Archive for January, 2010

The Gospel According to Lost – Chris Seay

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

 

 

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849920728
ISBN-13: 978-0849920721
Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Lost. I’ve been hooked on this show since the first episode and seeing Oceanic Flight 815 crash. Chris Seay is a pastor and President of the Ecclesia Bible Society. In this book he takes a look at many of the major characters and how they compare/contrast to the Gospels of the Bible.

He goes through characters such as Kate, Sawyer, Locke, and Jack. He also covers the flip side with Linus, Jacob, and some of the other Others.

He makes the comparison that like many in our society, those on Lost are divided. To back up this comparison he uses the characters of John Locke (A man of faith) versus that of Jack Shepherd (A Man of Science).

The people of lost are all running from, in various ways, sinful pasts. You have a false priest, drug addict, murderer, con man. But all of these damaged souls are the types of people that Christ constantly surrounded himself with.

I liked the book. I liked how he put a spin on the characters, something I’ve seen myself coming for a while, especially with the events of last season. If you’re a big fan of Lost, and want a bit of a spiritual insight into the storyline pick this up. It’s not perfect, there are times where the author goes into the character, and never truly draws a biblical comparison. There are other times though, where he draws some very vivid comparisons. It’s a fast book to read, and Pastor Seay definitely has put a lot of thought into lost. So check this book out, I think you’ll like it. If yo haven’t watched Lost though, you might want to watch all the seasons first, before reading this book, since there are what could be considered spoilers.

*DISCLAIMER* A review copy of this book was provided to me by Booksneeze.   This in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here


501st: An Imperial Commando Novel – Karen Traviss

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

 

 

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Lucasbooks (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345511131
ISBN-13: 978-0345511133

 

Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Main Characters:

Omega Squad

Niner
Darman
Corr
Atin

Jusik – Healer Jedi/Mandalorian
Kal Skirata –

Storyline Summary

This novel takes place about 3 months after Order 66. Darman and Niner (who is now recovering from his spinal injury) are part of the Empire’s Imperial Commando Units. In fact, they’ve been made a part of Darth Vader’s personal guard, the 501st. Kal and his “sons” are trying to build new lives on Mandalore, but Kal is determined to pull out Darman and Niner. The 501st is assigned to hunt down all Jedi. Kill all Masters and Knights. Bring Padawans back alive when possible.

Novel Review

I’ve loved just about everyone of these Commando books. Karen Traviss always had a great way of looking at the military life of a squad of troopers. She did so in very realistic ways, you mourned when a soldier was lost, you were happy when one survived.

This novel, while it continues to build on the personalities of all those we’ve met, lacks that adventure aspect in her other stories with these characters. There are a few combat sequences, but for the most part it feels to me like a Soldier on R&R type story. The action sequences that do exist are few and far between, and often times seem to be anti-climatic.

Sadly, this will probably be the last of the Omega Squad storyline novels. There seems to be some conflict involving this series, and the lifestyles of Mandalorians as depicted in The Clone Wars or elsewhere. It would be interesting to see what happens to Niner, Darman and the rest of the boys, but at this time it appears they’ll be permanently in limbo.

If you want to see what happens after Order 66, then you might want to pick this up. But I wouldn’t read it expecting any great revelations. It was just so-so in my opinon. Whether that’s because of all the controversy, or because Ms. Traviss had nowhere to go with the characters, I’m not sure. I was rather disappointed though with the outcome of this book. It just didn’t wrap up things to a satisfactory conclusion, at least not for me. You would think give the objectives of the 501st that there would be a lot more action.

You can discuss it here


Precious Giveway

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Congratulations to Deanna Scott the winner in our Precious Giveway contest. If you didn’t win this time, check back often because we plan on having more contests, and have one currently running for Who Owns the World.

1 people like this post.

Contest: Who Owns the World – Kevin Cahill and Rob McMahon

Thursday, January 14th, 2010



 

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 29, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446581216
ISBN-13: 978-0446581219

 

Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Have you ever wondered how the property in the world is divided? In Who Owns the World, Kevin Cahill and Rob McMahon tackle that question. For instance, you’ll find that:

–Only 15% of the world’s population lays claim to landownership, and that landownership in too few hands is probably the single greatest cause of poverty.
–Queen Elizabeth II owns 1/6 of the entire land surface on earth (nearly 3 times the size of the U.S.).
–The Lichtenstein royal family is wealthier than the Grimaldis of Monaco.
–80% of the American population is crammed in urban areas.

