Non-Fiction Review: Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright

I’d been searching the local used bookstore for months, looking for a work on Revelation. When NetGalley offered it, I jumped all over it. 🙂 So I read it, then got busy. I’ve been juggling the review for Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright to make way for other books I’ve read. I just need to get this one done. As I mentioned earlier, tonight’s the night of reviews. The blurb from Goodreads:

N. T. Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book. The series is suitable for group study, personal study, or daily devotions.

I loved the beginning of this book where it talked about the letters. While in high school, I’d never been much interested in history. In fact, it was a chore. These days, history has piqued my interest, and N.T. Wright really covered the historical relevance of Revelation.

Mr. Wright managed to turn the letters from a “Yah, yah… so what?” to “Really? That’s that’s why each letter had a particular focus?” I came away from the first few chapters of Revelation with new understandings I could apply to my life.

The rest of the book relied on a lot of speculation which may or may not be true in the end, yet was presented as fact. Basically, Mr. Wright took areas of the Revelation (the dragon, the beast, etc) and assigned symbolic meanings to them. Is the symbolism he used accurate? Who can say until all is revealed?

As for me, I’m more of an individual who prefers the bible presented with factual and historical evidence, as Mr. Wright did for the seven letters. However, his interpretation for the latter parts of Revelation were still interesting, and I believe most venturing into the final book of the bible would come out with more knowledge overall.

I recommend Revelation for Everyone to anyone who has general or little knowledge of Revelation and wants to dig deeper.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

 

 

 

 

Novel Review: Wild & Steamy (Anthology)

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane (see review here) was one of my favorite reads of 2010. I believe I only had 3 books in 2010 which hit my favorite reads that year. Well, when I saw this anthology, I snagged it. I feel like I’ve had it on my to-read list forever, but it’s only been out since August 2011. Before we get to the review, the blurbs from Goodreads:

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – An Iron Seas novella of 15,000 words: The search for a killer puts Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth’s life in danger and her assistant, Constable Newberry, in the line of fire. But Newberry faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jill Myles – A shifter novella of 15,000 words: Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men…it wants them both. 

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

This anthology was quick enough, I was able to knock it out in a day. Definitely what I needed at the end of 2011. I might make my Goodreads Challenge yet!

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook ~ My first introduction to a Brook’s work was in the Burning Up anthology. Brook’s work was entitled Here There Be Monsters (see review here). I totally loved her writing style. Later I picked up The Iron Duke (see review here). Though I’m not a fan of detective stories, her writing was still A+.

Once again, Ms. Brooks does an excellent job with bringing her Iron Sea world to life in The Blushing Bounder. Brooks definitely has style when it comes to writing. My biggest gripe with this work was it seemed incomplete. The romance was cold then hot. It really lacked any sort of build up. One moment the heroine was standoffish and completely uninterested. Next thing I knew, she was in love. In my prior experience with Ms. Brook, she presented herself as a STRONG mystery writer. In this story, the mystery lacked substance and was only solved on a basic level. What was the motive?

Vixen by Jill Myles ~ If I’m not mistaken, this was my first encounter with a Jill Myles work. It wasn’t bad and I may or may not look for more of her works. One thing for certain, paranormal romances are a tough sell these days. It seems like everything’s been done. That’s the issue I faced with Ms. Myles’ story. Like I said, it wasn’t a bad read, and still entertaining, but the story lacked freshness and was quite predictable. Still, the sex scene was quite steamy.

One item which has me all twisted is the idea of wild cats with a fox… odd to say the least. I wonder if her other books mix and match like that.

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane ~ Of the three stories, Ms. Crane’s work was the weakest. I was actually rather bummed, because she was the main reason I purchased this anthology. Majority of this story was backstory… I wouldn’t be surprised if 75% of it was backstory with the remaining working on the relationship between Kitten-Tiger and the Monk. Even the relationship portion was highly predictable.

One interesting item about this work is it’s in past tense. I remember Mind Games throwing me for a loop when I first started reading it. I don’t recall ever reading a book in present tense before Mind Games. It took some major adapting for me. After reading Kitten-Tiger and the Monk, I kind of wished Ms. Crane had stayed in the present tense. It might have discouraged her from loading the work with backstory.

