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Showing posts from June, 2015

Book Review: Summa 21

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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 s…

Book Review: The Lost Prophet

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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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Book Review: He Said, She Said Murder

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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…

Book Review: In the Blood of the Greeks

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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 hu…

Book Review: The Kingdom of Assassins

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The 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 enjoy…

Book Review: The Butterfly Room

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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…

Book Review: Dark Shadow of Babylon

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Dark Shadow of Babylon by Julian Speed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spanning centuries, a dark shadow is buried beneath the ground, waiting for his chance to rise again. It comes in the form of naive college students who, guided by a dark hand, begin to excavate his tomb and let him out to feast once again. As soon as he reunites with his conspirators, a hell so tormented will be released that no one will be beyond his grasp, not on this earthly plane or others. Only those who put him in the ground once can put him back, and only if they can reunite reincarnated.

Dark Shadow of Babylon is a paranormal chiller, and those with weak stomachs should note the gore content. While the bones of a good story lies in the book (hahahaha) it is really in need of editing. There are a lot of characters - some reincarnations of other characters - and there are so many types of paranormal activities that it’s hard to reconcile them all in the same space. In fact I think that a character named Pamela’s na…