You can see a website about the book here or read a post by the author here

Thanks to Hachette Book Group I’m able to give away 3 copies of this book. To enter to win 1 of the 3 copies, do the following:

1. Leave a comment below. I must have your name and e-mail address in order to contact you.
2. Contest restricted to U.S. and Canada only.

This contest will continue until January 31, at 6:00 PM.


Article: Who Owns the World: Haiti

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I received a copy of Who Owns the World yesterday. It was pointed out there was a section in it pertaining to Haiti. Knowing very little about Haiti, and in light of the recent events, I decided to read the section, and write a brief article on Haiti. Hopefully you’ll learn something new. It’s been said that Haitian’s live in poverty because they’ve made a pact with the devil hundreds of years ago. I’ve not found anything to corroborate that. I did find the following facts:

The Capitol of Haiti is Port-Au-Prince with a population of 917, 112. It gained it’s independence in 1804. Haiti consists of 6,856,960 acres and a population of 8,132,000. To put this in perspective it’d be the equivalent of taking 1/4 of the state of Virginia with approximately the same population. The Gross National Income is approximately $560 per year per person. The GNI for the U.S. is $31,703 per person.

Haiti comprises 1/3 of the Island of Hispaniola. The other 2/3 is comprised of The Dominican Republic. While they recognize the right and guarantee private property, it is a pipe dream only. The fact is, only the rich can truly have any hope of property ownership. 90% of all the dwellings in Haiti occur outside of the legal system. I’ve seen people saying we constantly are providing money to the people of Haiti. However, the facts presented here seem to show that Haiti is under the thumb of the rich. While land ownership is possible, it was reported that it takes 195 days and almost $1,782 just to apply for land ownership.

Who Owns the World was provided by Hachette Book Group. Thanks Valerie.


Who Owns the World: Geography Quiz

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Hey Guys and Girls, try out this quiz and see how you do. This quiz was sponsored by Hachette Book Group as part of the promotion for Who Owns The World by Kevin Cahill and Rob McMahon. Thanks to Valerie at Hachette for the Quiz.

Post your results in the comments section below, and let’s see how you do.


Precious – Sapphire

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010


 

 

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage; 1 Mti edition (October 20, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307474844
ISBN-13: 978-0307474841

 

Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Synopsis

Precious is the story of breaking down walls. It is a story about poverty, innocence, ignorance, strength, and triumph. Precious is a teenage girl. All of her life she’s been let down by every adult that crosses her path. Despite her extremely twisted childhood, she yearns to overcome this. One day she’s given that chance.

Review

This was a very fast read. While the language was a bit rough to get into at first, eventually it came together and seemed to add to the realism of the story. There was extremly strong language, which may turn off some readers. However, I felt that in this case, that it wasn’t gratuitous. The character would not have seemed real without it. There are graphic descriptions of incestuous rape. It definitely was not a fun story. It’s very sad that people go through this daily. I personally think this book might be helpful to incest survivors, or even those who feel like the deck is stacked against them. Sometimes a person isn’t wanting permanent support, but just wants a helping hand. I want to recommend this book, but it’s hard. Have you ever seen one of those movies where it was very well put together, well acted, but yet the storyline was so heart wrenching that you felt it was wrong to say you liked it. Precious is that kind of book. I can’t say I liked it. I hated the situation she was in. Yet, I loved the fact that despite getting knocked down, she kept going, pushing against the wall that held her back.

From RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Net work):

15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.3
29% are age 12-17.
44% are under age 18.3
Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.4
3% of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.

Victims of sexual assault are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

If you or someone you know needs help, here is one place you can begin: http://www.rainn.org/get-help

We’re going to be giving away our copy of Precious. If you would like the opportunity to read it, leave a comment below. Also, if you aren’t a follower, and could become a follower (sign up on the right), it would be appreciated. Drawing will be held on January 19th, 2009.

You can discuss it here or share your thoughts in the comment section below.

1 people like this post.

Children of Dust – Ali Eteraz

Monday, January 11th, 2010


 

 

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperONe: 1st Edition (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061567086
ISBN-13: 978-0061567087 
Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Since 9/11 there has been a lot of anger and distrust in this country towards Muslims. I’ve always tried to keep an open mind about things. I’ve never truly understood everything about the Muslim faith. Having a background as the son of a Baptist Minister there seemed to be many conflicts in beliefs. Taking that as a basis though, when this book came along I thought it would be an interesting tale to read. I also felt like it may help, to at least understad Muslim’s a bit better.