I’m not sure if Wild & Steamy was a free read when I picked it up, but it might be now. I know it was last week.

 

Novel Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

I’ve been cracking down on reading the last couple of weeks. My Goodreads reading goal was 60 books. Tonight I plan on finishing an anthology once I get my posts out of the way. That’ll put me at 58 books. It’ll be a close one folks.

What do we have for you today? Hmmm… Tempest by Julie Cross. This one happens to be a Netgalley read. Have I mentioned how much I love Netgalley? haha So the blurb from Goodreads:

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

When I first started Tempest, I have to admit… I didn’t buy the story line. A guy who time travels with his mind but not his body? I’m think the boy’s having seizures and is delusional. I kept expecting the author to give me a “gotcha, this is all a dream” scene. In fact, I have notes up to the 13th chapter like “I still think he’s delusional.” haha But you know what? I couldn’t put the book down.

The read was so unique, I never knew what to expect. And as complicated as I expected time travel to be, Tempest was written in a way that explained everything in simple and realistic terms. Goodbye Paradoxes; Hello Tempest.

This book had more than a few heartfelt moments. At the same times, it was chalked full of humor to lighten the mood. And it certainly didn’t hurt to have such a likable character like Jackson.

Though at times, I thought he was beyond mature for his 19 years. His mentality on issues such as dating and sex made me think of men pushing thirty and over. None of the boys I dated in my early teens and twenties were anything like that. It made Jackson sweet in many ways… and very dreamy. Take notes, boys. Girls will be reading this book and expecting more from you, because Jackson really steps up the game.

My summary? Think Back to the Future, MiB, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Doctor Who, roll it all into one and you’ve got Tempest. If you don’t believe me, read it for yourself. I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment.

***Tempest by Julie Cross was an EXCELLENT read. 5/5 stars and one of my favorites for 2011. Way to make it under the 2011 deadline. This book will be part of the giveaway on my blog December 27-31 as part of “Best of 2011.” Woot!***

Find Tempest by Julie Cross:  Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Novel Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other DayIt’s been a while since I’ve done a review. Between NaNoWriMo 2012 and releasing a couple of works in December, I’ve been behind… WAY behind on reading and reviews. Well, it’s time to mend my ways. 🙂

So here we have Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I picked up a copy from NetGalley. I have to say, the Netgalley program is treating me right. 🙂 How about a blurb before the review, just like old times.

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She’s human. 

And then every day in between…She’s something else entirely. 

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism. 

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive…and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

One thing I have to say about Every Other Day, the story line was unique to me. If anything, that alone kept me in the story.

The novel is set in an alternate reality where paranormal elements (zombies, hellhounds, dragons, etc) were discovered by Darwin way back when. Not only are the paranormal creatures a part of the world, but they’re also protected as endangered species. Too bad for them, Kali is a natural born hunter during her “non-human” cycle.

The bulk of the story follows Kali, the main character, during a 48-72 hour time span. All the while, Kali’s internal clock provides a countdown until her next cycle.

For the most part, this was an okay read. Like I said, the story was unique. Early on, I was a bit confused about the Darwin theory, but eventually it was explained. Other parts were a bit predictable, but my biggest gripe was Kali’s near invincibility.

On her “non-human” days she was like Spider-man in the areas of strength and reflexes and Wolverine when it came to rejuvenation, but she felt no pain and was A LOT harder to incapacitate.

Meanwhile, all she had to do was lay low on her human days and voila! she was back in action. As such, it lacked any real stakes.

Normally I like to talk about side characters, and there were quite a few with varying importance in the story. However, the relationships Kali seemed to form with them seemed rather shallow, making it difficult to care for anyone in particular.

I give the story an A+ for uniqueness, but the execution could have been better. If a sequel does happen, it’s a story I may or may not seek depending on mood. Overall, 3/3.5 out of 5 stars.

As a side note: I never did figure out how she managed school on her non-human days.

Available atBarnes & Nobles and The Book Depository