Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: Home: Interstellar

Home: InterstellarHome: Interstellar by Ray Strong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meriel is haunted by the secret from her past, that she and only a few other children survived a raid on their ship, the Princess. Can she keep the promise she made to her mother and both protect and reunite the children? Or will that uncover too much, both in interstellar government security, and in her own mind?

Home: Interstellar is a fascinating and quick sci-fi read. The characters are deep and engaging, and the pace moves pretty quickly and keeps you guessing. I read this book in just a couple of days, as I was engrossed by the story. I’m hoping this turns into a series, and we find out the fate of Meriel and the other survivors. I think it would be really interesting to have each book told from a different survivor perspective, particularly. If you are looking for good sci-fi read don’t hesitate to pick this one up.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Review: Summa 21


Author Ronald Cooke presents the idea of Summa 21 as an updated Christian theology for the 21st century, attempting to reconcile 21st century knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge, with the faith of Christian theology. In this way he hopes to make it both accessible and acceptable to Millenials and generations beyond, as well as provide a framework to integrate new knowledge and discovery without marginalizing the Bible and its teachings.

I love the idea of Summa 21, particularly as it relates to acknowledging that science is important, indeed a gift given by God, and that scientists need to also acknowledge that the spiritual world is both real and relevant to their work. I feel that this has been missing and even purposely ignored in a lot of modern science, when really it isn’t a threat but a complement. I have to say I’m not on board with absolutely everything that Cooke presents, particularly about the nature of Jesus and the role of hell,  but I love that he is quick to say that we need to respect other Christian beliefs, even if they conflict with our own, because we are all on the same journey to get to know God better. I think this is critical in any movement, but particularly Christianity. I think that the content is interesting, but the framework could use some refining, or possibly even creating a series. The last few chapters did not quite flow with the first, and I would have liked to see more reference details, like Scripture passages, translations, etc. Overall though a worthwhile and challenging read; I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about integrating faith and modernity.  

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Prophet

The Lost Prophet (Ramsey #2)The Lost Prophet by James B. McPike
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ramsay is really trying to put the drama behind him, but it just won’t leave him alone. While on vacation he is sucked into another case, this time involving a crazy guy who enjoys blowing up prophets. It will take all of his skills, and some of April’s, like it or not, to bring this guy down, and even then, can he be killed?

The Lost Prophet continues the story begun in Realm of the Unknown, full of action and a bit of the supernatural sprinkled throughout. The writing is very smooth, and there is a lot of action that really keeps it moving. I have to admit, I missed April in this one, as it was more Vince-centric. The story still made sense, but she just wasn’t as central a character this time. Hopefully the next one will feature more of her story. Still I love the chase and the history, and hope the next book has lots of it. It really is a great read, and is shaping up to be a great series.

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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review: He Said, She Said Murder

He Said, She Said: He Said, She Said: "Murder" by Jeramy Gates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Joe and and his very pregnant wife, Tanja, have a wealth of skills as they start their private detective business, but not exactly a lot of money. When their friend and local sheriff takes pity on them and throws them an unsolved cold case they go after it with gusto. What they find may blow them away, both literally and figuratively. Can they solve the mystery without becoming one themselves?

He Said, She Said Murder is written in first person style from alternating viewpoints - him and her. I loved the style of that, especially viewing conflict from both perspectives. But the writing was a little clunky, a lot of repeated words, such as “unfortunately,” and some grammar/spelling errors - nothing a decent editor couldn’t fix quickly. I’m also kind of curious as to whether or not there will be a back story for Joe and Tanja written, as there is clearly some interesting history that brought them to the point where this story starts, and this is the first of a series. I’d love to see that further along as a prequel of some kind. Overall it was a fun, fast read, and I look forward to the rest of the series!


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: In the Blood of the Greeks

In The Blood Of The Greeks (Intertwined Souls, #1)In The Blood Of The Greeks by Mary D. Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the tiny Greek town of Larissa Zoe vows to do everything she can to fight the German occupation, despite her age, size and gender. She will do whatever the local Resistance asks her, but she vows to destroy the woman who laughed as her mother was gunned down. She’s pretty sure that Eva Muller, the daughter of the local German commander, is the one she needs to kill, but she is forced to hold back as the Resistance needs her alive, and even worse, needs Zoe to help take care of her! Can she fight the larger injustice while stifling her own need for vengeance?

Note to readers, there is some violence and GLBT themes. 

In the Blood of the Greeks is set in WW2 occupied Greece, which is a change from a lot of other WW2 stories, at least for me. I haven’t read too much about the Greek resistance, other than it existed and contributed the post-WW2 struggle in the Baltic between monarchy and communism. This puts a more human face to it, which I welcomed. Intertwined in the story were GLBT themes, which while an integral part of the story, were definitely held off to the end in terms of development. The story did not focus much on the treatment of the Jews or the GLBT community, which I found somewhat interesting, as it is known that both suffered and died in concentration camps. Instead the setting is one tiny town and one relationship, which puts it at a more micro level. The writing flowed well, and I really appreciated the level of character development. I am sure the rest of the series will flesh out both the GLBT and post-war themes, albeit in a different setting, and I think the resolutions may be somewhat surprising.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Book Review: The Kingdom of Assassins

The Kingdom of Assassins: Political perception is not political realityThe Kingdom of Assassins: Political perception is not political reality by Erik Mackenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mac has been through more than his share of heartache, but he still tries to protect the streets of New York. When he gets wind of a potential threat to the city, he uses all his skills as a retired vet and impressive diplomatic abilities to prevent it. Along the way he meets a Saudi princess, who might just open a door that allows him to exact revenge on those who killed his son.
Along with the companion graphic novel, Kingdom of Assassins examines the relationship between the US and the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, and the possibility of an uneasy alliance growing colder. In general the writing was fast paced and engaging, but it ended far too abruptly, in my opinion. I also thought the fight scenes were a little too detailed, and actually thought they would be more suited to a graphic novel or more visual medium. But overall it’s a great premise, and I enjoyed both the action and relational dynamic. Hope to see more in the future!


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book Review: The Butterfly Room


Rohan has always collected butterflies, so much so that his personal study has always been known as the Butterfly Room by his family. Unfortunately most of his family feels as trapped as those butterflies, under the relentless thumb of their overbearing and unhealthy paternalistic father. He wants to control everything, and has the means to do so, until his children start living their own lives. It’s either cope or quit, and his coping methods aren’t particularly nice.

This is a sad commentary on the state of those stuck in outdated and unhealthy life expectations. While it occurs in an East Indian family situated in England, a lot of the themes easily translate across other cultures and families - domestic violence, unmet expectations, modern lifestyles and infidelity. If nothing else this reveals the power of family secrets juxtaposed against family “honor” and it does so in tragic clarity. Although not a particularly uplifting story, it makes a crucial point. The writing was poetic, although somewhat repetitive (got a little bored with the metaphor of a hallway being a throat) and a little preachy. Still it’s a really cathartic read for anyone who has dealt with difficult family circumstances, and who hasn’t?  

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.