Archive for the ‘Christian Fantasy Reviews’ Category

Review of The Wounded Shadow by Patrick Carr   Leave a comment

 

The kings and queens of the northern continent lay siege to the Darkwater Forest, desperate to contain its evil. But rumors of gold and aurium have lured deserters and the desperate into its shadow, creating a growing army held in its sway. Desperate after the death and dissolution of their greatest ally, Willet and the Vigil seek the truth of what lies at the heart of the evil they face. They delve the mind of an old enemy and find an answer far worse than they could have imagined.

Danger stalks the cities of the north, striking at the rulers of the kingdoms. As Willet and the rest of the Vigil seek to find answers, the group is scattered with an ever-growing darkness around them. Will they discover a path to keep their land safe, or will an ancient evil reclaim the world it once called its own?

***

 

To say that I was excited for the third and final book of the Darkwater saga by Patick Carr is an understatement. I practically kept my eyes peeled on my inbox for the email from Bethany House listing the book up for review, then hoping I’d make it on the list. And we’ll skip the part with me doing a victory dance once it did. 😛
Anyway….
Though the series has had its rough spots, overall, it’s been a great adventure. The world-building, the characters…. Honestly, I need to read it over again because I miss it. I’d highly recommend reading the first two books in the series, so you have a proper grasp of what is going on.

The story starts with Willet and the other members of the vigil racing to halt the evil of the Darkwater forest that is sweeping over the continent. With people lured by rumors of gold and precious aurium in the forest’s depths, Cesla is building a powerful army with abilities to rival even the gifted. The solution to their defeat? Locked in a vault within the tortured mind of Willet Dura.

So where to start? The plot, despite some lags in places, is awesome. The tension, the emotional journey of the characters, keeps you riveted to the pages. And I must admit, Patrick Carr went deeper with the characters than I was expecting. Anne Elisabeth Stengl is one of my favorite authors because she knows how to bring to life a character’s dark side and still show the redeeming power of love that bring a person back from the edge of the abyss. To my utter surprise, Patrick Carr went this route and succeeded! Mark, the former urchin and thief now Pellin’s apprentice, who shows more heart and depth than a priest in his desire to bring back the mind of a girl who was twisted into becoming a mindless dwimor, capable only of killing; Pellin, who saw how Cesla was snared into exploring the Darkwater. He recognized the man’s pride that could have been his own and led him into destruction. And in spite of all Cesla’s evil, still loved the man that was once his brother and mentor, and strove to remind him of that in the end. These were perhaps a couple of the most moving areas in the story that touched me.

Toria Deel has been a journey in progress. Originally, she was more of a pompous twit than anything else. And definitely willing do whatever it took to further the Vigil’s goal. The end justifying the means, regardless of who was hurt. Losing the man she loved and being teamed up with a former urchin causes her to soften.

Bolt, honestly, you gotta love. The man is like an older version of Batman and Wolverine thrown in there (DC/Marvel reference, I know :P). He always expects something bad to happen, and rarely shows much emotion. But he has such a dry sense of humor, you can’t help smiling as you read.

Willet…Willet has been an off and on character for me. While I like him, he’s not one of my favorite characters, which is odd since he is the MAIN character in the story. But I think the problem lies with the fact that Patrick Carr tried too hard at times to make the character flawed, and a bit of a wise-mouth. But he’s capable and does try to keep his head in tight situations, so he still works.
The gift of domere changed his life. Some might argue it wasn’t for the better, as it grants to Willet an unnaturally long lifespan that will see him still hale and hearty while the woman he loves grows old. But he learns to accept both it and Gael’s love, and acknowledge that he must leave everything in Aer’s hands.

I came across one review that mention how this book has nothing to do with Christianity, wallows in worldly wisdom, and loses touch with truth. As a reader who actively searches for inspiring reads, I respectively have to disagree. Does the story expound Christian beliefs? Yes. Does it whack you over the head with them? No. I have always believed that the greatest thing a story can do is “show” the message through the characters and their actions, instead of delivering a sermon that makes you roll your eyes.

In the Wounded Shadow, you see the consequences of pride and yet the hope for salvation. Mercy, forgiveness, love, and restoration come together in a sweeping epic that truly makes The Wounded Shadow a satisfying conclusion to this series.
Verdict: A definite buy!

