Unbreakable by Sara Ella

unbreakableAbout the book:

Eliyana Ember is stranded in a foreign country in the Third Reflection with no passport, the inability to mirrorwalk, and zero clue where the nearest Thresholds back into the Fourth or Second might lie. Her mind is a haze, her memories vague. She knows a wormhole from the Fourth sent her here. She remembers her mom and baby brother Evan. Makai and Stormy and Joshua . . .

Deep down El realizes she must end the Void once and for all. Is there a way to trap the darkness within its current vessel, kill it off completely? To do so would mean sacrificing another soul—the soul of a man Joshua claims is a traitor. But he’s lied to her before, and even El senses Joshua can’t be fully trusted, but one thing is certain . . .

The Void must be annihilated. And only the Verity—the light which birthed the darkness—can put an end to that which seeks to kill and destroy.


My review:

I waited ever so patiently for the finale to the Unblemished Trilogy to arrive. And now that it has, I’m sorry to say that I’m a bit disappointed. Maybe it’s just me, but I guess that the first book was so good, nothing could quite compare.

Don’t get me wrong: this finale has lots of feels, even a few cheers and tears. Yet, I felt a bit let down by it. To me, the story seemed to drag in places, and I got to the point that I wondered if it would ever end. I did love how some of the characters grew, but felt that a lot of the internal extemporizing could have been edited for time.

Unbreakable was a good read, but I can’t call it a great read. I’d still recommend you dive into the first of the series, Unblemished. However, I don’t think you’ll be too heartbroken if you don’t make through the entire trilogy. Bummer!

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm

scarlet moon

About the book:

The hunted Feravolk are counting on Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan, to save their race. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed her family.

The land of Soleden is dying because the sorceress queen hunts and kills the people who cared for all nature, the Feravolk. Through their special bond with animals, the Feravolk have become more than men. Faster, stronger, masters of camouflage and stealth. Only a Deliverer born the night of the Blood Moon can save them from extinction.

According to prophecy, Jayden is a Deliverer, but it’s not a destiny she wants. She has no sympathy for either side. The Feravolk killed her family, so they can die for all she cares. And fighting the queen with nothing but daggers and her special abilities—storm predicting—is a suicide mission. Destiny can pick someone else.

Except hiding from destiny proves difficult; Deliverers attract powerful Protectors. Jayden’s is one of the Feravolk, so he can’t be trusted. But he makes her feel safe. Makes her want to save his race. If she chooses to keep hiding, he’ll remain one of the hunted, but he’ll protect her even if it means his death if she faces the queen. Making the right choice has never been so excruciating, especially since the prophecy says nothing about the Deliverer’s success, or survival.


My review:

This book had a lot to live up to for me: more than a year before I read the book, I saw a video on how the cover was created, and it so intrigued me, that I had to read it! And the read was just as good as the cover design 🙂

The writing flows so well, it’s very easy to get caught up in Jayden’s world, but the author has plenty of twists to throw in to keep you wanting to know more. It’s a traditional good vs evil tale, yet the author keeps you guessing as to who is actually good and who may have other motives. The characters are diverse and well-drawn, and the author gave them all just enough highlights and shading to deepen them beyond the basic young adult ingénues.

Good to know there is a sequel, since she left me hanging at the end! Definitely looking forward to picking up Amber Eyes (Children of the Blood Moon, Book 2), but until then, I suggest you grab your own copy of Scarlet Moon and dive into the adventure! 🙂

 

Small disclaimer: if this doesn’t make much sense, please forgive me. I’ve finally given in and gotten sick after staying healthy all fall and winter! Blast my allergies that weakened my immune system!!!! But at least it gives me an excuse to stay in bed and read 🙂

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

isaiahs daughter

About the book:

In this epic Biblical narrative, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.


My review:

This is an extraordinary reimagining of the backstory of a rather minor character in the annals of history (I think she’s only actually mentioned once in the Bible)–Queen Hephzibah, wife of godly King Hezekiah of Judah and mother of very ungodly King Manasseh of Judah. It’s a coming-of-age story, but it’s also so much more than that. It is a tale of love, hope, strength, determination, and faith.

I know that this is a work of fiction, but it is so beautifully told and weaves the words of prophets and kings directly from Scripture so seamlessly, that it seems amazingly real! Mesu Andrews brought the world of Isaiah to life for me as I’ve never imagined before, and I enjoyed every minute of reading this book.

Biblical fiction, such as Isaiah’s Daughter, can bring a new depth of cultural and historical understanding to your study of the Word, while entertaining you wonderfully. I’d highly recommend you snatch up a copy for both the enjoyment and education!

Many thanks to WaterBrook & Multnomah and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

 

The Resurrection by Mike Duran

 

 

resurrection

When the dead come back to life, someone must pay the price.

About the book:

When Ruby Case raises a boy from the dead, she creates an uproar in the quiet coastal town of Stonetree. Some brand her a witch; others, a godsend. But the controversy is just the beginning. For this resurrection has awakened more than just a dead boy.

Reverend Ian Clark does not believe in miracles. Haunted by demons, both past and present, he is resigning from the ministry and has no interest in the city’s spiritual climate, much less its urban legends. But he is about to get a wake-up call…

Together, Ruby and Reverend Clark are thrust into a search for answers…and a collision with unspeakable darkness. For the forces unleashed by Ruby threaten to destroy them all. In the coming battle this unlikely duo is the town’s only hope. But can they overcome their own brokenness in time to stop the evil, or will they be its next victim?


