Review: FEAR! ~ Steven Nedelton

abstract backgroundA real life drama. In this expansive examination of Man’s nature, the author takes us into a world where the government controls everything, war is a constant reality, and no one can be trusted. Throughout it all, one family clings to their values while standing fast against the forces that would see them torn apart.

Ranging in time from the distant past to the near future, FEAR! takes the reader on a journey to the center of Hell.

3 Thumbs-UpA word of warning; if you are easily offended by the ‘f’ word, and feel it is pretty pointless in a book and has no place there, don’t bother to pick up this book as you’ll find offense on nearly every page.  However, if you can come to see that the use of it may actually help the plot in some way, give this book a try.

The book itself is rather enjoyable spanning a time frame from the far distant past to the near future, and as a descriptive writer this Author excels as events and locations in the book come to life before the readers eyes.  With a deft use of words, they are able to transport the reader to the era in which the plot is taking place so vividly that they will have to lay the book down occasionally to check that they really are in their own time.  However, if you are not a fan of time leaping plots you may find this book somewhat confusing as it moves from one era to another quickly.  The way in which the Author does this can make the structure of the book somewhat difficult to follow if the reader is new to the idea of time leaping in their reading material, but it is worth persevering with to read this intriguing book.

The Author does not just limit his descriptive writing talents to the location and events in the novel, he uses them to great effect when writing the characters encountered.  For the most part these are very well-developed and realistically three-dimensional, which added depth to the book, unfortunately the Author was not able to sustain this level of development in all their characters to the point where some seemed to be caricatures of what they truly could have become if more time had been taken in their development.

If you are looking for a solely plot driven book then you will be disappointed in this one, as it appeared to me to be more character driven than plot driven, and as some of these characters were a lot less developed than others it actually affected the pace making it limp painfully along in some places.  I’m not sure if the Authors intent was produce a character driven piece of work, or whether this happened more by chance, but it would have added immensely to the novel if there had been some plot to help in the areas where the characters were too weak to carry the book.

If you enjoy time travel books you may well enjoy this novel, but if you are looking for something deep and meaningful this is not the book for you.

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Review: When Mountains Move (Into the Free #2) ~ Julie Cantrell

When Mountains MoveIt is the spring of 1943. With a wedding and a cross-country move, Millie’s world is about to change forever.  If only her past could change with it. Soon after the break of day, Bump will become Millie’s husband. And then, if all goes as planned, they will leave the rain-soaked fields of Mississippi and head for the wilds of the Colorado Rockies. As Millie tries to forget a dark secret, she hasn’t yet realized how drastically those past experiences will impact the coming days.For most of Millie’s life, being free felt about as unlikely as the mountains moving. But she’s about to discover that sometimes in life, we are given second chances, and that the only thing bigger than her past … is her future.

3 Thumbs-UpTwo things I wasn’t fully aware of when I was given this book to read; one, it was the second in a series and two, it is classified as being Christian literature.

Maybe my inability to connect with any of the characters in this book was due to the fact that I hadn’t read the first one in the series, and because of this I didn’t understand some of their personality traits and motivations behind the things they did and said throughout the book.  Those I did connect with, and thoroughly enjoyed were characters, which obviously from the way they appeared in the novel, were making a debut on these particular pages.  Maybe because I read this out of sequence, there were many times I just didn’t find the characters believable at all, and this really disappointed me to a point where I nearly consigned this book to the ‘to be finished later’ pile.

The saving grace in this novel, and the one that kept me reading through to the end was the vivid way in which the Author describes the small corner of Colorado the main protagonists call home.  When the main character sees the scenery before her for the first time, and it takes her breath away it also takes the reader’s breath away too, such is the skill this Author shows when writing about the locations in which the novel is set.  The Author has also obviously done a great deal of research into the local plants and herbs of the area, as well as the crafts of quilting and knitting and this shines through when she explains the use for the herbs and plants encountered.  In many ways this book could have so easily become preachy as it is full of references to God, but it didn’t.  While staying true to its genre it still managed to portray a harsh and gritty way of life for those who were trying to break ground and start new lives not only partway through a world war, but so close to the end of the depression era.

As much as this was an enjoyable read it didn’t make me want to backtrack and open the first, and I highly doubt I will read anymore in this series.  I would recommend this to readers of Christian literature, but I would also advise they read Into the Free #1, before tackling this book.

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