Monday, December 26, 2011

The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

Jaimie Piper has the same problems that most foster kids have. But she has another problem as well; she can sense evil. One night she runs to one of her teachers for help. The teacher, Crockett Gray, does what he can to help the girl, but gets caught up in something that neither of them understand. Crockett gets accused of abusing the girl and realizes that he has gotten himself in a mess. He has to get himself out as well as try to save the girl from whatever is hunting her. As Crockett encounters a psychiatrist, an exorcist, and a Cardinal from the Catholic Church, he thinks that he may have gotten caught up in a conspiracy within the Vatican itself.

This is the second book I have read from Sigmund Brouwer and I did enjoy it. The story is interesting all the way through and kept me wondering what was going on. Few authors want to tackle the notion of demons, but he does a good job staying consistent with research and theology. Jumping from character to character kept me from getting too attached to any of the people in the story. Also it was also a tad disjointed which made the story somewhat confusing. Still, the book was very well written and I look forward to reading more stories from Sigmund Brouwer in the future. Recommended.

Monday, December 5, 2011

For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

For Men Only is a nonfiction book which tackles a huge issue for most men: Why do women do the things they do? Most men have a tough time understanding women and this leads to some major issues in their relationships. Jeff and Shaunti have talked to hundreds of women and taken several surveys to try to understand the thoughts and beliefs of women. Topics in this book include listening, security, and of course, sex. Each chapter talks about a problem, women’s thoughts, and practical ideas for men.

For Men Only is the follow-up to Shaunti’s book, For Women Only. Jeff is the main author of this book while Shaunti adds a few thoughts and ideas. I’ve been in a committed relationship for over 5 years now and am engaged to the love of my life. Over the years, we have had many disagreements, and I think many of these conflicts stem from just misunderstanding the opposite sex. The authors do a great job of outlining the problems and what to do to fix them. I am going to take each of the chapters in this book to heart and apply it to my relationship. I think this book will really help me as I give my life to my wonderful fiancĂ©. Highly recommended

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

Ray Quinn is working on keeping his new private investigator business alive, but he’s finding that paying the bills can be tough. When he meets a new rich client, Ray thinks he may have caught the break he’s needed. But Ray soon finds that the client may be holding some important information back from him. With a murdered ex-cop, a biker gang, and a flirtatious receptionist, Ray thinks he may be in over his head.

The Corruptible is the second book in the Ray Quinn series by Mark Mynheir. I enjoyed the first book the series and I enjoyed this one a great deal too. I can tell that Mynheir (a former cop) knows what he is talking about in the books. The biggest issue I had with this book was that most of the “twists” were pretty predictable. Most of the time I knew what was coming. Still, it has been good getting to know Ray Quinn and the other characters. I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series. Recommended.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Final Hour by Andrew Klavan

In The Final Hour, Charlie West is in prison for murder and escape. While he is innocent, Charlie can’t prove it and being locked up is maddening. It becomes worse as Charlie learns that Prince, the leader of the Homelanders, has avoided capture and is still on the loose. Charlie continues to regain memories and realizes that Prince is planning one more major attack in America. Charlie realizes that he has to get out and stop this attack.

The Final Hour is the last book in the Homelander Series by Andrew Klavan. Each book has been action packed and this one is no different. Charlie starts off in prison, but the book picks up quickly. You must read the previous books in the series before this one, and if you enjoyed those books, you will enjoy The Final Hour. This was a very enjoyable series and I look forward to what Klavan writes next. Recommended.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Alarmists by Don Hoesel

The end of the world according to the Mayan calendar is drawing near and several events around the world seem to indicate this might be correct. An American military unit which specializes in investigating strange occurrences is trying to discover what is causing these events. They add sociologist Brent Michaels to the team for a different point of view. What Michaels finds is that these events might not be natural, but manmade.

This is the second book I have read by Don Hoesel, and I really enjoyed it. After Harold Camping’s end of the world proclamation, this book does have some special meaning. Hoesel does a great job of keeping the story moving which makes it a fun and fast read. The characters are all interesting and you really want to know what will happen. I look forward to the books that Hoesel writes in the future. Recommended.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vigilante by Robin Parrish

It is many years in the future and the United States is a place of crime and unrest. Nolan Gray, former Special Forces and prisoner of war, has decided to do something about it. He fakes his death and becomes a masked vigilante. With the help of two friends, he sets out to help people and show that there is a better way to live. But the bad guys aren’t going to give up without a fight, so Nolan has quite the task ahead of him.

I loved the Dominion Trilogy and the two stand-alone novels that Robin Parrish has written. I loved this book even more. Parrish’s writing is suburb, and the story is very easy to get into. I have always enjoyed superhero stories, and this book is no exception. It is a fun, fast-paced novel that will be a great summer read. I really hope that Robin is able to find a much larger audience because this story needs to be read. Highly recommended

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The God Hater by Bill Myers

Nicholas Mackenzie is a staunch atheist, who will do whatever he can to criticize religion. When his brother, Travis, creates an artificial intelligence program to imitate society, he asks Nicholas for help. It seems that no matter what kind of society Travis creates, the members end up killing themselves. It is Nicholas’ job to find the philosophical ideas to create the perfect society. As Nicholas begins to help out, he doesn’t like what he finds.

