointment, Anna is also looking for her former mentor, the famed geneticist Hakari. In a parallel plot, Hakari is being driven mad by visions of shapes and his belief that he is the second coming of Christ. Wars break out as the virus spreads and nations look desperately for a cure. On battlefields, huge “angels of light” are spotted. Have the end times prophesied by the Bible arrived? Or is it something inherited in our Denisovan pre-historic genes that started the virus and the rest is pure human folly?
I loved the Da Vinci Code back in the day but I adore this book even more! It has the genre mashup that I like so much. It’s apocalyptic and scientific. With its factual underpinnings, it could actually happen. The setting and characterization are well done. It moves at a lightning pace. Overall, it is highly recommended for thriller readers. Open-minded fans of horror, science fiction and Christian fiction might also enjoy it. 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for granting my wish for an advanced copy.
Posted in Christian, Diane's Favorites, Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction Tagged with: apocalypse, Jul 17 2018
Good Religious Thrillers.
I previously read the first book in this collection separately. I am rating only the second book, Journey, here. I’m taking a break from reading the remaining novels as the plot lines are somewhat repetitive. I am curious what will happen to the main characters so I will read the rest of the series later.
The market for this book series is those who can have a little fun with religion but are religious enough to understand the Bible references. It was fine for me but I can understand some of the negative reviews from those who interpret the Bible literally. However, I thought the novels’ ideas were innovative and I always love reading a genre that hasn’t already been played out. This series’ genre is religious thriller but it also has some romances at different phases within it and a murder or two (though it is not a mystery who the murderer is). Since the novels have plots that build onto one another, I would highly recommend you read them in order.
Posted in Christian, Fantasy
Great Unique Christian Fantasy.
I only picked up this book because I enjoy the author’s Jason Strong detective stories. This book is a Christian fantasy. I have read many more mysteries than fantasies and only read about ten Christian books in my entire life (all Christian love stories) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. If like me you are looking for something different than vampires and werewolves in a fantasy, then you will enjoy the intriguing premise of this book. I would, however, caution those who believe in the literal Word of the Bible that this book may not be a good choice. As other reviewers have noted, this book’s plot isn’t mentioned in the Bible and is perhaps actually denied within it. Since I’ve read all of the Sookie (True Blood) and Twilight books, I know that fantasy fiction is just for fun.
Once you accept the premise of runners and chasers, this book is a real page-turner. I actually read the entire book in one sitting. I love all the characters and liked the relationships between them. Each runner also has distinct and facinating back stories. I enjoyed the two romances within the book: one just beginning and one long-standing relationship.
I only have one complaint: the story is not complete by itself. The main plot continues in the second book in the series. Luckily I was reading a Kindle edition so it was easy to get the next book.
Posted in Christian, Fantasy