Friday, June 11, 2010

The Restorer's Son by Sharon Hinck

The Restorer's Son (The Sword of Lyric Series #2)
Susan and her husband Mark are back in Lyric looking for their teenage son, Jake. This is Book 2 in "The Sword of Lyric" trilogy. Welcome to Lyric, a world where sword's are the norm and guns are forbidden by The One(God).

Jake handles arriving in another world a little better than his mother did in the previous book, "The Restorer." However, he too is caught up in the political and spiritual turmoil going on around him. Thank goodness he finds some people that know his mother, even though the person they describe doesn't sound like the mother he knows. Since when did his mother know how to fight with a sword?

I liked the fact that Jake had a strong spiritual background from health battles in his own world. Even so, he still questioned his faith at times...don't we all. I don't think that Jake and his mother would have made it very well in this different world if they didn't believe in God - I think they would have gone crazy...maybe Susan more than Jake.

While Susan and Mark are looking for Jake, Kieran the new Restorer is fleeing from the One. He wants nothing to do with Him or being the Restorer. Kieran's battle with his faith and God are something that I found very believable. She touched on the loneliness and emptiness we all feel at one time or another.

Do Susan and Mark find their son? Does Kieran learn to believe in the One and his calling to be the Restorer? Read the book. You will be glad you did. And check out this link to the author:

The Restorer by Sharon Hinck

The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric Series #1)
Have you ever wanted to go another world? Well then, this book is for you. Susan, a stressed out homemaker, goes up into her new attic retreat and is sucked through a portal into another world. She lands on a world in turmoil, one facing a spiritual upheaval. A world looking for a Restorer. How can an out-of-shape housewife make it in a world where walking/running to get around is the norm, and knowledge of sword fighting a must for survival. Did I mention that she was holding a plastic sword as she went through the portal and it turned into a real one? And there's even more strange things going on, Susan's hearing has sharpened so that she can hear things far in the distance/see things, too. Her body even heals itself, except for the mind-poison from creatures that look human, but aren't. Hmm, qualifications of a Restorer - one who can save the world from it's present problem then usually dies. But where would the fun be in that, or would it?

There's corruption in the government/council - isn't it everywhere these days - just who is Susan to trust. In God of course, or The One as he is called in Lyric. It's a good thing that Susan knows her scriptures, because the people of this land know there's by heart, or at least have a singer to help them.

Not a preachy sort of book, but one that shows a person going through experiences and strengthening their own faith in the process. Though finding out that her husband belongs to that w....nope, read the book for your self. Love. Forgiveness. Faith. Hope. This book has it all. I've read it twice now and will be reading it again in the future as there are so few Young Adult Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy books out there.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"To Darkness Fled"

To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, book 2)Spoiler Alert. Do not read this review first if you haven't read book one, "By Darkness Hid."

"To Darkness Fled" is book 2 in Jill Williamson's: Blood of Kings, trilogy. When book one ended we knew that Achan was not really a stray, but in fact the son of the murdered king and Queen. Lord Nathak, Achan's "owner" had found him when Achan was only a toddler and switched him with his own son. Everyone believed that Lord Nathak's son was the real prince/king. I did feel a smidgeon of pity for Esek (formally known as Prince Gidon) as I don't believe that Nathak had told his son about the switch. Just a miniscule amount though, cause that Esek was rotten. He definitely was not listening to Arman(God).

Now Achan, Vrell, Sir Gavin and 2 other old kingsguards are fleeing through the darklands to find a place of safety to gather troops to fight for Achan's God appointed right to be king. The only problem is that Achan isn't sure he wants to be king and Vrell is still pretending to be a boy even though she hates deceiving Achan.

Lots of excitement - getting caught, then being freed. Doubting God to putting Achan's life in his hands. Poisoning. Torture. Vrell's secret revealed. Love. Sacrifice. Fear.

The book flows with passion and understanding of human nature. I was sucked into this new world and the character's became my friends. And to find out I have to wait almost a whole year for book three to come out. Aargh!

This is a book well worth reading and if you haven't read book one, what are you waiting for! Check out the authors website:

"By Darkness Hid" by Jill Williamson

By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, book 1)Is there ever enough fantasy writers in the world? No! How about christian fantasy writers? Not in my opinion anyway. And I just discovered a new one - at least new to me. Her name is Jill Williamson and she is writing a trilogy; "Blood of Kings." Book one is called, "By Darkness Hid."

Achan is a "stray." Poor guy is treated worse than a slave, but hey, he is a slave with spirit and spunk. I liked the guy immediately. "Achan" means "trouble" and trouble seems to be his life. Almost everyday of his 14/15 years of life, he has had to take a nasty potion that is suppose to keep him from getting ill. Of course there is more to it than that. The potion keeps him from being able to hear voices in his head - basically a telepath, with a very strong ability, only he doesn't know it.

Then a knight shows up and starts training Achan to be his squire, all while Achan does his duties as a stray. Hmm, something else is going on, but what?

Sir Gavin Lukos, the knight, trains Achan on how to use a sword. He stops Achan from drinking the potion. Enters him into a tournament a part of becoming a squire.

