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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eternity's Edge

 [Eternity's Edge by Bryan Davis]

Eternity’s Edge is the second installment in the thrilling and wonderful, Echoes from the Edge series. Bryan Davis whipped up a masterpiece in this book of suspense and mystery, filled with the true love of friends. Again Mr. Davis kept me guessing and urging the story onward(in a good way). This is not a book to start late at night--unless you want to give up sleep to read it! The musical tie-ins with this book just got stronger and really added a cool dimension to the story. New characters pop up as well as our favorites. One of the best second book in the series books I've read.


Kelly is in the hospital from Mictar’s last assault on her life essence, leaving her vision blurry and Kelly half blind. But even a hospital isn’t a safe place for her. Kelly gets two visitors simultaneously, Mictar and his life sucking persona, and Nathan making sure she’s alright.  When Mictar makes a play on her life, Nathan tries to stop the dimensional stalkers’ revenge, but even he is no match for Mictar’s power.  Not hearing anything from inside the door during Mictar’s motor suspension, Tony barges in tries to intervene. But Mictar only pauses for a second before removing Tony from the fight. With only a radio for help they blast classical in an attempt to cut through Mictar’s hellish tunes, and barely succeed.

With this intensely gripping start  to kick off the plot, Mr. Davis brings to bear a powerful second book in the series. The book is woven spanning multiple dimensions and countless lives that will never be the same. The search for Nathan’s parents continues amongst inter-dimensional portals with the mirrors.With the right song, is it true they could go anywhere? During the uses of Quattro, Nathan and Kelly being to realize something is different about the Quattro mirror, even wrong?  It does more than it seems it should , but doesn’t always react the same, it’s not predictable...it’s almost as if it has a mind of its’ own.

On a trip, with the now young girl Francesca, Nathan is taken into the realm of Supplicants and guardians by their musical serenade. With his song they are transported to the land of dream and song. On their voyage he meets his supplicant, Scarlet. His intercessor. He is her love, and she intercedes for him with her life’s entire passion, but what will the cost be? Could the cost be her life? Patar arrives time and time again spouting cryptic passages to the son of Solomon. His words seem to make no sense to Nathan...But even as strangely as they sound, doubts come to Nathan. Do they make too much sense? Is he really being selfish, about his parents, his wants, Kelly? What about the supplicants, do they really have to die? Patar seems to think so, is it just more doom and gloom prophecies? What would Mr. Shepherd do? Nathan is driven by doubts that confuse his choices trying to keep his father’s choices his choices. Could Francesca be right, what if Nathan needs to stop looking to what his father would do and try to figure out what he should do.

Kelly’s past life still comes back to haunt her, and can she overcome it? Can she still help Nathan search for his parents? What does she think about Nathan? About his ideals, will she wait? Kelly will sacrifice everything for him, but when will Nathan tell her about the Lord, and the redemption found there?

 Nathan’s parents, are still on the run from Mictar, will they be found? Nathan, Clara, and Kelly’s counterparts and slowly being destroyed in the different worlds, will they be next?

Check out this awesome book by Mr. Davis!! It’s a must for your bookshelf.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Superlative Stream

[The Superlative Stream by Kerry Netiz] 

The Superlative Stream: Kerry Nietz just turned out another fantastic title with our favorite characters :SandFly, HardCandy, and if you can count the lovable personality-Darktrench. They reach the Betelgeuse system and find something out of the ordinary. Not the Superlative Stream waiting for him as SadlyFly had hoped, but instead, civilization? After sending out a probe and having it destroyed, they realize it might not be friendly inhabitance, and then it’s proven. Unable to absolutely avoid the impending attack instead of making them await the verdict, Darktrench puts SandFly and HardCandy to sleep.

When they awake  things are definitely different. Darktrench won’t respond to their prodding and it looks like…they are going to get boarded. HardCandy wonders if their impending meeting with the planets’ inhabitants is a fulfillment of more Abdul prophecy. Sandfly is not so sure, something is amiss, but what? What is the voice telling him, it doesn’t make sense! They are boarded by the strange shimmering craft, and—no one is aboard. Following it’s beckoning stream commands the pair leave the now nonfunctional Darktrench and embark down to the land.  What they find? Muscled and blue skinned men, could they really be Jinn as HardCandy supposes? They travel underground and dock in the city, everything is dazzlingly beautiful, but from what the strangers say, there is many more cities just like this, many of them below ground!

