June 8, 2012

Book Review -- Eye of the Sword

Eye of the Sword is one of those books I got without realizing it was part of a series. Having said that, it made more sense than I expected it to, even though I never read the first book.

Trevin has recently been appointed comain, and now he has to find the other missing comains, two missing harps, and allies for Camrithia. He also has a Dregmoorian prince to worry about.

Although there’s quite a bit going on in such a short book, the author keeps a good pace. Things move quickly, but don’t seem rushed.
Comains are Henley’s name for knights, and the ones appointed before Trevin have disappeared, leaving their shields behind. The two harps are to be played with Melaia’s to restore the stairway to heaven. And Melaia? She’s the princess of Camrithia, who Trevin wants to marry. Except that her father pledged her to the prince of the Dregmoors to try to bring peace.

It’s really less confusing than it sounds, and well-written for juvenile fiction. But unless I’m missing something, there’s something wrong with the author’s theology. At least half of the characters are various types of angels, who have different colored auras that some characters (including Trevin) can sense. Four are Archae, who are the guardians of the four elements. Melaia and some of the others are half-angels. Because the stairway to heaven is broken, the angels cannot return to heaven.

Overall it’s a good book, but it has a few problems that will keep me from reading it again.

I received this book from Waterbrook for free in exchange for an honest review.

April 29, 2012

Book Review -- Crater

Crater is set in the 22nd century. After wars ravaged the earth, a few brave souls moved to the moon to mine Helium-3 --a cheap and abundant energy source. The main character, after whom the book is named, is a teenaged orphan who knows and wants nothing more than working on the scrapes, mining heel-3. That is, until the Colonel sends him across the moon as a convoy scout, with order to retrieve an unknown item.

I don't read a lot of science fiction, so I don't have much of a reference to compare this book to. To me, it seemed fairly decent, although it is rightly classified as "juvenile" fiction. It was hard to understand at first, with the random terms thrown in to make the story sound sci-fi. You don't notice after a while, but there are still times when I found myself distracted by the author stopping to describe things. The storyline itself was good, though Crater was unbelievably naive (which was the reason he was sent with the convoy).

The romance that seems to have been thrown in as an afterthought is a different story. Maria hates Crater's guts one minute, and is head-over-heels for him the next. It's never really explained how she changed her mind so fast. The POV of the entire book was a little confusing, because it seemed to be inside the character's heads one minute, and outside the next.

Overall, though, I liked Crater. It was simple enough that I could figure out what was going on, even if it did venture into ridiculous sometimes.

I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

March 22, 2012

Book Review -- Stand By Me

Stand By Me, by Neta Jackson, is about Kathryn, a college student from Arizona, and Avis, a worship leader at SouledOut Community Church. Kathryn has recently dropped out of med school to attend a Christian college in Chicago, and Avis' youngest daughter wants nothing to do with Avis or her new husband. When Avis first meets Kathryn, the latter is bringing in food she's salvaged from the dumpster. Obviously things aren't off to a good start. Avis silently criticizes everything about Kathryn and her friends when they start attending SouledOut, and Kathryn has a tendency to just say what she's thinking.
After a time, the two learn to understand each other, and the book ends with the usual happy ending, where everything is resolved and Kathryn and Avis get along.

I didn't really enjoy reading Stand By Me. While I normally don't read books in a real-life setting, that really wasn't the issue. Kathryn's environmentalist personality annoyed me, and I never quite understood why it was that she decided to go Dumpster diving. I also felt the author is a bit out of touch, the way Kathryn mentions how long a 4-hour work day is, and how Avis complains about her husband working 5 or 6 hours a day. There were a couple other things mentioned in passing in the same manner.
The author did accurately portray how some middle-aged and older people think when they see young people in church, the way Avis dislikes how the college students wear jeans to church and speak up too often.

Overall, I could recommend Stand By Me to someone closer to Avis' age, but as a younger reader, I really didn't get much from it.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

This review has also been posted at Into The Book.

March 21, 2012


336. those couples who kiss in parking lots like no one's watching

337. re-reading Lord of the Rings

338. pepperoni pizza and Mt. Dew for lunch

339. youth conferences

340. seeing the grass suddenly turn green after a thunderstorm

341. knowing I'm not the only one who says odd things

342. that look I get when people realize I talk in class

343. knowing family and friends so well that I know what they're thinking before they say it

344. TOMS

345. getting a haircut

346. the way winter turns to summer without warning

347. being able to wear shorts again

348. laughing because the girls in a group all have less luggage than the guys

349. quiet conversations

350. pop-tarts

351. wearing black

352. finishing one more subject in school

353. calling into work so you don't have to miss church and not getting written up

354. buying Mom a birthday present

355. seeing books slowly overflow your shelves

356. making a scrapbook of random things

357. sketching after months of no drawing at all

358. saving loose change

359. that moment when your bad mood suddenly vanishes

360. forgiving people

March 11, 2012

"Concerning Hobbits"

"When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton."

Though not as much excitement as I am feeling right now, I daresay. ;)

Yes. I just opened The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time in a year or two. Or more.
How I ever let myself go this long without visiting my dear friends I'll never know.

Inside, I am pretty much laughing with delight.

March 4, 2012


327. yellow cars

328. laughing at work

329. getting put on front counter instead of back drive for a change

330. suddenly realizing that winter is over

331. goofing off at the park with my friends at night

332. Courageous

333. turquoise jeans

334. mention of band practice

335. how ADD my whole youth group is

February 29, 2012

Wait. It's Spring!

Usually I count March 1 as the first day of spring, but since it's a leap year and therefore still February, I guess it's not really spring yet. But close enough.

Last Friday and Saturday I went with the college group to pass out flyers for the Courageous movie night our church is holding at the school. In this itty bitty town of ours, we gave out approximately 150 flyers, and that's not counting however many were handed out aside from those two days. I'm really excited to see how God uses this. It's gonna be great :D

And since I'm in such a good mood today, --and because I refuse to let this day be as boring as it feels like it'll be-- I made a new Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/Sapphira/life-plain-and-simple/

My poor internet...

But really, you should just go look through the archive of the site where I found most of those pins. It's beautiful :D I was smiling to myself as I read them.
Makes one realize just how much you miss every day. I've noticed I haven't stopped and just tried to find something to be thankful for lately. I'm gonna have to start doing that again.