Book Review: The Sword (Chiveis Trilogy: Book 1)

image

Rating: 3/5 stars.

I have mixed feelings about The Sword. It was a very intriguing and thought provoking book. It was good in one sense and…not necessarily “bad” but…I don’t know how to explain it.

It is around four centuries later from our time. Most of the people were killed by a virus and our world was destroyed by a nuclear war. Now the people have gone to living like those in the Middle Ages. One such kingdom, the Chiveis kingdom, thrives in peace. Protected from outsiders by mountains, the people worship their own gods and are lost to Christianity. Then a captain named Teofil and a farmer’s daughter named Anastasia find a Bible. From there everything changes for them and those close to them. But will higher authorities accept this new “religion” or cast it out and anyone who follows it?

What I liked about this book was that it was in the future but was totally medieval too. It was different from other futuristic books I’ve read. I also loved how it showed how some people found Christianity again. That was really neat.

I feel like the book focused too much time on the pagan religion the Chiveisi. Some things were mentioned, some things went into more detail. It was the culture around Teofil and Anastasia, and most people accepted it as “good”. The ceremonies and festivals were, for the most part, disgusting and revolting. Some situations almost led to inappropriate things (like adultery), but thankfully didn’t get that far. It just felt like too much. But I think maybe the author was trying to show how dark evil is to show how much lighter good is, so that makes me feel better about the book.

Then there were times when characters got into dangerous situations and then got out of the predicament too conveniently, and it happened more than once. That got to me after a bit. It seemed too easy for the two main characters at a lot of times.

So to end, I’ll say this book was good and I did like it. But I think it went a bit over the top on the details of the Chiveisi religion and mentioned, a few times, stuff that is inappropriate that I think that would have been better left unsaid. I’d recommend this to Christians who are prepared to face the cultural things that are mentioned in this book and who love an adventurous read. It is definitely geared more for adults and older teens.

-G. Paige

Advertisements

Book Review: With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale: Book 1)

image

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Again, I mainly read this book because the Kindle version was free on Amazon and a friend on Pinterest put it as one of her favorite books. I thought it might be pretty good. I haven’t read hardly any romance books or that much historical fiction. Anyways. With Every Letter turned out to be a beautiful, lovely, heartfelt romance story. I really liked this book. It was so enjoyable.

Set during World War II, this Christian romance novel has a lot of history put into it. Philomela Blake is excited to soon start training as a flight nurse. She will be one of the first women to do so. But she does not want to write an anonymous letter to a man she has never met as part of a morale-building program. Lieutenant Thomas MacGilliver, stationed in North Africa, is ecstatic to be able to have a anonymous correspondence. He’s been running from his name for most of his life. Soon they develop a unique and close (well, as close as one can get with letters) relationship, but they are still too afraid to show who they are. Will they ever get the courage, the strength to reveal themselves?

It took a bit to really get into this book, but I was soon hooked. I really loved the setting of this story. It was such an dangerous time that everyone was affected by. It took a bit to really get into this book, but I was soon hooked. Philomela (Mellie) and Thomas (Tom) were great characters. I really felt for them. Their hardships, their fears, their joy, their anger, it was so realistic. And the war, it felt so real and there. Very close to the end, I felt like the romance went a little over the top for a moment, but it wasn’t terrible. There was also some strong Christian elements that added to the story in a good way.

Those who love a pretty clean romance story that has some strong Christian themes, I’d highly recommend this book to them. It was a refreshing read.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Summer of Promise (Westward Winds: Book 1)

imageRating: 4/5 stars.

I really really loved this book. I’ve hardly read anything like it. It was so wonderful. If I read it in two days, that has got to mean something good, right?!

Summer of Promise is the story of Abigail Harding. Though wanting to spend her summer in Vermont with her soon to be fiancé. She feels called to go visit her sister who lives in Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Her sister says everything is fine in her letters, but Abigail feels like something is wrong. On her way, her stagecoach is attacked which promises that her stay in Wyoming will be anything but boring, as she thought. After a time, she feels called to stay in this wild land and to one young soldier who is falling for her. But can she find where her heart truly lies, in Vermont or Wyoming?

I decided to read this book because someone recommended it on a blog I can’t seem to remember at the moment. Anyways, I haven’t read much romance novels or a ton of historical fiction. So, I was very surprised to find out how much I liked this book! It was fabulous!!!

