Thursday, June 27, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Lewis brings back the fun in this second installment, and while again, Young adult fiction is the genre, making it an easy read, it is not a dull read at all. We pick up where we left off with Oz and Colt headed out to the C.H.A.O.S. Training academy, but now, Danielle has been recruited as well. Colt quickly turns the heads of a few fellow cadets, but not necessarily in a good way. But, really, who’s going to let bullies scare you when there are shape-shifting aliens who have infiltrated the campus and have worse things than insults on their agenda. Colt takes it in stride, even while dealing with a discovery that threatens his friendship with Oz.
The dialogue is smooth, the story is fun, and the characters are believable. I’ve met some High School Athletes who seem to fit the same physical build of Oz, so I don’t doubt it can happen. I personally, am looking forward to the third and final book, and would recommend this book to young adult readers, and to the parents of the same. There are some Christian themes in the book, but Lewis does a good job of weaving it into the story naturally so it doesn’t appear as a “how-to” manual on teenagers trying to live their faith in a world being overrun by aliens. Because THAT would be applicable.
In fairness of full disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze.com.
When Work & Family Collide is a re-printing of an earlier book called Choosing To Cheat, but it has updated information, so apparently it’s not the same. I did not read the original book, but I did download the sermon that served as inspiration for this book many years ago, and the message is still as relevant today as it has ever been.
Stanley simply makes the case that many people are caught between the rock of family and the hard place of work. Unfortunately, too many people make the choice to work harder, which “cheats” their family of them. They justify it by claiming it to be “FOR” the good of the family, but in all reality, it actually makes things worse.
The book opens with the story of a successful businessman who was in charge of two continents worth of business from an international company, we are immediately drawn into the pull of the “American Dream.” However, what we quickly discover is that this man was NOT happy, and neither were his wife and daughters. Finally deciding to make some changes, he takes steps towards being there with his family. The road was not easy, and there are some twists to that story, but the point gets across. Using that as a springboard, Stanley goes on to give more examples, principles, and challenges that support the underlying idea that no one ever ends up on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at work.
Being a pastor, Andy Stanley’s heart is for people to understand that God’s design for family is strong and worth fighting to save. We have to work, but we don’t have to do it at the expense of our families.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All the ideas and views in this review are my own and not influenced by the publishers in any way.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Colt, along with his friends Oz and Dani, make for likeable characters. Oz’s confidence borders on cocky, but it’s light-weight, and he never uses it at the expense of his friends. Danielle (Dani) is a whiz with the computers who happens to be a long-time friend of Colt, and does a good job of looking out for him.
The themes of friendship, dedication, sacrifice, and heroism are explored and while some positive points are made, there is enough left open for some discussion. As it turns out, that’s what Lewis must have had in mind, because in the back is a discussion guide for any teenagers who read it. Out of curiosity, I went to ChaosNovels.com and discovered more resources that allow this book to be used for teaching purposes. I enjoyed the Bible Study element to it, being a Youth Minister, and am glad to see that imagination is still alive, and fun books don’t have to involve inappropriate romances between teenagers and vampires or werewolves. I’m looking forward to reading the next book, and give my full recommendation for anyone interested.
In full disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze.com, but all the opinions here are of my own accord, and not influenced by anyone else.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Lawhead continues to inter-mix the modern speech of Kit and Mina with the more formal cadences and patterns of old-world dialogue with ease, and does a wonderful job of demonstrating the differences even in subtle ways during conversations. The idea of ley travel is terribly complex, yet is presented in such a way as to be understood. In no way does the reader feel as though they are being condescended to, or thought too simple-minded to understand.
My personal favorite is the last third of the book, where Kit finds himself in totally foreign surroundings. Not wanting to spoil it for any potential readers, I will only say that Kit finds himself in a time period well beyond any other he has visited at this point, and it opens his eyes to realities that he never considered before.
Having first been introduced to Lawhead’s work through the Bright Empires books, I have undertaken another of his series, and plan on exploring his other works. The Bone House is a fun and exciting second quest, and leaves the reader looking forward to more.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from booksneeze.com.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I have never read Mr. Lawhead's books before, and rest assured I will be delving into some of his others very soon. (I am already reading the second in this series.) His style is easy to read, but not simplified to the point of being childish. The introductions of new times and places are smooth transitions, and he effortlessly mixes the modern-day speech of main characters Kit and Mina with the older, more formal speech that correspond to the appropriate times.
The story itself is captivating, and draws the reader in very quickly. My only regret is that I will have to wait until all of the books are written and released to discover how this story ends. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading good stories, and likes to escape into other worlds.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze.com.