 The caste system the blue skinned men fit in, binds them in ways not unlike debuggers and Abduls, but they claim it is freeing. Is everything as wonderful as it looks? Everything is stream aware and building from the most basic of elements all things can be changed and crafted. Created, Maintained, Reclaimed, the three castes are kept busy. Everything is customizable, perfect, but HardCandy wants the surface air and to walk on a planet again.  And since Hard wants it, and Sandfly doesn’t have a good reason why not, he acquiesces.

When on a walk with HardCandy, Sandfly kisses her, and the incurring shock from the stops send her into a non-responsive coma. SandFly is torn as to how to best help her. Should he try to return to a nonfunctioning Darktrench and try to take her home? Join one of the castes? What would help her more, can he even do anything? The Jinn seem to believe the only option for helping her is to have him join a faction, only then can he be fully stream aware and able to help her. When SandFly joins the Maintainers, everything changes. With his new template he can do anything, fix anything, his life  completely changed, ultimately different and he has accepted everything is random, just like Shem, one of the Jinn, said.

Why is the person in the chamber tube in his room? The face holds no significance to him. Why should it? SandFly wonders at the strange phenomenon, shouldn’t they have removed this already? The person doesn’t look like him either. He has HardCandy sent to the planets ICU sector and continues with life glad to be rid of the object. Days and days pass without a thought for his past life or even HardCandy, and then…in the middle of working on a project, a triped appears with a message for him, could he be from A-A^3. What does it mean?

I won’t spoil the ending for you, it was toooooo interesting to chance ruining it for you, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and believe it to be a worthwhile read for all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Prodigy

[The Prodigy by Alton Gansky]

The Prodigy is, in my opinion, one of Alton Gansky’s finest books. His plot is very solid giving an excellent framework on which to stretch his  variety of spiritual tales: A boy with the ability to heal, to sense and to see, a  brilliant college student who seeks the miraculous, and those who wish to exploit the boy and his abilities.

Now I said before the plot was solid, and it was..But it also was not unexpected with the characters we had in play. However, besides in some ways being predictable, the entire plot wasn’t that way and as always the characters had surprises up their sleeves. Overall I feel like this book  did an amazing job at delving into some deep issues and different situations due to Toby’s unusual gifts. A refreshing plunge into something new. The ending of the book was one of the strangest I’d ever read. I did a double take and read it twice to make sure I had it right. Wonderful way to end it!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oracles of Fire

 [Oracles of Fire by Bryan Davis]

Oracles of Fire:  Mara is an under born, never seeing the light of day. Her life is all about mining looking for more ore, until—something changes, her intelligence is shown and she is upgraded. But they never upgrade them, why is she so special. She is upgraded to working on the growth chambers, Nephilem are their crop and and destruction is their goal. Morgan Le Faye is back in this first installment in the Oracles of Fire series! And just as seductively evil , her side kick, Naamah. Who  is still sowing her seeds of destruction and songs of horror. 

Acacia is Mara’s friend, like mirror images of each other, silver hair and the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. Unknown to the pair is that they are both the Oracles of Fire long since prophesied. But it's not unknown to Morgan, and she  knows the whole truth. No one can shed their blood without dying, and they can’t be murdered only betrayal can destroy them. And so the first betrayal begins, Mara and Acacia are found with bred loaves to feed the others and Acacia takes the blame willingly. Without Mara stepping forward to except the blame, it is betrayal without trying to. Instantly Morgan throws Acacia off the cliff into the lava flow gone forever. Forever gone....Except—for the screams that haunt Mara’s dreams. Now alone underground without her growth twin Mara feels abandoned…and then she finds the Eye of the Oracle—and then the real adventure begins.

