Review: Invasion (C.H.A.O.S Book One) by Jon S. Lewis

 

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 4, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1595547533
  • Source: Publisher
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    Sixteen year-old Colt McAllister is orphaned after his parents are killed in a car “accident.”  He moves to Arizona to live with his grandfather and start up his life all over again.  Shortly thereafter, he receives a call stating his parents death wasn’t an accident; his mother was killed because she was about to reveal that a top corporation known for creating chips to aid in curing serious diseases is actually using these chips for mind control.  His father was “collatoral damage.” 

    Colt soon realizes his world wasn’t as it seems, but strangely mirrors a series of comic books his parents encouraged him to read as a child.  The flying motorcycles & beings from other worlds are real, and human kind is protected from these invaders by an agency referred to as C.H.A.O.S.  This isn’t anything new; C.H.A.O.S involvement can be tied back to World War II.

    It is up to Colt & his friends Danielle & Oz, along with the C.H.A.O.S. agency to stop an alien race from crossing over into their world for the purpose of dominating the human race.

    Invasion serves its role as the first book in a series. It introduces the characters, provides back-story and lays out the main storyline.  The storyline is exciting and engaging.  As a lover of graphic novels myself it was exciting to read about one quite literally coming to life.  My only complaint is the lack of character development.  I hope Lewis plans on expanding upon this in much more detail in the subsquent books. Because I couldn’t “mesh” with any of the characters, this book didn’t grab my attention as much as I would have liked. 

    While published by a christian fiction publisher, Invasion really didn’t have the feel of christian fiction.  There was only a brief mention of faith, but again perhaps this is something the author will delve into more in subsequent books.

    All in all, I do recommend Invasion  for fans of YA science fiction.  The plot is pretty unique and this series has a lot of potential.  I do look forward to the second book in this series, scheduled for release in 2012.

    Review: The Faithful by Jonathan Weyer

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Brio Press (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982668708
  • Source: Author
  • Aiden is an assistant pastor at a Presbyterian church in Columbus, OH.  So many of his parishioners rely on him for his strength & faith, but lately he’s been questioning that faith.  His faith is put to the test even more when he learns his mentor is having an affair…and when he learns his ex-girlfriend, Amanda, has been killed in a ritualistic murder.

    Aiden instantly becomes part of the investigation, first as a suspect and then as a resource.  At the same time, unnatural things begin happening around town: bare foot prints appear in the snow, a parishioner begins to have prophetic dreams.

    Through his investigation with Detective Jennifer Brown, Aiden learns about a group called The Faithful, a group of ghost hunters led by Father Neal, an Episcopal priest.  When Aiden accompanies them on a residential ghost hunt one night, he gets a first hand experience with the supernatural. The spirits are attracted to Aiden, the reason unknown.

    The Faithful is the ultimate tale of good versus evil.  Weyer is a fresh new voice in this genre, coined “religious horror” and writes the perfect combination of a supernatural thriller meets Christian fiction. The storyline is compelling and unique, weaving the supernatural and religion in a completely new and original way. While it’s obvious that religion plays a key role, it is not overwhelming or engrossing.  What I particularly enjoyed about this book was, although it is described as horror, it’s not gruesome or gory, but still chills you to the bone.

    Weyer’s characters are incredibly detailed and developed, making it hard not to become invested in them. I’m impatiently awaiting more from this author. I guarantee this is a book you won’t want to miss! 

    About the Author

    Jonathan was born in 1974 in Huntingburg, Indiana. He spent two weeks every summer with his grandma who allowed him to check out stories about Bigfoot, the Mothman and ghost stories from the library. 

    Jonathan’s family moved to St. Louis, Missouri when he was in the sixth grade. After college, he went to Covenant seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity with honors. He is currently ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

    While pastoring two churches,one in Illinois and one in Florida, he began to write a fantasy book based on American mythology.

    After a move to Columbus, Ohio, Jonathan felt a call to campus ministry at The Ohio State University. During the transition from church ministry to campus ministry, he decided to write his second novel, The Faithful, which combined his knowledge of the church and his love for scary stories.   

     Jonathan is the founder of The Thomas Society, a ministry dedicated to answering questions from doubters, agnostics and atheists. Along with the atheists at Ohio State, he won a Multicultural Award from the university. Because of his work with atheists, the Secular Student Alliance added him to their speaker’s bureau.

    Jonathan has recently become an Editorial Contributor to TAPS Paranormal Magazine. His first article, Sacred Horror, will be in the November/December issue.

    Jonathan lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, three kids and a crazy cat

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    Review: The Prophecy by Dawn Miller

    It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

    You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

    Today’s Wild Card author is:

    Dawn Miller

    and the book:

    The Prophecy

    ***Special thanks to Pam Mettler of ZonderKidz for sending me a review copy.***

    My Review:

    Five children (Sam, Jonas, J, Carly, & Jenna) experience an event that forever changes not only their lives but mankind as a whole as well.  Unfortunately,  not one of them is able to recall just what transpired. Eventually, their friendships fade and they go their own separate ways.  Fast forward several years: Sam, the “leader” of the pack, begins to have nightmares that he can’t seem to get out of his mind. He contacts the rest of the group and one he realizes they are having similar nightmares, he suggests that they meet back up in New Orleans.

    As each of the group trek back home for their reunion, they are faced with supernatural barriers attempting to stop them from reuniting, and from remembering what happened that evening so long ago.  They eventually discover that they are Watchers-humans caught in a battle between warrior angels who watch over mankind and fallen angels hell-bent on destroying life as we know it.They must come together as one to wage war against the fallen and help save mankind.

    Although The Prophecy is labeled as young adult fiction, it would easily be appealing to an adult.  Miller did a fantastic job of pacing the storyline, building the suspense in such a way to keep you intrigued and interested. While the underlying storyline focuses on the power of faith, Miller portrays it in such a way to avoid being overtly preachy.  My only complaint would be the length of the book; I feel as though it could have been a bit shorter. The first part of the book seemed to drag a bit to me, but the last half of the book made up for it!  The last 100 pages or so are full of action and suspense. My only concern is that some readers might be dissuaded by the first half of the book and give up before it gets really good. Ideally, the excitement and energy that exists in the last half of the book should be carried through the entire novel.

    That said, I still highly recommend this! As I stated above, this is technically a Christian fiction but doesn’t seem to be at first glance.  If you aren’t familiar with Christian fiction and have the desire to test the waters, this might be the book for you!

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


    Dawn Miller is an award-winning filmmaker and author who has written and produced several books, a music video and an urban teen drama. She lives in St. Louis with her teenage son and is currently at work on the graphic novel and feature film version of “The Watcher Chronicles”.

    Visit the author’s MySpace.

    Product Details:

    List Price: $9.99
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Paperback: 352 pages
    Publisher: Zondervan (April 13, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0310714338
    ISBN-13: 978-0310714330

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