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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The Dark Wolf’s first review and e-book update   Leave a comment

I am happy to announce that my book, The Dark Wolf, has received its first review, courtesy of a friend of mine who promised to write an honest opinion on it! You can read the review on her blog:

http://kyanalightwing.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-dark-wolf.html

And an update on the e-book version of my book. I temporarily removed it due to Amazon messing up the formatting. Apparently, their online previewer has some bugs in it which threw me off from noticing any errors, and I wasn’t aware of it until I went to Amazon itself to look inside the e-book. Fortunately, I found out what to do and fixed it up so it won’t run into anymore problems. Currently, I have resubmitted it, and it should be available for purchase again within a couple days. I do apologize for the that, and like I said, this time everything should work smoothly with it now.

 

2013 Christian Fantasy List   Leave a comment

I’m happen to be an avid fan of Christian fantasy, so I always have an eye out for any new reads that appear on the horizon. I discovered some interesting series coming out for this year which I intend to get when I’m able to.

Here is a list of the series I have discovered so far. A couple are actually dystopian fiction, but I decided to just lump them in with the rest.

 

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This is the first of three books in the Staff and Sword series. Looks okay, but I’m not a big fan of stories set in a medieval world. Still, the main protagonist is about a man going from drunkard to hero which looks to be an interesting read, so I might go ahead and buy it once I get a little more info.

 

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I have to admit that when I saw this one, I wasn’t too impressed. Seriously, how many King Arthur and Merlin stories do we need? The plot doesn’t look too bad and the cover art is gorgeous, but I can’t muster any enthusiasm for another rehash of Arthur and Merlin.

 

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Okay, for those of you who’ve read the Binding of the Blade series and loved it like me, I believe this series won’t disappoint. Almost five years after the BotB series, L.B. Graham brings out the Wandering series which looks just as good if not better than the BotB. As soon as I’m able to, I will definitely be buying this book.

 

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This is a dystopian fiction series by Jill Williamson. I’m not a fan of dystopian fiction, but the plot was interesting enough to raise my interest that I might actually look into buying the book.

 

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Wow. Now is that a beautiful piece of art work or what? As soon as I saw the cover, it captured my attention immediately. Yes, it is dystopian fiction, but I figured why not check it out and see if it’s worthwhile. The story about where emotion has been genetically removed from people and where one girl is different from the rest, an anomaly, was good enough that I decided it might not be so bad to get once it’s available.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve discovered so far for the year. If you find any other new Christian fantasy or sci-fi series coming out this year, don’t hesitate to let me know as I am always looking for good stuff to read.

Posted March 8, 2013 by J.M. Christian in Christian Fantasy Reviews

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Beyond Reflection’s Edge   Leave a comment

I just got done reading a book called Beyond the Reflection’s Edge, the first in the Echoes from the Edge trilogy written by Bryan Davis, and decided to go ahead and post a review on it. It’s the first book review I’ve ever done so if there are any mistakes let me know.

The story begins with sixteen-year-old Nathan Shepherd, who lives an anything but dull life with his father, an investigator, and his mother, a renowned violinist. Everything seems to be going great until at a concert he finds his parents murdered and lying in a pair of coffins. He’s left with only a mirror that reflects his thoughts, a camera and his mother’s violin. His tutor takes him in a secluded area of the country to the house of his father’s old friend Tony Clark, for safety.

Teaming up with Tony’s teenage daughter, Kelly, they try to protect the mirror from falling into enemy hands and at the same time unravel the mysteries surrounding it.

The story deals a lot with alternate dimensions which I thought would be interesting. It starts out fairly fast-paced although it lags in a few places, but the suspense and action are there to hold your interest.

I enjoyed the book but I have to honest and say that it’s not quite as good as the Dragons in our Midst series, which was written by the same author. There was a depth and mythology to that series that the BTRE couldn’t match. Still it was an enjoying read and I definitely give it four stars.

There is one thing I do wish to point out and that is the author’s overuse of the word, ‘fetal.’ I lost track of the amount of times that one word kept popping up in the story. I wondered if the author knew any other poses other than that one. For me it was slightly annoying but still, it is a minor quibble.

If you’re looking for a great story that’s clean and has not only good action but morals to boot, then you’ll enjoy this story. One thing I’ll warn you about though is that some of the themes in there are a little more mature and for an older audience. Particularly the gory parts so be prepared.

Anyway that’s my take on the book. I would appreciate any comments as to what you thought and ideas to make any future book reviews better. Thanks to all for taking the time to read this.

Posted July 12, 2012 by J.M. Christian in Christian Fantasy Reviews

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