This is the first book I have read by Bill Myers, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about the book when I started it, but I was quickly captivated. This story is a great illustration of God’s love and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I would compare this allegory to the Circle Series by Ted Dekker. Myers is able to show the power of the Gospel through a more modern tale. While a novel cannot come close to reading Scripture, this is a powerful book that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Jonah Westfall is the police chief in the town of Redford, Colorado. While he works to keep people safe, he has his own issues to deal with. There is a dark family history as well as a 9-year conflict with former friend Tia Manning. When Jonah discovers a pair of mutilated raccoons, he takes the case head on. Jonah will do whatever it takes to keep Redford safe. He finds that he cannot ignore his personal issues either, so he has a lot on his plate.

This is the second book I’ve read by Kristen Heitzmann and I’m really starting to enjoy her writing. The story is interesting all the way through and there is a message of hope within the story. A couple problems I found are that she tends to rush events which makes the story a bit confusing at times. Also some of the dialogue seems rushed, but these issues don’t take away from the story. There is the theme of unity throughout this book which adds to the enjoyment of the story. I did have the story mostly figured out by the end, but it was a fun read. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the future. Recommended.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Resurrection by Mike Duran

Ruby Case is a quiet, church-going mother whose world is turned upside down when she raises a young boy from the dead. People start coming from all over to see Ruby and she isn’t sure what to do about it. Reverend Ian Clark, Ruby’s pastor, is about to turn in his resignation when he hears about the resurrection. He now has a decision to make about what to do with this situation. The quiet town of Stonetree will never be the same… And this may be for the better.

While I did enjoy this debut novel by Mike Duran, I had a tough time getting into it. The characters are hard to relate to, and the dialogue often seems forced. It is a good story of redemption and hope, but it just wasn’t that great. Mike Duran is a good storyteller who just needs to work more on his novel writing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell

The Strange Man is book one in The Coming Evil Trilogy by Greg Mitchell. The story takes place in a small quiet town where evil is approaching. Dras Weldon is a young man with no direction in his life. He is living life one day at a time. His brother Jeff is a pastor and cannot get Dras to find any meaning in life. After a storm, strange things start happening, and Dras comes face to face with evil. If he wants to survive, Dras will have to realize that the only way to defeat evil is with God.

I’ve read several Christian horror novels, and I have enjoyed them all. Unfortunately, they get many negative reviews from Christians who complain that there is not enough talk about Jesus. Well this is the book for them. This is a horror novel, but there is a great deal about Jesus and Scripture. I don’t feel that every book by a Christian author has to have someone convert to Christianity, but Greg Mitchell must know how the market works. I did enjoy this book and look forward to the next book to see what happens. I hope that Mitchell can work on his dialogue a bit, but overall it was an enjoyable read that most Christians will love. Recommended.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pujols: More than the Game by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

This book chronicles the first half of Albert Pujols amazing career. Albert has been considered one of the all-time great baseball players and this book shows how great he has been year in and year out. But what this book does is show that Albert is more than just a baseball player. He is an ardent follower of Jesus Christ. In our society faith is mostly ignored, but it is hard to ignore a man of such great faith. Albert puts God first in his life with everything he does. He knows that there is much more to life than baseball.

As a Cardinals fan, I really enjoyed reading about Albert’s career, but I enjoyed reading about his life even more. He is not just another shallow celebrity; he is a man who gives back to society. He works with those with Down syndrome and makes trips to help in his native Dominican Republic. I can only hope that people read this book and follow in Albert’s footsteps. One problem with this book was the emphasis on stats which can be tough for non-baseball fans. Still, this is a very enjoyable read about one of the most remarkable men in our country.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann

Noelle St. Claire is running away from her life, and she ends up in small town in Colorado. Nested deep in the Rockies, Noelle feels like this is the place for her to be. The owner of the ranch she is staying at, Rick Morgan, likes Noelle, but isn’t sure about getting in a relationship. His brother Morgan tries to start a relationship with Noelle right away. Noelle doesn’t know what to think about these two brothers, but she is perfectly happy in her new environment. Unfortunately the past that Noelle is running away from catches up to her. She is going to need help to overcome these issues and have a happy future.

I don’t read many books by female authors, but I enjoyed this book a great deal. While I would consider this a romance novel, it is filled with suspense and action. I was unable to put the book down for the last 150 pages as I could feel the emotion of the main characters surge through my body. This is a story of pain, love, and hope for the future. This book also motivated me to look at my life, and see if I was living the way I should with God being my number one priority.

The Truth of the Matter by Andrew Klavan

In The Truth of the Matter, Charlie West is continuing his quest to figure out what happened in the past year of his life. He is seeking Waterman, hoping to find some answers. Luckily for Charlie, he does get answers, but he also is faced with many more dangers. Charlie has to once again fight for his freedom and regain the life he lost a year ago. Charlie faces familiar foes, but also makes some new friends. Through all this, Charlie keeps one phrase in mind: Never, never give up.

This is the third book in the young adult Homelander Series by Andrew Klavan. It picks up quite quickly from the previous book, and takes your interest right away. Charlie and the reader are both wondering one thing: What happened to Charlie in the past year? It’s nice to finally get some answers and figure out what exactly is going on. This is a quick, fast-paced book that left me eagerly waiting for the last installment in this fun series.