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Search tags: christian-non-fiction
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review 2018-10-17 01:59
Take Every Thought Captive
The Cumberland Bride - McNear, Shannon

As the Daughters of the Mayflower series unfolds, paralleling America’s history and English colonization, the stories become more compelling and thought-provoking. Several readers have commented on not caring for the first book in the series, but I would encourage them to try the books that follow because they were, in my opinion, more interesting. Also, any of these books can easily be stand-alones. “The Cumberland Bride” takes place in 1794 along the Wilderness Road that ran from northeastern Tennessee to the western Kentucky frontier. That fact in and of itself was enough to garner my interest, since literature focusing on this specific time period and region seems few and far between, at least in Christian fiction.

The story itself is captivating and full of complexities that embellish the plot. McNear does not shy away from supplying details that immerse the reader in the experience, which I appreciate; it is refreshing to read a Christian story that acknowledges the rough side of life and does not hide behind rose-colored glasses, yet remains clean content-wise. The threat of Indian attack and the horrors of such are discussed, but not graphically. Likewise, the deprivation and difficulty of traveling and living in the wilderness forms a large part of the narrative, a stark reminder as to what our ancestors survived. The conditions seem unbelievable now, and I find myself wondering if people 200 years from now will look back and think the same of our lifestyle.

Another aspect of this novel that really shines is the presentation of the characters. Katarina Gruener, the heroine, has obvious flaws and fragility, which makes her truly come to life on the page. I felt added kinship with her in her affinity for writing and recording stories. Her naivete enhances her relatability, and the awkwardness of the burgeoning romance throughout the novel is endearing and true to life. Indian-settler relations are explored from both sides, with Thomas Bledsoe playing a leading role due to his shadowy past, and I valued how the Native American perspective is respectfully offered. The character dynamics are excellent. For anyone who enjoys a historical jaunt full to the brim with adventure and faith, “The Cumberland Bride” is not to be missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-10-11 17:39
Bright Lights, Dark Skies by Jess Hanna
Bright Lights, Dark Skies - Jess Hanna

 

A very well written "alien abduction" story from a Christian point of view. The author did a fantastic job in describing that feeling of foreboding that one gets when you know something is there, but you don't want to look. I just thought he did a great job in describing the main character and how his life slowly spirals out of his control because of his close encounter.

Really good book with a great message that is worth consideration when it comes to the subject of UFO's.

Definitely recommended!
 

 

 

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review 2018-10-11 03:22
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Imagine. . .The Fall of Jericho - Matt Koceich

This third installment in Matt Koceich’s Imagine series is my favorite so far. It handles issues pertinent to both Biblical and contemporary society, such as child exploitation and not fitting in, with grace, adding in just enough detail to make sure that young readers understand the situation without it being overwhelming or too frightening. Jake Henry makes a laudable role model, and his situation of feeling alone and unwanted resonates with readers of all ages. His experience in the world of the Biblical Jericho vividly demonstrates a lesson from which we can all benefit: “It’s like God is using this to show me I’m never alone, and I always have a job to do no matter what I feel inside or how crazy the situation is on the outside.” Undeniably, such an outlook on life helps all of us to face our fears and to fully rely on God even when our walls—literal or figurative—are crumbling down around us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-09-07 01:12
Free Indeed
The Underground Railroad Brides Collection - Debby Mayne,Lynn A. Coleman,Ramona K. Cecil,Penny Zeller,Barbara Tifft Blakey,Darlene Panzera,Patty Smith Hall,Terri J. Haynes,Dowdy, Cecilia

This romance collection includes nine novellas which each focus on the Underground Railroad. The settings are diverse and range from 1840 to 1860, including states in both the North and the South. Something that I really enjoyed and found particularly interesting was that the characters represented such a distinct breadth; in some cases they were abolitionists, as expected, but some were free blacks or even slaves themselves. Because the stories were so short, the climax and denouement occurred quickly, somewhat curtailing the suspense, which is my only grievance. It would have been exciting to see each tale as a novel-length work or even to have them all woven together into a single narrative.

Despite the obviously somber backdrop, none of the stories include graphic details, and they are all clean. The gravity of the risks that those helping the freedom seekers took is one of the driving themes, and it also parallels that of the apostles and the early Christian church. The position that lawmen found themselves in, forced to uphold unjust laws regardless of their personal beliefs, was an aspect that I had never really considered before. Strong female protagonists throughout the stories demonstrated that they were just as involved as the men, even if they at first stumbled upon the underground railroad’s workings unintentionally, as was the case in two of my favorites: “Follow the Christmas Star” and “The Winter Quilt.” This collection will appeal to anyone looking for an inspirational read that provides shining examples of faith under fire that are certainly pertinent in today’s increasingly secular society.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an e-copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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review 2018-09-04 23:05
Baqash by C.E Wilson
Baqash - C.E. Wilson

This is an end times series based on the book of Revelation in the Bible. Baqash means "to seek out". While I liked the premise (the reason for the 3 stars), and the good biblical teachings, I did not care for the writing. It seemed stilted and amateurish, and the characters were one dimensional. Although it was a free book, I do not think I will be continuing on with the series.

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