Book Review: The Canary List

Posted by Max02 | Labels: , | Posted On Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM
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The Canary List, a novel by Sigmund Brouwer, is a non-stop adrenaline rush read. The chilling and slightly disturbing prologue sets the tone for the book: a young girl finds herself in the midst of child abuse at the hands of a Demon-worshipping priest.

The reader is then introduced to the two main characters, Jaimie Piper, a 12 year old foster child, and Crockett Grey, a divorced, middle-aged teacher who still grieves the loss of his daughter. Crockett’s life is turned completely upside down when a scared and desperate Jaimie seeks his help in the middle of the night.

Although she is only 12 years old, Jaimie is street-smart and a quick judge of character, due in large part to an ability that haunts and confuses her. Yet, little does she know that she is at the center of a plan to keep an evil man from becoming a very powerful political leader: the Pope.

Crockett finds himself plunged into one bizarre moment after the next. He barely has a chance to recover from one blow before he is blasted by the next. Crockett responds as best he can and his greatest saving grace is that, despite his lack of faith, he is a good man trying to do the right thing.

I read this fiction-thriller in almost one sitting. After I got past the creepy demon worship parts, I couldn’t put the book down; I had to find out what happened next. Crockett’s emotional and physical states are palpable and dizzying; frustration, surprise, adrenaline, and exhaustion jump out of the pages. I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a thrilling read.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Book Review: Indelible

Posted by Max02 | Labels: , , | Posted On Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM
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Indelible, a novel by Kristen Heitzmann, is set in the mountain town of Redford, first seen in Indivisible, another novel by the same author.

relates the story of Natalie Reeve, a talented sculptor with a rare disability, and Trevor MacDaniel, a member of a Search and Rescue team driven by an emotional past.

After the daring rescue of her young nephew, Cody, Natalie Reeve’s life is turned upside down by the strain in her relationship with her brother and sister-in-law, the struggle to have a normal life, and her growing feelings for Trevor MacDaniel, Cody’s rescuer.

Little do the inhabitants of Redford know that a dark figure, who has fixed his twisted attention on Trevor, is making its way to their seemingly idyllic town.

Although this book could have used a few more passes by an editor, it is a compelling story driven by emotion and strong characters.

I did not find it necessary to read Indivisible first, but it would have added extra insight to the many references made in this book.

I would recommend this book to any casual reader looking for a good story.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Short Story: Then he heard the music...

Posted by Max02 | | Posted On Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 11:20 AM
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Comfortable chair, enveloping his aching muscles. How long since he hasn't felt one pain or another?


A faded memory ghosts across his mind. When was the last time he smiled?


Old friends, children, work acquaintances long gone. One by one they slipped into his memory, their final resting place.

Life continues, ambivalent to the pain in his heart, the ache in his step, and the knowledge that someday, maybe soon, he, too, will slip into memory.

He knows he's not alone. Another person occupies the house, in another room, somewhere else.

She, who once had been his wife, his lover, best friend. Now, little more than roommates; occupying the same space and time, yet worlds apart.

When had love turned to appeasement, devotion to apathy?

They ate, they slept, discussed niceties, "Fine weather we have today."

"Yes, quite nice."

He had resigned himself to this existence.

We're too old to change now.

Then he hears the music...

At first faint, it grows in volume as he directs his wandering thoughts. The music takes shape, changes, unearthing old thoughts and emotions in his tired mind and heart.

I know this song.

Walking into the small room, he sees her. No longer able to glide, she sways in the rhythm. Eyes closed, lost in emotion, surrendered to the melody

This is our song.

His heart beat quickens.

She's beautiful.

When had he forgotten this simple truth? Though transformed by age, her beauty remained in the curve of her body, the softness of her hair, the peaceful smile on her face.

How had I missed this?

Opening her eyes, she sees him standing in the doorway. Her feet become still. Breath caught in her throat, she stands silent, watching him in turn.

The brightness in her eyes had not faded over time.

Why did she stop?

He walks forward, more certain with each step.

Standing before her, he raises an upturned palm.

Will you dance with me?

Unsure, yet unable to turn away, she rests her hand in his. The weight is familiar, the touch unchanged.

I know this hand.

Stepping closer still, he wraps his other arm around the small of her back.

As one, they begin to dance.

Each step is measured, confident, remembered.

We still fit together.

Holding her in his arms, he is surprised by all that hasn't changed.

Gazing into his awakening eyes, she is surprised that, once again, she exists in his world.

And what began as a waltz, ends in an embrace.

Time has no meaning in this moment.

They stand together.

Then, for the first time in what seems like ages, they kiss, thankful for the music that brought them back to each other.

Book Review: 31 Days of Drawing Near to God

Posted by Max02 | Labels: , , , | Posted On Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM
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Written by Ruth Myers, this book is a 31 Day devotional created to help you draw near to God. It was also previously released as The Satisfied Heart.

I appreciated the fact that she opened up with her back-story. It adds credibility and immediately connects the reader emotionally.

The book doesn’t so much read as a devotional, as it is more like a beloved aunt, mother, or grandmother sharing very personal and very deep life lessons from collected journals.

Each day’s reading is designed to help you learn more about and fall more deeply in love with the God who created us. The readings are filled with relevant scripture, a prayer, and wisdom Myers has learned along the way.

Expect to be moved emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually as you read through this book.

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Book Review: "The Chasm," by Randy Alcorn

Posted by Max02 | Labels: , | Posted On Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM
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I love books. Some of my favorite childhood memories include times reading great stories. This is the reason I signed up with Blogging for Books.

I was so excited to get the first book I had picked to review: "The Chasm", by Randy Alcorn.

I'd never before had a chance to read any other works by Alcorn, and, because I'm an avid reader of fiction, I figured this would be a good place to start.

I was SO wrong.

I've heard from many trusted sources about how great Alcorn's non-fiction materials are. However, I found myself sadly disappointed when I began reading this work of fiction.

"The Chasm" is the story of Nick Seagrave, a middle-aged business professional who finds himself in a dark world filled with hidden danger.

Had I known this story was a condensed version of the book "Edge of Eternity," also by Alcorn, I would not have chosen "The Chasm" as my first read.

As a work of fiction, I found the narrative to be rushed and a bit forced. It felt like a roller coaster ride, and not in a fun, exciting way. I was pushed from one monumental moment to the next before I had a chance to properly digest what was going on.

I don't know if it was the author's intention, but the main character, Nick, comes off as rude, arrogant, and, honestly, somewhat of a jerk. Multiple references of others as "ignorant, little people" doesn't easily endear me to Nick or the author.

The story didn't do much for me as an allegory either. The dark hopelessness of life without Christ is painfully obvious and overindulged. Not only has this symbolic story been done before, it's been done with more grace and creativity.

I can usually devour a 700+ page book in less than a week. It took me more than a week to finish this 110 page story. I had to force myself to pick it up and complete it. Had it not been for the requirement of this review, I seriously doubt I would have kept reading after the first few pages.

There is also a Readers Guide at the back of the book that asks questions about each chapter. after forcing myself to finish the book itself, I couldn't bring myself to even consider reading, much less answering, the questions.

All of this to say that, for me, "The Chasm" just didn't deliver.

I would not recommend this book to anybody.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review