My review:

Honestly, I really had no idea what to expect from this novel. I’ve read a couple of Mike Duran’s stories before, but this was his debut novel, so I wasn’t sure what it would be like.

Well, now I can honestly say it was awesome! It was rife with tension, keeping me turning pages into the wee hours. The characters were thoroughly crafted, with just enough backstory to fill them with a wealth of doubts and passions to drive the story ever more intensely. The setting was well-drawn, yet still common enough to be your own neighborhood, making the agitating force behind everything even creepier. And the censure of lukewarm churches, of lukewarm faith, exposes the roots of evil, while calling Christians to excavate their own hearts and dig out the seeds of doubt and worldliness that lead to lukewarm living.

Do yourself a favor and pick up your own copy of The Resurrection. It will both convict and entertain, and it will be worth every moment of reading! 🙂

 

A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

a light on the hill

About the book:

Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she’s spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her.

When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.


My review:

Connilyn Cossette certainly knows how to draw a picture with her words that is both attention-grippingly tense and heart-touchingly beautiful. Moriyah is a character whose captivity story was described in the last book of the Out of Egypt series, Wings of the Wind. I was so glad to see that Cossette decided to continue Moriyah’s story and color in this fascinating and tragic character some more. Strong on the outside, yet broken on the inside, Moriyah’s struggle to feel close to the God she loves is a silhouette of what many people face each day. Cossette does a remarkable job of penciling in the highlights and shadows of Moriyah’s heart and drawing her back to who God created her to be.

She also beautifully illustrates the Promised Land during the time of Joshua, painting dramatic and lovely images of the flourishing land and its multitude of characters: from vintners, to priests, to soldiers, to traders, she draws a rainbow of colorful people and scenery to support the story.

I’m entranced by Connilyn Cossette’s biblical fiction and look forward to reading the next in the Cities of Refuge series. I highly encourage you to snuggle up with a copy of this book. 🙂

Many thanks to Bethany House for the copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks

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About the book:

A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey. . .and her daughter.

When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.

Yet what unsettles Gwen the most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.

The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state–a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation. . .and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.

When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her–and the only family she has left.


My review:

I actually bought this book for my mom for her birthday a year or two ago, and it managed to resurface from the vortex of books in her bedroom when I was helping her a few weeks back. It sounded like a decent read, so decided to show it to my book club to see if they’d be interested. They agreed right away, so I figured I’d better read it.

Well, once I started reading this book, I could not stop. I finished it in less than a day, despite having to put it down and do real life once in a while. That is vastly quicker than I normally read a book, but the plot was so interesting and the writing so smooth that I wanted to keep going. Every spare moment, I snatched it up and dove back into Gwen’s harrowing tale.

The author certainly knows how to build tension, throw false leads, and keep you guessing to the last moment. I really enjoyed her writing style and will most certainly read Carrie Stuart Parks again.

This is the second novel in the Gwen Marcey series, and I have not yet read the first, but that certainly didn’t hamper my enjoyment of this story. I highly recommend you grab your own copy and hang on for a thrilling read! 🙂

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber

Reclaiming-Shilo-Snow-book-cover-Mary-Weber

About the book:

She was far more capable than Earth’s leaders had accounted for—and they had no idea what she’d do next.
Known as a brilliant mind that could hack humanity’s darkest secrets, seventeen-year-old Sofi Snow is the most wanted teenager alive. She found her way to the icy, technologically brilliant planet of Delon to find Shilo, the brother everyone but Sofi believes is dead.
But as she and Ambassador Miguel partner to find her brother and warn those on Earth of Delon’s dark designs on humanity, Sofi’s memories threaten to overtake her, distorting everything she holds true. She knows the Delonese kept her in a dark, deceptive place . . . and destroyed a portion of her life. Now, the more they discover of Sofi’s past, the more Sofi feels herself unraveling—as each new revelation has her questioning the very existence of reality.
In this harrowing sequel to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Sofi and Miguel must trust each other and discover the secrets locked inside Sofi’s mind as the line between what’s real and what they imagine begins to slip away . . . threatening to take humanity with it.


My review:

For those of you who took my advice and read book one in this series, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (you can read the review here, if you haven’t yet), you know it ended in one of those awful cliffhangers that made me want to scream, “WWWHHHHHYYYYYY????” Well, thankfully the wait is finally over, since Reclaiming Shilo Snow is set to be released in just a few days. And trust me, it was worth the wait.

While it took me a while to change gears from Weber’s Storm Siren world to her Sofi Snow world in the first book, I did not have that issue at all in Shilo Snow. The action picks up right where she left us hanging, and it does not quit until the end.

And she continues to peel back even more layers on Sofi and Miguel to reveal deeply scarred, yet dramatically beautiful characters that you can’t help but cheer for.

Weber did leave the ending a bit open, so I’m not sure if this is the last of the series or if she plans to continue the Snows’ adventures in this dystopian world or not. Either way, thank you Mary Weber for giving your readers some resolution and helping to ease the heartache you left us with last year. (Although, **minor spoiler alert** she did leave me with different heartache at the climax of the story!)

Thrilling, poignant, creative, fascinating…I definitely recommend you read Mary Weber’s Reclaiming Shilo Snow (and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, if you haven’t experienced it yet.)

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