Thursday, August 14, 2008

Heroes of Old, by Jay Young (iUniverse)

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I must confess to being somewhat nonplussed when I heard Jay Young describe his Heroes series as “the X-Men meet the Old Testament”—but I’m glad I took a chance! Heroes of Old, the first volume in the series, is a great blend of Biblical, Middle Age and modern adventure, intrigue and action--yet with a poignancy missing from so much of today's fantasy.

Our story is rooted in the days of Noah, when the Nephilim roamed the earth (Gen. 6:4). The wickedness of man had reached its fullness and God was preparing to cleanse the earth by flood. However, a daughter of one of the dark gods, Henna, is redeemed through her marriage to Noah’s son, Ham. But the seed of the Nephilim is carried within her, and so survives the flood. This terrible seed of power worms its way through history, its struggle to regain dominance kept in check throughout the ages by a small cadre of super-powered warriors called The Faction.

Enter No, an unassuming modern-day teenager living in obscurity in New Mexico, who accidently discovers he carries a unique power. He doesn’t understand the nature of this gift, until the leader of The Faction arrives at his doorstep and enlists him into the group. As he learns more of The Faction’s divine mission, he begins preparing physically, mentally, and spiritually to take his role in a war unknown to man that has lasted millennia—a war, though, that may be coming to its conclusion in our age.

Jay Young has done a great job of weaving a story that covers a vast time span. He keeps the dream intact as we bound from ancient proto-Semitic Canaan, to present-day America, and even to the era of the Crusades, and witness the battle between good and evil in all its forms.

Heroes of Old is a must-read for Christian fantasy lovers!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Pirate Daughter's Promise, by Molly Evangeline (Pleasant Word)

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A delightful tale of high seas adventure, faith and perseverance, and a young girl’s steadfast honor for her earthly father and love for her Heavenly Father.

Orphaned at a young age, Skye McHenry’s life seems destined to drudgery and hopelessness, but for the love and care of a boy, Will James, also orphaned. Her life takes a drastic turn when she is kidnapped from the orphanage by the merciless pirate, Francis Kelley, for the knowledge she possesses of a hidden treasure. Kelley will stop at nothing to wrench the secret from Skye—and Skye is equally determined to resist Kelley’s tortures, for there is a promise to keep. Sail with Will, Captain John Morgan and the crew of the Good Fortune as they pursue the infamous Kelley in a quest to rescue Skye. Turn after turn, twist after twist await you until the final showdown between Will and Kelley, when the most unexpected twist of all bursts onto the scene. And through it all, God’s overriding faithfulness and protection over His loved ones endure.

Classically narrated, The Pirate Daughter’s Promise is an ideal book for extended family reading. Cluster the kids on the bed and transport them to a time when pirates ruled the seas, but not the hearts of men—or the heart of a young woman. They’ll hang on every word as Ms. Evangeline takes them from storm-ridden seas to sun-baked deserted islands, dingy orphanages to wealthy mansions, and the depths of man’s greed to the heights of God’s grace. Your only problem will be settling their protests when it comes time to close the cover for another evening.

Molly Evangeline is a recent home-school graduate who has been writing since she was eight years old. This is her debut novel—but you can bet it won’t be her last.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Aegypt, by LD Alford (OakTara Publishing, LLC)

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Mr. Alford spins a gripping tale of supernatural intrigue that explodes in a clash between early Egyptian mythology and postmodern science. Lying dormant beneath the desert sands for four thousand years, two secrets—one the antithesis of the other—await discovery. Meticulously concealed, yet clearly designed to be found, the ancient burial site catches the notice of Paul Bolang, a lieutenant in the French Foreign Legion and astute amateur archeologist. Lt. Bolang studies the ruins and ponders its abnormal construction and curious markings while awaiting the arrival of an international team of professional archeologists.

The team arrives, the tomb is breached, and its seals are broken—but instead of finding the answers to their questions, the lieutenant discovers they’ve unleashed powerful counterpoised deities heretofore unknown to modern archeology. The soldier must search both his intellect and his faith in deciphering the meaning of these phenomena, while the team of archeologists struggle to deal with what they’re witnessing through the biases of their own disparate world views.

Artfully written and painstakingly researched, Aegypt achieves a delicate balance of enthralling entertainment and solid scholarship. You’ll taste Lt. Bolang’s fear coming face to face with the ancient forces, and share his frustrations as he strains mind and heart to perceive their meaning. And you’ll examine your faith, as he examines his, in reconciling the spirits’ significance to our age—an age in which both deities will assume decisive roles in the affairs of man.

I highly recommend Aegypt to those who would find it a fascinating prospect to delve into the lore of ancient Egypt and the mind of modern man in a common enterprise. Supernatural conquest and natural adventure, new life and grisly death—even a startling spark of romance! Mr. Alford delivers it all in Aegypt.

Book Reviews

While I await the publication of A Prophet's Tale: The Journey Begun (which is coming, but may be awhile yet...), I thought it an expedient exercise to post reviews of some books I've recently completed. Some will be from better known authors, some from lesser knowns (such as myself). They will all be works of fiction--as I'm not really smart enough to evaluate non-fiction--with the hope that my reviews may interest you in picking up one or two of them.

Hope you enjoy the reviews. I'll interrupt them as updates become available on my next work. But for now, here are some suggestions for your discretionary reading pleasure.

Have fun!