About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne

This novel was sent to me by Penguin Publishers for a review.

Robert Browne’s novel is based on the story of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. To refresh your memory, Paradise Lost is Milton’s epic poem about the final war in Heaven when God casts Satan and his followers out of heaven.

Browne’s version focuses on Satan’s followers and their attempt to turn earth into a hell for Satan to come back and rule. With current events as a backdrop and ancient secrets as the momentum this story is a fast-paced fantasy-thriller.

This book is definitely not written with a Christian world-view in mind so it’s best not to try and figure it out theologically. He did a great job of keeping me guessing whether or not good would actually win over evil.

I don’t usually give the synopsis from the book jacket but it’s the best way to give you an idea of what the book is about. So here it is.

The Myth
When God cast the archangel Satan into Hell, ending the War in Heaven, peace prevailed on Earth. Until the fallen angels took revenge in the Garden of Eden. Ever since, mankind has been in a struggle between good and evil, paradise and apocalypse: the fall of Rome, The Crusades, World Wars, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East Crisis... The War in Heaven never really ended-it just changed venues. For millennia, God's angels have been fighting Satan's demons on Earth, all in hopes of bringing about Satan's greatest ambition, the Apocalypse.
The Reality
Satan has never been closer to his goal than right now.
Agent Bernadette Callahan is a talented investigator at a shadowy government organization known only as Section, on the trail of a serial killer with nearly supernatural abilities. Sebastian "Batty" LaLaurie is a religious historian who knows far too much about the other side- and that hard-earned knowledge is exactly what Callahan needs. This unlikely duo pair up for a race across the globe, decoding clues left in ancient texts from the Bible to Paradise Lost and beyond. In the process they stumble upon a vast conspiracy-one beyond the scope of mankind's darkest imagination.

I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the sequel. If you like paranormal/fantasy type writing and can remember that this is a story and not a theological essay then you will also enjoy this book.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Books and Technology

It occurred to me today that I’m reading 3 different books in 3 different ways. Currently I’m listening to Catherine Coulter’s FBI thriller, Blow-Out on my IPod while I walk on the treadmill. I’m also reading the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (doesn’t that make you wonder what the R.R. stands for?) on my Kindle and I’ve just started the Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne which is an actual book sent to me by Penguin Publishing for review.

Ever since I was little, I’ve had a book in my hands. I remember doing dishes with a book propped up on the window sill; sitting in a corner reading at Christmas time when everyone else was talking or playing games and of course reading in every room of the house including the bathroom. There were times when I couldn’t read though, for instance in a car on a long trip. Instant car sickness. I still get motion sickness if I’m not driving, but now I can listen to books on my IPod. The Game of Thrones is a series 4 big paperbacks which would be bulky to take on a trip; now I can take them on my Kindle along with a bunch of other books.

Book snobs say that the only way to read a book is to have a physical copy in your hands. I have to respectfully disagree. Technology hasn’t weakened the reading world but strengthened it. What do you think? Are you embracing the new reality of books and technology?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Ideal Man by Julia Garwood

I arrived home from work last week to find a box of books from Penguin Publishing Company for review.

The Ideal Man has one of the best opening paragraphs I’ve ever read. After the first couple of lines I was afraid I wasn’t going to like the book but I’m glad I kept reading as there was a surprise at the beginning of the next paragraph. No I’m not going to tell you what it is; you’ll have to read it for yourself.

Dr. Ellie Sullivan is a trauma surgeon. After a long weekend of surgeries she decides to take a break by going for a run; and runs smack into an FBI takedown in which shots are fired and people are hurt. While taking care of the injured she meets Max Daniels and her world changes forever.

This is an entertaining mystery/romance. There is lots of suspense, humour and snappy dialogue. It was an easy read; I finished it in a couple of days. A great book for a lazy summer (or winter) weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Right Return by John H. Cunningham

Red Right Return is set in Key West Florida and is the beginning of a new series. The main character is Buck Reilly. He is a treasure-hunter, pilot and bankrupt. He hides away in Key West after his company files for bankruptcy among some rumours and allegations of wrong-doing. During the investigation, he loses his parents and his only brother is estranged. He goes to Key West to lose himself and eke out a living as a charter pilot/salvage operator.

This is a fast-paced adventure story. It reminded me a bit of Clive Cussler and his character Dirk Pitt in the pace of the story. It’s definitely a page-turner. The timing is good and if the plot seemed a bit over the top sometimes that might just be the nature of adventure stories.
Buck Reilly is a flawed character who is beginning to figure out his flaws. He is a bit more introspective than most action heroes and I think that it will be interesting to watch him develop in future stories.

This is John H Cunningham’s first novel and it’s a very good one. I should mention that I hope he cleans up the language a bit in the next books although it was appropriate for the setting. I should also mention that it's only available as an ebook. But if you’re looking for a fun adventure story to read then buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time of Death by J.D. Robb

I received a review copy of Time of Death from the Penguin Group. This is an anthology of 3 novellas published by JD Robb, Eternity in Death, Ritual in Death and Missing in Death. Although these are reprints and not new books this is a good packaging/marketing tool. I like it when publishers use anthologies especially in long running series. It’s a good way to get a taste of the series and decide if you like it enough to invest in other books without first spending a lot on new books.

In each of these books we discover a bit more about the main character Eve Dallas. In Missing in Death, her husband says of her “it takes more than skill and duty to make a good cop…it takes an unfailing sense of right and wrong.” In each of these books Dallas doesn’t just solve the crime, she wrestles with the motives and the feelings that each criminal brings to the crime.

These are books where the murders happen relatively early in the story. The balance of the story is the deduction of who did it and why it was done. Along the way we find out more about what makes Eve Dallas tick and why she is a good cop.

This book is a good introduction to the series. You will want to go back and catch up on the story, find out about her childhood, how she met her husband, why she doesn’t like his butler. But you don’t need to know all that to enjoy this anthology.