Showing posts with label Christian-fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian-fiction. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2018

When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker– A Review

I’ve read a lot of books.
Few like this.

I’ve read books that wowed me with the twist at the end. I’ve read books that were so-so yet had enough entertainment value to rate them worthwhile—and books that didn’t. I’ve read books that were of significance in the societal story they told. I’ve read books that made me laugh, books that made me cry, books that swept me away to a make-believe existence. But every once in a very long while, I read a book that grabs something inside of me and shakes it—grabs and won’t let go, pulling me into the life of a character so completely that I’m somehow melded with them in their struggle. 

To say I was invested in this character is a gross understatement. This is the kind of investment for which authors strive. Alicen McCaffrey begins her story quite unlikeable. A self-absorbed well-to-do, shallow, detached . . . Alicen quickly became someone I felt deeply sorry fornot just sympathetic, but my heart broke for her as I shared in her unbearable grief and resulting sickness. 

Having a brother with severe mental illness likely pulled me even stronger into this story. Witnessing his schizophrenia, it’s not hard to picture a non-existent world so real that you not only can touch it but be threatened by it—even to the point of death. Stay away if you are uncomfortable with a close-up story of grief and delusions. There were a few times early in where I wondered if this book would haunt me, leaving a scar on my sanity. Happy to say it didn’t. It just left a mark on my heart of a character so real I prayed she would make it through the darkness.

One minute I believed this was happening. A page later—no, it’s that. (Avoiding spoilers here.) The author is skilled at keeping me guessing throughout. The further I ventured, the harder it was to put down. I lost sleep. I love that about a book.

After finishing the last page (very late), my mind filled with tags: freaky, crazy, emotional, spiritually lifting, joy, grief, light, darkness, evil, goodness. Everything. Every emotion rolled into a very involved and evolving battle. I am desperate to forget everything about this book so that I can read it again with the same hope, fear, heartache, joy.

In other words, I really liked it. I give this book FIVE stars (because that’s the max.) I can’t wait to get my hands on another by this author. I guess I should ad that it’s well written and edited, and that the characters are well developed.

Available for pre-buy now, When Through Deep Waters releases on July 3.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks – A Review

Murphy Anderson is looking for answers. She’s also running. From the past. From an escaped murderer. She’s changed her name, her looks, and her hometown. Will Kodiak, Alaska bring her the answers she seeks about her twin? Or will she be pulled into a dark mystery that threatens the thread holding her sanity?

As an artist, she is called to draw a ten-year-old crime scene from the memory of a dying man—a crime scene that has ties to secretive experiments of World War II. But soon, people involved in the investigation begin to die by not-so-natural causes.

I liked the unique storyline. The author has knowledge to sprinkle into the details to give it belief. The plot was thick with potential suspects. There were lots of twists and turns to keep the pace going.

I was sympathetic to the main character. I was also surprised by revelations about her personal story that eventually come to light. The ending tied everything up nicely.

I did find it a little difficult to keep track of the characters and the details in the beginning. This is a book you should read in chunks—not bits and pieces—or you risk getting lost.

I give this book four stars, and would read more by this author.

Available for pre-buy now, Formula of Deception releases on July 3, 2018.

I received a complimentary copy of this 
book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. 
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble – A Review

Two people’s lives shattered.
Lied to by their own families—who
and what do they believe now?

When Ellie Blackmore’s sister goes missing and is presumed murdered, her path crosses with that of Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw. Grayson believes Mackenzie faked her own death to cover her role in a cocaine theft. Ellie believes her sister is innocent—even when presented with stark evidence. Can they work together to solve the mystery of what happened to Mackenzie? And what does Mac’s disappearance have to do with Grayson’s hunt for a renowned terrorist?

I’m not a huge fan of Coble’s style of introducing several characters at once or stating their hair and eye-color when they enter a scene. Some of the extra details detracted from the flow of the story. (Like mentioning the two dogs and a cat by name.) I felt the secondary characters could have been developed more, but they weren’t prominent to the storyline. The plot wasn’t realistic to me, but it is fiction, after all. Still, I give this book four stars.

I enjoyed the setting and unique plot of this suspense. The characters are quite likable—except for the bad guys. There was a sideline about Grayson’s past that added a lot of emotional interest to the story. I liked the way the author tied the main characters together via Ellie’s friend. Coble threw in enough happenings and twists to keep the plot moving at a good pace. The story never felt redundant. A couple of times, I was thrown terribly off-course in guessing the culprit. I can honestly say I was entertained from beginning to end. 

Even though there was a romance involved, this story would appeal to men as well as women. I really enjoy clean Christian fiction. It is so refreshing to read good fiction without vulgar language or explicit sex scenes. This book’s focus is not about faith. In fact, the religious element in this story is almost non-existent, so secular readers will not have to roll their eyes. (Wink) I enjoyed this story enough to buy another of this author’s books for my TBR stack.

Available for pre-buy now, The House at Saltwater Point releases on July 3, 2018.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.