Elam Son of Shem was taken as a child, taken by Morgan to work the brick mines, but something else is afoot. One night Mara finds out the “mouse” that she thought she fed with leftovers(though they never have enough to truly share) is a boy from teh brick mines. The first boy she’s ever really been in contact with, if seeing their fingers as contact. He needs food, and they have little enough to spare. One night when stew is the only food they get Mara feeds him by hand, and a bond is formed—and the second tool of betrayal is readied.

We also learn the beginning of the dragons, Samzaya, and even how Morgan is killed and yet evil continues after the flood. The book was extremely good and I am a huge fan of Mara/Now Sapphire Aida. I can't wait to see what the series holds as it continues and if her spawn, "Yereq" will be good or evil.

The books endearing characters carried me along with the story easily. They were likeable, believable, and the back story for some of the other books of Mr. Davis was awesome! It was interesting how the biblical account was woven into scripture, not my favorite thing, but definitely a piece of this book . And the plot? Definitely original!
I enjoyed the book, the characters, and definitely the length of the book! Man this thing is a whopper!! Thanks Mr. Davis :)

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Angel is yet another spiritual thriller from Alton Gansky. As Pracilla Simmons, a newspaper woman by trade, is called to represent the human race to “Aster” a being from another world, her faith is challenged in more ways than one. Traditions old and new are tugging at her heart, and Aster must be right, right?

 I felt like Pricilla’s character development was superb. The suspense built up as she went back and forth on what she believed causing me as a reader lots of stress! I cared what happened to her! The mystical appearances and unknowns about Aster only heightened my focus on his words, actions, and even thoughts when he did show up, causing almost a fun “discovery” mood, if not for his dastardly self. If this book was a fishing hook, I was just plain stuck there waiting for it to let me go. Besides superb character arcs though, I feel like Lizzy, her solid and encouraging friend, should have received more spotlight time especially once I reached the ending---which was stunning. In a good way ;)  The UFO hunter angle wasn’t surprising but I also don’t feel like it was completely fleshed out either. All in all, this was an excellent character based book and with just a few plot tweaks it could have been a masterpiece in it’s genre.
[Angel By Alton Gansky]

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Darkness Fled

[To Darkness Fled]

Ok, first off, this book was absolutely awesome and way too cool to accurately describe its' awesomeness here ;)

Achan--Or rather Gideon Hadar is on the run into the darkness. Sir Gavin and the other knights demand he take a bride, but why doesn't Sparrow like anyone they think of? Not that he does, but the little weasel is hiding something. After avoiding detection on entering the darkness they travel for days and days in almost complete silence, but not mental silence. The darkness will twist your mind if you don't focus so the ticket of the day is Bloodvoicing practice, something Achan wanted to do anyway. During practice he almost kills sparrow and once again lets his mind bleed out, his frustration is clear at the apparent failure of everything he's trying. When the reach Mirrorstone Lord Eli seems eager to help...but what of the Hartamos women? It's clear they want to be queen, but how far will they stoop? After escaping the pressures of the meal Achan is preyed on by their magic and he pledges undying love to Jaira of all people! But little Sparrow isn't about to let him marry her no matter what, and intervenes with a rescue. Gren is in trouble! Achan knows it and he bolts into the darkness to save her, or he would have if not for three Old King's Guard Knights on his back, Sparrow forces hops tea into his mouth and eventually he succumbs to it. But something is happening to Gren and he knows it.

Vrell trecks into the maddening darkness with only one thought consoling her, she can help Achan. And help him she does! The boy who would not be king gets into many scrapes as they campaign for support. She has to contact mother, but Achan is getting suspicous, how can she allay his fears of a traitor but gain mothers help to get away? It's been too long since a bath and she's ready to go home and hide there, hang Nathak's song for forcing her into hiding. As her blood voicing skills are grown under the tutelage of the knights, a mind guarding try for Achan nearly becomes fatal for her as unbeknownst to him he storms her. Only her fainting saved her, but being a girl is getting harder and harder to hide. The trip to Mirrorstone holds much in store for Sparrow as she must save Achan for from Jaira while maintaining her guise as a boy, and it just keeps getting harder. Only Sir Gavin knows the truth but he's not helping much, mother says she must come home, but how can she desert the king when he needs her so much? During their blood voicing training she peaks on Bran, and finds him---talking to Gren!? And he thinks she's pretty? Her world should be spinning, so why isn't it? She clings to the idea that he's the one she should marry but slowly her heart is slipping away and there's nothing she can do about it. Will she humble herself or remain proud and silent?