Lord Nathak, Achan's owner and all around convincing bad guy, gives Sir Gavin the boot.

Achan ends up as the next kings squire, too bad the guy is a jerk or is it?

From a slave to a squire to a...naw I won't say, you'll just have to read the book.

Lots of adventures, fighting and a girl pretending to be a boy, who just happens to be hiding from the future king. Did I say he was a jerk. Oh yeah. See he wants to marry her and she would rather die first. After getting to know Prince Gidon, the future king (gag) I understand why.

Luckily for Vrell she ends up with Achan and Sir Gavin, after some adventures of her own of course. She knows how to bloodvoice (mental telepathy), and she gives Achan some pointers.

Arman, the one God, has a job for Achan to do, but Achan doesn't know much about him. He's been raised to worship idol's. Vrell knows God and so does Sir Gavin. Arman talks to Achan in a cryptic sort of way - of course if Achan knew Him he would understand Him better, but that is all part of the journey Achan must take.

Lies, treason, hope and self-discovery; and of course a budding romance, though wait neither Achan or Vrell recognize it. But we the readers do. So much fun.

This is a book I will read again and again.  Check out the author's website:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"God Gave Us You" by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Absolutely love this book. A emotion provoking children's story of a mama bear telling her baby cub the story of where she came from.

This book generates questions and answers for anyone who might want a cute way to talk about the subject of having a baby to one of their little ones. I mean, who hasn't had their kid ask them, "Mommy, where did I come from?" Let's face it, when your 1-2-3-4-5 year old is asking that question, you should be a little delicate on how you answer --I'd actually go a little higher in age, but that's my opinion.

Everytime I read this book to my grandchildren, I make a point of looking in their eyes when I repeat the phrase, "God gave us you."

It's a feel "loved" kind of book. It has kid loveable art work, and the story fits perfectly with the art.

This book is a keeper! It's something I can pass onto my grandchildren when they are grown and having kids of their own. A timeless treasure to be shared and enjoyed over and over again.

"Froggy's Baby Sister" by Jonathan London

My granddaughter Emily loves this book...all the "Froggy" books for that matter. It's a cute little story about a young boy frog, named "Froggy," waiting for his baby brother or baby sister to be born.

Only one baby at a time for this frog family. (I bet all the other frog's envy his mom.)

Now the thing that Emily really loves is when Froggy moves he "flops" instead of hops. The flopping always makes her giggle.

It drives me crazy. I know such a small thing to bother anyone, but a frog HOPS. Flopping sounds so, so...lazy...sleepy...boring...annoying! It's just not right!

The thing that Emily and I both agree on, is the way that Froggy's mom and dad call to him and his response. They drag his name and his response out. It's just darn right cute. Now, I'm not going to tell you what it is - you'll have to read the book yourself to find out. Don't want to spoil anything ya know.

Okay, short version of the book...frog waits for mom to have baby, imagines playing with a baby brother, baby sister is born, can't play with sister until she grows legs. Froggy is actually patient for a young frog. (Do real frogs have patience?)

Of course the patience runs out and Froggy decides to leave, but wait, baby has legs. Froggy teaches sister how to catch flies, and changes her diaper. All without being taught how to change a diaper -what a smart little hopper.

The cutest part is when baby sister goes to bed and all she wants is Froggy.

Predictable, but cute, and good for children who are expecting a baby brother/sister. Lots of bright colors, and some semi-interesting characters. Typical kids book that kids love to read. Over and over and over and over again. Sigh.

This Scholastic book gets a rating of 4 stars out of 5. Or should that be 4 frogs out of 5? Hmm.
Take the flop out and it would get a 5!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson

From the first bolt of lightning streaking across the sky, this book crackles with energy and suspense. Sara Walsh is someone I would love to meet. First, she has a British accent, which I love, and second, the strength in this lady is something else. Ya, ya, I know she's not a real person, but if you've read any of Dee Henderson's books you know that she is one lady who knows how to bring her character's to life.

I wonder if she's ever going to publish any of the "HQ Victor" stories she alludes to in this book? I'd actually like to see Sara Walsh's children's books published, too. That's right, she's just a fictional character in a book, but think of where Hendersen could go with it.

I love books with passion and conviction and Dee Henderson delivers. This is actually one of my favorite's out of all of her books that I've read.

Twin sisters kidnapped - one dies, the other represses her memories of the event and the kidnapper's face. An older brother who grows up to be, Sara's (the living sister's) FBI protector. Attraction to a famous person (Adam Black, former football player) when public attention could be fatal. The kidnapper out there, stalking Sara, the only person who can identify him. Negligent father, an ambassador to England. The living sister - Sara - a published author of books that make you keep a closer eye on your own kids, but also a children's book author. Two sides of Sara Walsh.

How does Sara keep it all together? Only through faith in God. How can you stand to put the book down once you start reading can't.

Past and present continue to collide as events in Sara's life trigger flashbacks, bringing her to the verge of an ultimate breakdown. Add to the mix that Adam and Sara fall in love through events that would send most people packing, and you've got one page turner of a book.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense, romance, and a touch of christian living to round it out.

Scoring of 5 stars out of 5.

Ratings by outbrain