Tag Archives: supernatural

Hive by Rachel Starr Thomson, a review

hive Hive by Rachel Starr Thomson, Book Two of the Oneness Cycle
Published 2013 by Little Dozen Press, 299 pages
Genre: Christian supernatural suspense, suitable for teens and adults

I reviewed the first book in the series, Exile.

Tyler and Chris, buddies from childhood, decide to take on the Hive, a group of demon-possessed people. The Hive works to destroy the Oneness warrior group that Tyler belongs to. Tyler’s not afraid to attack the Hive because he is part of the Oneness, though a very new member. But Tyler’s afraid for Chris, a nonmember. Chris, an impetuous fellow, wants to get the Hive because it threatens the woman he loves. But he doesn’t have the spiritual warfare skills. And he doesn’t care.

Soon Tyler and Chris languish in captivity in a strange commune where the words spoken seem right, more or less, but actions are not. Why are they being drugged? What does the commune leader want with them? How can this leader claim to be Oneness? Will they escape with their lives?

Engaging characters and a gripping, unpredictable plot make this a wonderful evening’s reading. I’m enjoying this trilogy, which I think should be accessible to nonChristians as well as Christians. And of course, the plot leads into the third book, which I hope to read soon!


Exile by Rachel Starr Thomson, a review

Exile_ Exile by Rachel Starr Thomson, Book 1 of the Oneness Cycle
Published 2013 by Little Dozen Press, 223 pages
Genre: Christian supernatural fiction, YA flavor

Tyler and Chris are young men who’re making a living fishing. One day they find a live human being in their net.

It’s Reese, a spiritual warrior who’s been cast out from her clan, the Oneness. She’s an exile, and her life has lost all its meaning, so she jumped off a cliff–into the net.

The fact that she’s an exile doesn’t stop the demons from attacking her. Tyler and Chris watch amazed, and they want to help this damsel in distress. But they know nothing about the Oneness.

How will Tyler and Chris respond to Reese’s predicament and the call of the Oneness?

I sped through this short, fast-paced novel, pleased by the well drawn characters and the surprising plot. Thomson has done a great job of portraying difficult emotional journeys. It’s a world that a Christian will recognize, and that a nonChristian might feel comfortable with. Read it!

Avenger by Heather Burch, a review

Avenger, a Halflings Novel, by Heather Burch
Published 2013 by Zondervan, 300 pages
Genre: Young adult supernatural with Christian worldview

In this third book of the Halflings series, Nikki Youngblood now knows she’s a Halfling — a descendant of the dark-angel sons of God and daughters of men as mentioned in Genesis 6. She knows that her godfather Damon Vessler wants her to turn to the dark side, so to speak, something that’s so easy for a Halfling to do. But there’s something more she doesn’t know. And her godly friends are afraid to tell her about it. Not only that, but there’s a shredder monster out to kill her.

These books have great characters and a catchy premise: orphan angels. Halflings are given up at birth by their Halfling parents and raised by true angels, to keep their dark-angel heritage at bay. The Halflings have wings and unusual powers.

The book also has some overly familiar story elements: the love triangle with two “brother” Halflings vying for her attention, and a thoroughly modern heroine, able to physically fight and win. (But at least she’s not a wimp like Bella!)

I read the first book in the Halflings series, skipped the second, and read this one, the third. There was enough background information in this book for me to do this, and I suspect that even someone picking up this third book cold would have been able to figure out what was going on.

I think that fans of Twilight, especially Christians, will like this book. I’m glad to see Christians writing in this genre.

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 page#/ShannonDittemore

Children of Angels – a tween fantasy take on angel genes

Today we are hearing from author Kathryn Dahlstrom.

Genesis 6: 4 – “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them; they were the heroes of old, men of renown.”

For me, this intriguing and mysterious Bible verse set up a fantasy concept that I ran with: what if the genes of the Nephilim resurfaced in a kid of today? What if he suddenly developed angel powers? What if he saw angels and demons?

The concept led to my novel for readers aged ten and up—Children of Angels, book one of the New Nephilim series published by WinePress Publishing. Synopsis: a young teen, shocked to learn he’s half angel, must battle human and demonic forces out to destroy him for proving that God is real.

Mind you, I’m not saying that the ancient Nephilim had angel powers. Their name means “fallen ones” which is an apt description of them, I think. The Bible describes them as giant-sized in Numbers 13 and leaves it at that. My make-believe premise is this: what if their genetic material was concentrated enough to produce angel traits in a modern person? (How concentrated half-angel genes wind up in my characters is part of the story’s mystery. I hate spoilers so I’ll practice the Golden Rule by doing to blog readers as I would have them do to me.)

I’m out to give readers the truth of Jesus’ love and power within the fun of fantasy. My main character isn’t a kid with all things perfect from his parents to the SUV. Rather, his dad is in prison, his mom barely scrapes by, and he’s picked on in school. He thrills over his newfound angel powers—flying is the best—but winds up attacked by demons (the ultimate bullies) in his middle school hallways. When the Lord of Hosts calls him to be a Battle Leader of Angels, he balks. Can God really turn a loser into a warrior?

I’m writing Book Two of the series right now. Meanwhile, a faith-based film producer is considering Children of Angels for a future project! It has a long road to go from book to film, but his very thinking about it is enough of a miracle for now.

I’m also the author of a six-book fiction series called the Good News Club. As a screenwriter, I’ve had two screenplays optioned by film companies. Further, my producer friend has asked me to adapt his family fantasy script into a novel. The project will be filmed this summer.

So: do you think God can turn a loser into a warrior? Leave your comments here.