Tag Archives: Thomas Nelson

Dreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson, a review

DreamtreadersDreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson, a review
Published 2014 by Thomas Nelson, 289 pages
Genre: Middle grade fantasy fiction

Archer Keaton, age 14, serves humanity as a Dreamtreader. In his dreams, what he imagines becomes “real.” So, in a battle, he can call amazing weapons into being (such as a bulldozer blade to mow down the opposition). But the bad guys can too, when they’re not trying to deceive him. It’s fun and kinda scary.

Archer seeks to make repairs in this lovely fantasy place, the world of dreams, where things are beginning to turn dark. It becomes apparent that even his life is at risk, and the lives of his loved ones in the real world.

Speaking of the real world, there are strange things going on there too. Can it be that the troubles in the dream world and the real world are connected? Can it be linked to his best friend who seems to have abandoned him? What about the new boy at school? Is he a friend–or not?

It’s a great story (first in a series) that should appeal to a variety of ages, but particularly to boys who are squeamish about reading. It’s full of action with a well-constructed plot, and characters we can all identify with. It has a reasonably subtle faith element, so nonChristians should enjoy it too, and maybe even find some food for thought. I’d be happy to share this book with others.

This post is part of the Christian Science-Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour, and I received the book from the publisher free of charge. To see what others are saying, take a look at the following:

Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

Author Website – http://www.enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com/

The Shadow Lamp by Stephen R. Lawhead, a review

shadowlamp-hpThe Shadow Lamp by Stephen R. Lawhead, Book 4 of a 5-book series, Bright Empires
Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson, 379 pages
Genre: Multiverse fantasy with a Christian worldview, suitable for teens and adults

Five books is a lot for a series. Devotees of Stephen Lawhead, like me, will of course eagerly pick up each book as it comes out. But it is necessary to do a bit of reviewing before plunging in. There’s just too much to remember.

Kit Livingstone has stumbled through the previous three books slowly getting a little wiser in his search for the Skin Map. Why do Kit and a variety of others want the map? It leads to the Spirit Well, a possible key to conquering death. And Kit has even been there, though briefly. Can he find his way back?

Kit has some loyal compatriots, starting with his former girlfriend Mina, and in this book picks up some more: Cass and Gianni.  He’s also got a compatriot who betrayed him before, Haven, and her servant Giles. Will she betray Kit again?

They all decide to look for the Spirit Well using shadow lamps invented by the evil Lord Burleigh that assist traveling to other universes. But it will be a while before more lamps can secretly be made. So they wait in Prague.

But Haven can’t wait. And soon enough Burleigh finds their trail. Is it too late?

Lawhead is a masterful writer. I enjoyed his rich characters and twisty plot. I’m also enjoying all the zillions of possibilities that the multiverse concept gives. With such a long series there are many threads and characters to weave together, and Lawhead does a masterful job. As with any masterful job, there’s always a quibble: one scene didn’t seem to add to the plot in my opinion (concerning how Lord Burleigh found and hired his henchmen).

Read my reviews of all five books in the series: one, two, three, four, five.

This is part of the Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour. Please check out what others are saying about the book.

Julie Bihn
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Becky Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Rachel Wyant
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson

Author Websitehttp://www.stephenlawhead.com/
Author Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-R-Lawhead/84503526872

Memory’s Door by James L. Rubart, a review

memorysdoorMemory’s Door by James L. Rubart, Book 2 of the Well Spring series
Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson, 353 pages
Genre: Christian supernatural

Note: see Kindle Fire giveaway promo at the end of this post.

The first book of this series, Soul’s Gate, showed the formation of the group of four people known as the Warriors Riding who leap into battles in the spirit realm. They’re real battles, with death, blindness, and physical wounds a distinct possibility. Yet the three men and one woman are willing to risk it to bring healing to various souls.

This second book, Memory’s Door, brings a huge assignment (in the form of a prophecy) to the Warriors Riding. That assignment is defeating the demon known as the Wolf, manifesting as the “spirit of religion” that urges Christians to depend on rules and the work of their hands to get into heaven.

Reece, the group leader, is plagued by doubt and fear as he grapples with his loss of eyesight from a previous encounter with a demon.  Brandon, the singer, finds he has a stalker, and his career takes a nosedive after an encounter with a radio talk show host. Meanwhile Dana gets a time-consuming promotion at work and reconsiders her commitment to the Warriors. And Marcus, the professor, seems to find his life occasionally switching to alternate timelines in which his dead son is still alive. Is he going crazy?