The setting in the late nineteenth century after the Civil War was perfect and made the romance so much sweeter. The land was described beautifully and now I wish I could go to that time period… The romance between Abigail and Eathan was sweet and touching. The book switches between Abigail and Eathan’s point of view (there is also one other person’s point of view shown just a few times). There were even a few exciting and dangerous moments which I was surprised to find.

Now, there was a thing or two that was mentioned and was inappropriate but was realistically there in that society. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with it though, because it was displayed in a bad light as the wrong thing to do (and wasn’t described with a lot of details). That said, I wouldn’t suggest this book for kids or young teens.

I would recommend this to those who like clean, Christian romance novel with a little bit of adventure. This was a really good book.

-G. Paige

Was Jesus Fully Man, Fully God, or Both?

The idea for this blog post came up as I was reading the gospel of John. I was thinking about what to post about and it just popped into my head. I know it doesn’t really connect (or make sense, for that matter), but it is how I came up with this.

So… “Why this???”  some of you might be asking. Well, I don’t really have an answer for you. I just came up with it and I’m going with it. Here is some history on this question: in the early Christian church the answer to this question was the difference between Christianity and heresy (it still is), and there was much controversy over it. I’m thinking it’s worth taking a little of time to delve into it and find out what we truly believe, why, and how important it is to us. Don’t you agree?

First, lets see what the Bible says about Jesus.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:20

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Okay, so we know that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is at least part God, if not all.

Mark‬ ‭1:11‬

And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:36

‭‭”why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.”

From these two verses we see that God identifies Jesus as his Son, while Jesus identifies God as his Father.

‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.

If what the Bible says is true, than Jesus must be fully God. If he was only part God, he would still sin. So he must be fully God. Just look at the miracles and wonders he performed. He did more than anyone ever before him. He even raised up people from the dead!

John‬ ‭19:1-2‬

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him.

‭John‬ ‭19:17-18

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha ). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

Jesus also was made of flesh. He could be hurt (he was flogged actually). He was beaten, bruised until no one could recognize him. Nails pierced his hands and feet. A sword pierced his side. So this must also mean that he was fully man.

‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-27

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Jesus must be both fully man and fully God. He couldn’t even have been a god in human form. Our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it, but look at it this way. To save us (everyone) from our sins Jesus had to be the perfect sacrifice, the unblemished lamb. He had to be perfect, if he had sinned, he death would not have done anything. Only God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) does not sin, that means that he was fully and undeniably God. But if Jesus had just been God, how would his death have saved all of mankind? So you see, he had to be a man to save mankind.

Here is the short version: Jesus had to be God to be the perfect sacrifice to wipe out all our sins; he also had to be a man (a human) to save to human race from eternal condemnation. Isn’t it beautiful how God works?

I’d just like to end with one more verse.

Romans‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭

“The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.”‭

This is major important subject for our belief system. We can’t just believe Jesus was a man or God, because that would mean we didn’t believe something in Bible and we are to take the whole of Scripture as true. Then (as I said before) his death and resurrection wouldn’t mean anything to us. In reality, his death and resurrection mean everything to us.

-G. Paige

‭‭

‭‭

‭‭

‭‭

BLOG TOUR-Author Interview: Water Princess, Fire Prince (The Rizkaland Legends: Book 1) by Kendra E. Ardnek

Hey everyone!!! Here is another post that is part of the Water Princess, Fire Prince Blog Tour. Today, I am posting an interview I got to have with the author. Enjoy!

Author Bio:
imageKendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog,knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.
Free Books!
31st-4th:
Do You Take This Quest? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CFDHFT4/
31st ONLY:
My Kingdom for a Quest: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RN7T004
1st – 5th:
For more details on the blog tour and to see who is posting, click here.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an author?

When I realized that books were written by people and it was a viable career option for me. I did get distracted for a few years with screenwriting, however, the screenplays I wrote are what eventually evolved into Rizkaland, so I’ll forgive them.