Prince Esek will not be thwarted again, he wants three things. 1) Averella wed, 2)Achan killed, and 3) The Kingdom under his thumb. His route to getting those? "AM I KING!?" And he nearly succeeds...Achan is taken by the dark mages under his bidding to be sacrificed to the earth god barthos by the Barthinians. Suspended on wooden spikes he has the stray king right where he wants him, or does he? Arman intervenes and the Kings Guard arrive in time. But the "king's" is not sated and he wants Achan killed by any means possible. Where poison has failed, perhaps a dagger in the back won't? And getting Averalla will just be a bonus, yes, clove wine will be perfect.

This is an amazing action packed book with just enough romance thrown in to appeal to almost any reader. Achan of Cham is a wonderful protagonist and I felt so bad for him and Vrell. Prince Esek and Hadar were also done masterfully, just like the entire book! Jill absolutely knows how to write an epic story that has you holding onto your hat the entire way, I've read this book more than once and it's on the top of my to-buy list. You won't regret trying it out, just make sure to read By Darkness Hid first!!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tears of a Dragon

[Tears of a Dragon by Bryan Davis]

Synopsis:The watchers are unleashed and there aren't enough dragons to stop them--yet. Billy and Bonnie set forth on a quest of a singular purpose, to save his father, and to save dragons locked in a place called "Dragon's rest". Ashley goes on a quest of her own, in an act of sacrifice she steals the Merlin II and flies to meet Morgan's demands. They hold Pebbles and Mrs. Foley, and they want Devin back out of of the Candlestone and into the dragon body. Unfortunately--Or fortunately Walter stows along in the back of the plane not to be left out of the excitement.

Review:This book was my favorite in the series, I liked the ending...even if I cannot figure out if Billy still has his dragon powers or not!! Also it seemed to have a good conclusion and Morgan was killed, yay!! Some of the quotes in the book were really nice, just straight up powerful. I also liked how the dragons got a chance to be human at the end, otherwise I'd have really felt they got a raw deal now being hunted by the army and news. The relics the series uses, Excalibur, Pendants, etc. really add a lot to the story and are woven in believably and well. It had a bit of romance in the book, though not dissimilar with the other books in that sense. It was more pronounced in this one such as the question and corresponding statement, "Are you related?"--"We are sorta promised". It was strange to have Merlin's wife rescued along with the dragons, but done well enough it worked for me. I loved it  how the professor's wife came back!

I really came to love all the players in this series, especially Walter and Ashley, two seriously funny and interesting characters..

I really enjoyed this book, maybe you will too!

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Circle of Seven

[Circles of Seven by Bryan Davis]

This book to be quite honest is really weird!! Not a bad weird, just weird. Billy and Bonnie are called by a member of an old order of knights to perform a mission. What mission? To rescue the captives in the Seven Circles. The problem? The enemy has "captives"they want set free too.

The books themes are interestingly played out, Love, Supreme Sacrifice, and a host of  other noble virtues. First of all, I'd say this book was the ground laying for a major shift for book four. Devin is no longer a factor in the story, neither is Palin. Now Morgan and her demonic host are out to destroy the dragons and take over the world.

Second, this book has some really wacko spiritual themes, nothing I could say is straight up wrong, but
dealing with Hades, or levels of Hades(I couldn't tell which) was highly strange. Maybe it's just because I am a theology stickler. In contrast though,  I have a friend that doesn't think anything about it. Anyway......Some of the parts were really powerful,but for me, but the strangeness of certain points made it hard for me to fully enjoy it.

So why don't you give it a try?Hope you like it! :)

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The Candlestone

[The Candlestone By Bryan Davis]

This is the second book in the Dragon's in our Midst series. I felt that this book fleshed out the characters a tremendous amount and had me wanting to shout at them occasionally...(But maybe that's just me?) Billy especially showed extreme character development, I wish he could have learned faster though!

