Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Inside Ring: A Joe DeMarco Thriller by Mike Larson

 It opens with an assassination attempt on the president. He is only wounded, but his best friend and a Secret Service Agent are killed. It turns out that the attack wasn't without warning. General Andrew Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note that the president was in danger, and even more alarming, that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised.
            General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the note, So he requests help from his friend, Speaker Mahoney, and Mahoney assigns his man DeMarco to determine if the Secret Service was really involved. 

           The principal character is DeMarco, who does political odd jobs for a wily old pol who happens to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. DeMarco is escaping not only a bad marriage, but a family legacy in organized crime, which gives him an interesting foot in two different camps. It appears that a disgruntled individual took some shots at the U. S. President (who is a presence but not a character in this story) and missed, killing some other folks, before capping his failure with a suicide and a confession. There is reason to believe that there is more below the surface of this attempt than meets the eye, and DeMarco is directed to poke around. He's not quite up to the task, but manages with luck to survive several harrowing experiences and bring the truth to the semi-light.
            The synopsis leads you to believe it is a political thriller but  it was more like a poorly rated TV crime story . There were too many clichés, Italians in the mafia, southern people helpless and stupid, politicians are all on the take. The poor hero has to go around the law to find justice, predictable.  It just didn’t have enough to care about what happens.
            I wouldn’t recommend this story. I received the eBook for my review

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck

            The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck is about Daphne Sweeten, a scent designer, who finds herself stood up for her wedding and losing her sense of smell. Her dream job was also no longer possible as her ex-fiancée took her dream job in Paris. She decides to move to Ohio, where she had a job waiting, which would have her developing scents for household products. When Daphne enters into this new job, a relationship begins with Jesse, the new boss of the company.

            The premise of a formally trained "nose" losing her sense of smell is new and interesting. The book is an easy read and keeps your interest throughout with a few twists and turns you may not expect. The heroine was very childlike and insecure and hard to believe she was a Scientist. Although the premise of the story was curious and the relationship dynamics were certainly interesting,
             I couldn't help but feel that it lacked some vital spark that could make it a wonderful book. Daphne is not a sympathetic heroine. I found it very hard to sympathize with her. She's a bit out of touch with reality and shallow, childish, self-centered and she made terrible choices that are obviously bad and seems too naive to be real. Her conversations with the other characters reflect her confusion and poor judgment.  The conclusion of the book seemed both rushed and contrived.

 I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program for review

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Exalt You O God by Jerry Bridges

           As the world becomes ever more impersonal, hectic, and stressful, our hunger grows for the reality of God’s greatness in our lives. We seek moments of personal worship and praise to God; we desire His awesome presence. Jerry Bridges, guides you into God’s throne room for an intensely personal time of worship.
Jerry Bridges acknowledges that worship should be a way of life. Bridges focuses his efforts on what it means to praise God in our private worship or personal devotional time.  The book is divided into four sections to direct the reader's focus to worshipping God for His Greatness, Holiness, Wisdom, and Love.
                I read through this encouraging devotional for the review and intend to go back and daily meditate on God's word for worship.  I Exalt You O God  is a helpful  devotional aid.         
the Lord. The section that will become one of my favorites is the prayers of Scripture verses that flow together to help you learn to make your prayers worshipful in praising God for who He is.
                I received this EBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing in their Blogging for Books program for this review.

The Power of the Prophetic Blessing: An Astonishing Revelation for a New Generation by John Hagee

Show Moree           The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, offers an exciting message of encouragement and blessing for today and for generations to come. Hagee says, “Every blessing recorded in Scripture is available to you for the asking. You have not because you ask not. These blessings have the power to bring supernatural joy, and provide you peace of mind."

            Find out how to become blessed beyond your capacity to contain it. Deuteronomy 28 contains blessings regarding your personal life and your material possessions.  Hagee walks you through the Hebrew meaning and Scriptural significance of the well-known blessing, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. And may He give you peace.”
The Power of the Prophetic Blessing is not the first book out there regarding this topic, but it is  easy to read and a good foundation to learn about the blessings God has for you and your loves ones. If you are new to this revelation you will love this book.  In our complicated day we need good resources to focus on God’s love for us. When we apply what we learn then we will see the miracle of the blessing.
I received this book from Worthy Publishing for my review