Can these four renew their commitment to each other and move ahead with the battle? Or is it all just too much?

What do I think? This book is full of action in the spirit realm, which I am having some trouble getting used to visualizing.  However, now that we are in Book 2 and heading for Book 3, I am getting more used to it.

Rubart’s characters carry regrets and make huge mistakes. They get ticked off. In short, they’ve convinced me they’re real people. Very cool!  Of course they’re in a pickle, and I’m not seeing the way out. In short, this book is very well done and based on solid theology. Read it!

About the Kindle Fire giveaway:
James L. Rubart takes readers deeper into the world he began in Soul’s Gate (a 2013 Christy Award winner) with Memory’s Door (Thomas Nelson), the second book in the Well Spring series.

James is celebrating the Memory’s Door release with a fantastic Kindle Fire HD giveaway.

MemoryDoor-rafflecopter

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HD
  • Soul’s Gate and Memory’s Door by James L. Rubart

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 7th. All winners will be announced September 9th at James’ blog.

 


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit James’ blog on the 9th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to his blog (enter your email in the blog sidebar) and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Enter Today – 8/19 – 9/7!
Memorys Door James L Rubart Kindle Fire giveaway

Storm by Evan Angler, a review

stormStorm by Evan Angler, Book 3 in the Swipe series
Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson, 265 pages
Genre:Middle grade dystopian/sci fi

In this version of the future, a totalitarian society provides school, food, and medical care to those who are “marked” with a scannable chip at the age of thirteen or so.  Those conscientious objectors who refuse the mark must scavenge.

A number of story threads continue from the previous two books in the series, following multiple groups of rebel markless or their helpers.

Logan Langly, leader of the markless, organized a prison break to rescue his sister Lily from the government’s clutches, but she refused to leave and in fact arranged for her brother’s capture (but he got away).

Now she works against the markless. Or does she? Is her new offer of help to Logan genuine, or has she been brainwashed?

What do I think?

Disclaimer: I did not read the previous books in the series. This book contains a summary at the beginning bringing us up to speed on the story so far.

I found this story hard to follow, told from the points of view of too many characters, at least six or seven. (Point of view characters tell the story through their eyes, saying what they are feeling and perceiving.)  This is against conventional editing wisdom, especially jumping from one point of view to another in the same paragraph. This happens several times in the story, and the publisher is highly respected, so I know it is deliberate. But I was repeatedly jarred out of the narrative and kept puzzling over who everyone was.

Another odd thing is that the author’s first book in the series appears in the narrative. Some of the characters in the story find it in a library and marvel at it, wondering how this “Evan Angler” fellow could have known what they were doing and thinking. This is probably supposed to be funny, but it also pulled me out of the narrative.

If I had read the first two books, I believe I would have been happier. At least it wouldn’t have seemed like a flood of unfamiliar characters.

I suspect that fans of dystopian fiction will like this book, because it is otherwise very well written and tells a fast-paced story. I recommend starting with the first book.

This post is part of the Christian Science-Fiction/Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour. Please take a moment to check out what others are saying.

Julie Bihn
Beckie Burnham
Keanan Brand
Pauline Creeden
Emma or Audrey Engel
Sarah Faulkner
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Writer Rani
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Rachel Wyant

Author’s website: http://www.evanangler.com/

 

Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore, a review

Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore, Book Two of the Angel Eyes trilogy
Published 2013 by Thomas Nelson, 304 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural, Christian

Brielle has a gift to sometimes see angels and demons, though no mortal normally can. And Jake, her boyfriend, has the gift of healing in his hands. The news has reached the dark throne:  the Prince of Darkness himself wants both of them kidnapped and brought to him. And he’s sending his unseen army to Stratus, Oregon, to get them. Archangel Michael’s forces are coming to the rescue, but slowly.

Meanwhile, Brielle and Jake are oblivious to the forces converging over them. All Brielle sees is that her beloved father hates Jake. Her father has also started dating Olivia, who seems … not to be on Brielle’s side.