Mr. Davis's high flying writing style it had me pensive in fear knowing that Billy's actions would bear out with serious repercussions. Bonnie's trek and silent battle inside the Candlestone was breathtaking, as well as her faith and love for a mother. Willing to sacrifice herself for the few hopes she had. And her seemingly gravity defying love for a father that treated the angelic girl like a science experiment.

Ashley is someone I can't wait to read more about! I can't wait to see if she stays in the books, or even if her now patented phrase "Or your brain will choke" will make a come back!! Meeting up with the girls at the testing site and battle with Devin at the end of the book totally had me sucked in. How would the prophecy bear out!? Having now read it I can breath a sigh of relief, but only now ;)

Something I felt during the beginning and middle of the story was Bonnie should not have gone with her dad no matter what! I wasn't entirely sure if I found her going realistic, but it definitely made for a buckle-up and hang on ride.

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Raising Dragons

[Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis]

Raising Dragons: Billy and Bonnie are dragons--and humans, those who are informed would call them Anthrozils. Billy is told about his dragon heritage after setting off a firealarm at school one day, and slayer stalks them all. Bonnie's lifelong secret that has been in hiding  is exposed as she saves Billy from the slayers and they flee to his house to warn Billy's family. What will the repercussions be?

Thus starts an adventure of two lifetimes, two lives intertwined with each other. To be honest this book is not  my favorite by Mr. Davis, compared to his Echoes from the Edge series it's not even close! But I think partially that is due to my age, and simply preferences.

Something I did enjoy was the fast paced plot and story momentum pulling you to the end. Billy's dragon powers made me want to be able to sense danger and breath fire as well! And Bonnie's...well who wouldn't want to have wings to fly!? Another positive in the book was the absolute repulsion the antagonist and his cronies were able to raise in me. Normally I fear for my favorite characters, in this book, I did that and more. I loathed Sir Devin and Palin along with their devlish plots. I actually despised them, evil being shown for what it is wonderfully by Mr. Davis.But yet they were so absorbed in their evil, they saw their killing of the Anthrozils as a holy quest killing children.

So, was the book my favorite? Nope, but is it a worthwhile and positive read as far as morals and spiritual content? Definitely.

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Tarnished Image

[Tarnished Image By Alton Gansky]

Tarnished Image was a mixed basket for me. I wanted to get into the story I just couldn’t. I got to know the characters reasonably but they seemed just a bit cliché and nothing in the story once the beginning unwound really surprised me. I’m disappointed in the way the story trekked to the end of itself. Maybe others will enjoy it more than I did.

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Certain Jeopardy

[Certain Jeopardy by Alton Gansky]

Certain Jeopardy: This was quite a change from my normal reading, I do minimal military reading mainly from the lack of drive to read it, but also the language and other content. I am ecstatic to say this book passed with flying colors, in fact, it actually raised the bar in my mind for military fiction. I am wholeheartedly impressed with the way violence, and language were handled as well as other issues that might come up. Yet, it didn't give me this mambie-pambie warm and fuzzy read. Ok---I'll admit it I did feel warm and fuzzy when some SEALs showed up, but still ;)

This book was deep on all levels, it examined some of the problems that can come up when the fathers are gone from the home for weeks at a time with an hours notice. The hurt it can cause a family, but also the growth it causes in the hearts of the loved ones, it was definitely some food for thought. It even touched on what it's like from the kids perspective.

The plot in a nutshell: 6 men, the best of the best are about to go on a Black opp mission to do reconnaissance on a building in South America. They thought it might be a training ground for terrorists but as they gain more insight into the situation things change. The mission is scrapped and a new one thrown on the table, they need to rescue a nuclear physicist with an idea to help condense the waste from the nuclear power process--A by product of his idea is uranium ripe for nuclear capabilities. If they can't capture him, don't let him stay in enemy hands--alive that is.

The story was a little too slow moving I felt at some points, and I had a hard time connecting to most of the soldiers, not an impossible time, just harder than normal. I will forever think of Colt though when I think of this book, he was awesome :D

This book is a great read for anyone with military reading taste.

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