Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: 90 Devotions for Kids: Adventures in Odyssey

I was really looking forward to a devotional book for my kids, they love Bible stories and it would be nice to have an aid to apply the themes behind the stories. I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed  when I received this book in the mail. Not because the content was bad, but simply because my kids seem to be a little to young to benefit from the book. My oldest is 6 years old and I was hoping there would be some pictures to go with the stories. and colour, but this book does not provide either. Also the book refers time to time to the Adventures in Odyssey characters and stories, and my kids have not seen either.

All my personal disappointment aside (not being able to put it to use right away), I thought the devotionals were great when geared toward older kids.  The stories are short enough, engaging, and Bible based. All of the devotions have themes, challenges, memory verses, and activities to keep the kids engaged and walking out what they learn in the devotionals. I know a few kids at the proper age that will benefit from my gift. I just wish the book would give the age appropriateness.

For Older Kids: 5/5

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Review: The River by Michael Neale

It's rare to come across a book that "flows" the way The River does.  This novel is not just a story but it is like immersing yourself in a song. Michael Neale has brilliantly woven a wonderful story into a work of art.
The River is a story about a young man that has witnessed a life altering tragedy in a river at the age of 5 and his journey to healing that brings him back to the same place he began. I found myself unable to put the book down, it was no work to read through the story and you find yourself enjoying every page.

This novel has no content in it, that feels like filler, you will find yourself immersed in the story the whole way through.  Although, I understand a lot of the parallels the author was trying to convey in the story that have to do with life; I don't think it was necessary for the enjoyment of the book. The book is blatantly allegorical but it doesn't take away from the book. It reads like a story your grandfather might read to you while sitting at his feet.
It is hard to believe that this is Micahel Neale's first novel, but after reading it you can understand why he is a songwriter.

For people that just want to hear a good story, I would definitely recommend this book to you. I find it a hard book to review because it feels like I would be revealing a perspective on a work of art. I believe parts to the story that any person can find themselves connecting with.
I can't remember when I last gave 5/5 stars on a book. Check it out!

I received this book free for my honest review from

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel

Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel is a adventure novel about Jack Hawthorne who recovered part of Moses' staff (The Nehushtan), but he ends up getting captured in the process. His friends are looking for him and he is looking for a way out, but can he get out with the artifact or will he lose it to the others that want it?

I have not come across enough Christian author's that can write a "Indiana Jonesesque" novel that is worthy of the genre. When I saw this book available, I did not know it was the second in a series, so I went out and bought the first (Elisha's Bones). I loved the first book. It was everything you could ask for in an adventure novel and the fact that they were pursuing a biblical artifact made it all the more appealing to me.
The second book took much longer for me to get through, partly because I had less time to read it and partly because it was not as good as the first in the series. The writing in both books is great, the characters are as well. The reason why I found the second book to be much more exiting is because of the pursuit of the relic itself. The first book you are going through Jack Hawthorne's adventures exited to see how he is going to retrieve Elisha's Bones. In the second book, you are given a scene where he has found it immediately and the rest of the book becomes a pursuit of Jack himself. I found it took away from the mystery and anticipation in the book, the last chapter got interesting but it took me a long time to get there.
If Don Hoesel continued in writing more Jack Hawthorne novels, I would be curious to see where he goes with it. Hopefully he can reclaim the adventure and mystery of the first novel.

I would give the first book 4.5 out of 5 and the second a little less than 3.5 out of 5.

I received this book free for my honest review courtesy of Bethany House Publishers
A Division of Baker Publishing Group