Brielle and her father still mourn the death of Brielle’s mother fifteen years before. Just how mysterious this death was is only starting to become clear to Brielle. Dreams show Brielle shards of truth: a young girl living in fear, a dying woman.  When Brielle’s mother’s grave is desecrated, Brielle discovers that what her father told her about her mother’s death was a lie. And where is the truth? Whom can she trust?

This book is a worthy sequel to its wonderful predecessor, Angel Eyes. The prose sings. The characters speak to the heart. And it’s a tale of brokenness and ultimate redemption. What more could we want? If you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for?

Read my review of the previous book, Angel Eyes: http://www.phylliswheeler.com/angel-eyes-by-shannon-dittemore-a-review/

This is part of the CSFF (Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy) Blog Tour. Please check out what others are saying about this book:

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Janey DeMeo
Theresa Dunlap
Emma or Audrey Engel
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Karielle @ Books à la Mode
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nathan Reimer
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Shane Werlinger

Author Website http://shannondittemore.com/

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, a review

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Published 2012 by Thomas Nelson, 311 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural with romance elements, Christian

I rarely re-read books. But the blog tour I partake in, Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy (CSFF), is currently looking at a book I reviewed last year. Should I just recycle the old review?

I picked up the book, couldn’t remember exactly what the plot was,  and read the first page. Then the second. And … I couldn’t help myself, though my time for reading is limited. I dove right in.

I loved this book the first time around. I wondered: would I love it the second time around too?

The answer is: yes!  Fans of Christian supernatural fiction will surely agree with me that this book is strongly plotted, has a memorable premise, has unforgettable characters, and strengthens the reader’s faith walk. Not only that, but Dittemore crafts some beautiful prose.

Here’s my review from last time, in case you want more details: http://www.phylliswheeler.com/angel-eyes-by-shannon-dittemore-a-review/

Be sure to see what the others on the CSFF Blog Tour are saying in the next three days, too:
Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Beckie Burnham
Theresa Dunlap
Nikole Hahn
Jeremy Harder
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Faye Oygard
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Dona Watson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

Author Website http://www.shannondittemore.com/
Author Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/ShannonDittemore

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, a review

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Published 2012 by Thomas Nelson, 311 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural with romance elements, Christian

Brielle is crippled by her despair as she blames herself for her best friend’s death. To learn to cope, she returns to her dad and the small town she calls home from the big city where she had attended a performing arts high school.  Old friends reach out to her, but she rebuffs them. Then an amazing new boy shows up and shakes her from her lethargy.

Jake shares a supernatural gift with her, and soon she’s aware of angels and demons. In fact, she can see what no one else can. And she learns that a demon wants to kidnap Jake, who’s becoming dearer and dearer to her. What can she do to protect him? After all, she’s just a girl with angel eyes.

What do I think?

I thought this book was terrific. The angels and demons fit the Biblical mold. Not only were there unforgettable characters and unpredictable situations, but Dittemore crafts words like a poet, with beauty and strength. You should read this book! I’ll be waiting for the next one in the trilogy, due out in a year or so.

Find out plenty more about this book by checking out what other bloggers are saying on the blog tour for it at
http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13501700/angeleyes

A request to the library to buy Christian graphic novels

This week my son “Mike” and I have been discussing graphic novels.  Since my triplet boys are 16, getting old enough to learn to make their own decisions, I have been letting him buy graphic novels as long as they aren’t obviously off-track. He’s been buying and reading a Japanese manga series called Fruits Basket.  I had scanned it but not read it. This week I read it and was dismayed to find teen sex condoned. It reads a lot like a soap opera, with a few fantasy elements.  Yikes.  Time to pester the library for something much better.

I would REALLY like to see some Christian graphic novels available to my boys.  This requires that 1) the graphic novels be published, and 2) they be bought by the library, or otherwise made known to my kids.

I didn’t get a response from my email to the library about new books, so I am guessing it got nowhere.  So I went to the library (Webster Groves Public Library, Missouri) to ask how I am supposed to make these requests. The librarian pointed me to some little green request slips.

The book I just reviewed, Chosen by Ted Dekker, is also published in a graphic novel format, I discovered. So I am requesting that the library buy this Lost Book graphic novel series. I just made out the request slip.  In case you are willing to do this at your library, here is the information:

Author: Ted Dekker

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Title: Lost Book Series: Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos

Note: Prefer graphic novel versions