When did you first get thoughts for the Rizkaland Legends?
Shortly after the first of the new Narnia films came out. I was dissatisfied with a few of the changes they made, so some friends and I decided to perform our own version, which meant we needed a script. As the eldest, and most adamant about the plot, I was elected to write it. (Although, I’m not sure there was an actual election, I just took over)
Due to our limited resources and cast, I had to make some changes. The beavers became horses. All four Pevensies became girls. Aslan became a giraffe, and so on and so forth until the story morphed until it became what is now book 2 of the Rizkaland Legends which is scarcely recognizable as what it began as.

Are there any major changes you made to Water Princess, Fire Prince from its first draft to its publication?
Not as many as the sequel!
WPFP went through only two complete drafts, One written over the course of five years, one finished in five (not necessarily consecutive) months. The same basic plot, most of the same basic characters – most of my major plot changes were hammered out before I even put my pen to paper in the first place.
However, some to note are:
Andrew went from a youngest to the eldest.
The prophesy changed.
The initial setting changed Hawaii to Texas.
I got rid of Nerissa. We won’t discuss Nerissa.

Where did the name Rizkaland come from?
Well, pretty soon into the writing process of the script, I realized that I couldn’t call it Narnia if I was making as many changes as I was, so we named it …. Arcaland.
However, my mom pointed out that it was a bit too close to Archenland (which had been what I was trying to do, but nevermind that) and we needed a different name. One of the friends suggested Rishcaland, which I didn’t quite like, because it reminded me of a Rickshaw, but I tweaked it into Riscaland. I blame refrigerator magnets for the change to Rizkaland.

Were any of the characters’ names picked for a significant reason? Why?
Clara was named after the character in the Nutrcacker Ballet, because I’m slightly obsessed with the Nutcracker. I picked her middle name (not disclosed in the book, but it’s Lynn), because it means “Waterfall”
Andrew was named after my dad.
Kath and Rich were named after my sister and I – her middle name is Kathlene, and I would have been named Richard if I had been a boy,
And several of the Rizkaland characters were named after the patriarchs of the old testament. This didn’t start out on purpose, but some of them were.

What part of Water Princess, Fire Prince was the most exciting to write?
Oh … wow … there were a lot of exciting scenes (as you well know, having beta read it!), but I would have to say it was … the first chapter of part 4, I loved writing those plot twists.

Which character(s) in Water Princess, Fire Prince is most like you in looks/attributes?
Surprisingly, I identify best with Amber, the villain. Physically, the only difference between us is she has brown eyes, I have blue. We both have a slight weakness when it comes to power. Mwahaha.

When are you thinking the next book in the Rizkaland Legends will be out?
Hopefully next summer, but we’ll see what happens!

Do you have any thoughts/ideas for other books separate from the Rizkaland Legends?
Almost all of my writing connects at some level or another, most of it fitting into either my Rizkaland Multiverse, into Bookania, or as part of my Ankulen multiverse. They themselves are loosely connected, but those are my “big three” so to speak.
For a few rogue ideas … I do have my HaV Academy Trilogy, which is a Superhero Boarding School Dystopia. I plan to attempt traditional publication with this one.
-G. Paige

Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory

image

Rating: 1/5 stars.

I only read 65 pages of this book. Why? Well, what I read and where I saw the book was going towards was inappropriate and was unacceptable, to me.

Hayley and her father, Andy Kincain have been on the road for five long years. They never stayed long in one place for they were running from the demons that have haunted and tortured Hayley’s father (mentally) ever since he got back from Iraq. This book starts as Hayley and her dad are finally settling in her grandmother’s house in the town where her dad grew up so Hayley can attend school. When she starts hanging out with this boy she starts thinking about her own life and where it’s heading. Maybe now Hayley can live a normal life and leave painful memories behind. But will her father’s memories drag him under?

I was recommended this book by a wonderful librarian. I have never read anything by this particular author so I was not sure how this was going to turn out. Also, I can’t remember if the librarian had read this book or read other books by her. Either way, it did not turn out to be an enjoyable experience. The main idea of the book (Hayley helping her dad get through/over the drugs and memories) sounded great, but in what I read, that wasn’t the main focus point (it was more to the side thing). The spotlight was on Hayley and her school life. That led to just a lot of cultural stuff that was mentioned between Hayley and her “friends” (like pornography and homosexual stuff). Then there was a ton of bad language that got really too much for me. So that, combined with the idea of a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship ahead got me to put the book down.

I won’t recommend anyone to read to this. But maybe I’ll try one of the other books by this author.

-G. Paige