Book Review- The Flaming Sword

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I will be completely upfront, I did not care for this book as much as the first. It felt like for the first 3/4ths of the book there had been zero growth from the characters, with the exception of Brady. I really enjoyed seeing him step up and the tension between him just about being his own man and still growing up was really well done.

YA and children’s literature are my current favorite genres, but The Flaming Sword was the first time I really had trouble getting through a YA book because I felt like I was too old for it. Maybe this is a sign that it really has been a long time since I’ve been 16…

I will say Heather L.L. FitzGerald’s gargoyles should be the standard for gargoyles in fiction, because those things were the most most vivid portrayal I have ever seen/read of the mythical beasts.

I appreciated the ending, it was a very good set up for the third book while still being fulfilling.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.
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Book Review- Island Hope

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Island Hope is completely outside of my normal reading. I virtually never read contemporary fiction, and I rarely read romance novels. A contemporary romance novel? This is a first for me.

Kimberly Rose Johnson paints a beautiful picture of Wildflower Island. It was easy to visualize this small town and the people who lived in it. I appreciated how when the newcomer to the island, Hope Michaels comes to the island, she isn’t treated as an outsider.

I have not read the previous three books in the series, but Island Hope was a pleasant book and I recognized that the parts I did not care for had more to do with my reading outside of my preferred genres than the story itself. It is a solid book, and I would recommend it to friends who enjoy contemporary romance.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.

50 Shades of Grey- A Review

Two posts for today because I don’t want to wait until next week.

The following is the most thorough, well thought out review I have read on a work of fiction.

Fifty Shades of Grey: A Review from a Biblical Perspective

I have had the opportunity to talk, in length, with the reviewer over the last few months as she’s worked on this project. She was troubled that no review written from a Biblical perspective, by a person who had a read the book, seemed to exist. And when a book is the fastest selling paperback book to date, with a movie coming out, this is a gaping hole.

If you have been curious about this book, or the upcoming movie, I highly suggest reading the above review. A small portion:

Why is Fifty Shades of Grey so popular?

There are many women who love Fifty Shades of Grey for the exciting element they say it adds to their sex lives. Other women call it porn, like it as porn, and make no other defense as to why they read and enjoy the books. E.L. James herself said she doesn’t know why her books are selling so insanely fast, that it was just her own personal “mid-life crisis” fantasy [5]. But when asked if she thought women secretly desired to be submissive, she answered with, “Possibly, yes. You’re in charge of your job, your house, your children, getting food on the table and doing all of this all of the time, it’d be nice for someone else to be in charge for a bit.” [5]

But Grey’s in-chargeness should not be viewed as a positive or desired image of leadership. Whereas Biblical leadership lies in the husband’s sacrifice to give himself to his wife and to seek her best interests, Grey’s dominance is just greedy possession of Ana as a means to an end. Similarly, Ana isn’t submissive because of the love and trust built between her and Grey, she’s merely silenced into a pattern of passivity and docile acceptance.

Fifty Shades of Grey paints an image for women that being devalued and used is desirable. It perpetuates the idea that true masculinity means being uncontrollably violent. (Both of these concepts perpetuate the problem of downplaying the seriousness of rape.) Fifty Shades speaks of an exclusively selfish and manipulative definition of “love.”

If women want a strong man, they would not want Christian Grey, because it takes more strength to love than to harm. If women want a man that showcases true masculinity, they do not want Christian Grey, because true masculinity lies in self-control, taking responsibility, and caring for the weak and timid — not exploiting them.

Ending note: If you have been one of the people the author has talked to about this project, please do not mention her name in the comments. Thank you.