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Betrayal by Jerry B Jenkins

The Betrayal has a strong opening and keeps up a brisk pace for the majority of the story. Mildly predictable, Boone Jackson is Chicago Police officer recently wounded in a large sting operation he was responsible for planning. He is recovering from his injuries when he discovers that the girl he's just starting to get to know Haeley and hoping to get to know better has been accused of plotting against him. Boone is sure that she is innocent, but as he works to try to clear her name he has to work through a lot. Things get more complicated as he tries to protect a witness, clear Haley's name, work through his injury and decide who to trust.
The Betrayal is a crime novel with some love story aspects mixed in. This novel is not necessarily a edge-of-your-seat, suspense at every turn type book, but a detective story about love, betrayal, and friendships. It was easy to read and enjoyable. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults. Fans of suspense, mystery and police novels will like "The Betrayal."

I did not read the first book in the series, other reviewers recommend to read the first one before this one, you may enjoy this book more if you read The Brotherhood (Precinct 11) first.
I receive the EBook from the Tyndale summer reading list for my review   

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan

My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. Now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas leaves the monastery on an important quest to fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids.
This book is packed with adventure and intrigue. Each chapter brings a new twist and adds just enough information to allow the reader to discover what is going on right alongside Thomas. The Christian theme is masterfully woven into the plot, revealing itself more through Thomas's doubts than through any great displays of faith.

Show MoreShow LessThis book heralds as Christian fiction, but there was very little of God in the book. Still, it fit in well with the storyline. Thomas does not believe in God, and it's not until the end that his views are challenged and he is forced to reconsider. The foreshadowing is that there will be more about his journey of faith as the series unfolds, which just added the anticipation for the next book.

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is a tale about noble knights, ancient secrets, mysterious castles, evil conspiracy, love, and the destiny of one young man that will change everything.  I was disappointed with the story. In the beginning of the book, I felt like I had jumped in the middle and I had missed the whole back story.  I found it hard to really get into the book. I pressed through and about half way in I was able to make sense of the book. The overall storyline is good and enjoyable and would recommend this book for teens and young adults.

I received this EBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in their Blogging for Books program for my review.

The Voice by Thomas Nelson Publishing

A new translation of the Bible into English does not contain the name “Jesus Christ” or the word “angel.” It also prefers the word “emissary” over “apostle.” Frank Couch, Thomas Nelson’s lead editor on the project, told The Christian Post that the purpose of The Voice was to make the Gospel message easier to understand for modern audiences.

“The Voice has not claimed to more accurate than any other translation, rather it is more easily understood than any other translation,” said Couch.
Here is what Thomas Nelson’s Marketing folks have to say about it:

The Voice Bible translation is a faithful dynamic translation of the Scriptures done as a collage of compelling narratives, poetry, song, truth, and wisdom. The Voice calls the reader to step into the whole story of Scripture and experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation created for and by a church in great transitions, The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists, giving great attentions to the beauty of the narrative. The heart of The Voice is retelling the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts. This translation promotes the public reading of longer sections of Scripture-followed by thoughtful engagement with the biblical narrative in its richness and fullness and dramatic flow.

There is controversy over the non-use of Jesus name, Angel and Apostle to name a few. I was concerned that Jesus would not be proclaimed as the Son of God, as in some new bible translations being sold. This not the case with The Voice so I can recommend this book as a useful resource to study the Word of God. It is easy to understand. The notes that show who is talking and makes it easy to follow the stories. Although I prefer other translations from Thomas Nelson Publishing, I don’t believe that The Voice would lead anyone into a false understanding of the one true God.
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for my review.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson

            Danger The Shadows, is about Sara Walsh, who was abducted for nine days when she was a young child.  Sara was found in a dark basement and the man who kidnapped her is not and continues to terrorize her. She is a protected woman, living with FBI protection and moving constantly to keep a step ahead of the insane man who wants to control her.

            This is one of the books in the O'Malley series. It is filled with romance, mystery and wit.  ss One stormy day she accidently meets a famous retired football star, Adam, who is quite taken with her. The story will keep you reading until the end.
            Although I liked the story, it had interesting characters, but not enough to really care about them. It portrayed an overly wealthy O'Malley woman to fill so many pages with food and apparel and apparent high security only the affluent can afford. To enjoy the book you will have to suspend belief that it took so long to find the killer since the reader will probably figure it out very quickly.  The book can be entertaining if you need a quick read during down times.

 I received this eBook from Tyndale's Summer Reading Program