The Story is broken down into 5 sections. Each section is one part of how Ali Eteraz grew and changed in his religion.

The first section starts with young Abir ul Islam. When Abir was born, his father made a convent with Allah that Abir would be a faithful servant. This section deals with both the good and bad aspects of any religion. During his childhood children were often beaten, and otherwise abused for not learning their lessons well. This was one of the most difficult sections to read. You have this child who is trying to stay true to his faith, while at the same time, that faith allows bad things to happen.

Americanism – In this section, Abir, now Amir ur Islam and his family has moved to America. He wants to embrace some of the American culture, like Boy Meets World. His parents are trying to hold on to their religion. The majority of this compares how the two cultures can sometimes collide.

Fundamentalism – In this section, Abir, now Abu Bakr Ramaq had completely wrapped himself within the muslim religion. He looks on disdain at those women who fail to cover their faces, or who wear pants.

Post Modern – Abu, now Abir ul Islam travels back to Pakistan in order to find a Muslim wife. While there he faces the extremism that is going on within the Muslim world. He learns how far that goes while he’s there and begins to see a need to change.

Reformer – Abir, now Ali Eteraz begins working on reforming Muslim views. From the way I read things, he began to see the extremist view as going against the Muslim faith. A lot of this change in his views seems to have come about in the wake of 9/11.

There were some surprising similarities. These came about in the guise of their prophets. Sulayman, Daud, Ibrahim, Ismael, Yunus, Nuh, Musa, Isa, Lut, and Yusaf. Western (Christian) cultures would know them as Solomon, David, Abraham, Ishmael, Jonah, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Lot, and Joseph.

I found his journey through the different phases fascinating, sad at times, humorous at others. I don’t see it as a lot different than the journey many take when beginning to follow a religious idea. The main thing, and what I set out to prove to myself at least was that it’s not the religion of a person that’s bad. You can be a good, religious person whether your Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or any others. You can also be a bad religious person and be in any of those same groups, it’s how you use and interpret what you read in the holy books you follow that can determine good or bad.

I’d recommend this book. Maybe not to the very close minded, but anyone who wants to possibly see what all the different aspects of Islam are about, and maybe understand a different culture.

*Disclaimer* A review copy of this book was provided by FSB Associates. Thanks to Anna and Julie at FSB Associates.

You can discuss it here or leave comments below and discuss it.


I, Alex Cross – James Patterson

Monday, January 11th, 2010


 

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Nov. 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316018783
ISBN-13: 978-0316018784 
Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Synopsis

Alex Cross, Forensic Psychologist. He’s enjoying a normal day with his family, when he gets a call about a gruesome murder. The difference in this case, the victim is a member of his family. This begins a tale involving the D.C. Elite, the sex industry, mobsters, and murder.

Review

This was my first time reading a James Patterson novel. From the first few pages of the Prologue though, I was hooked. The story was divided between Alex tracking down a serial killer and dealing with the serious illness of his grandmother. I liked the darkness of the novel. I enjoyed how Mr. Patterson presented not only Alex’s perspective but also the perspective of some of the others involved. For a 400 Page novel, I expected to take a little longer to read this. However, I began it on a Saturday night, and finished it the next night. I couldn’t put it down until I found out what was going on. I can’t compare it to other Cross novels, or even into other mystery/thrillers since it’s my only time reading that genre outside of The Godfather and Dan Brown’s novels.

I found it very enjoyable. It was fast paced. There was very strong language, and very strong adult situations. For this, I’d only recommend it for older teens or adults. I definitely look forward to future Alex Cross Novels. I’m thinking I might start at the beginning with Along came a spider.

You can discuss it here or discuss below. What were your favorite Alex Cross books? What other thrillers have you really liked and would recommend? What authors?

*Note* I won this book through a contest sponsored by Hachette Book Group. This did, in no way, influence my review *


Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

Monday, January 11th, 2010


 

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper (November 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061929379
ISBN-13: 978-0061929373

 

Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Synopsis

Pirates. Abandoned Treasure Ships. Adventure. It’s all here in Pirate Latitude. Captain Charles Hunter is assigned th task of retrieving a Spanish ship full of treasure. The ship is in the harbor guarded by a fortress called Matanceros. To capture the ship, they’ll have to disable the guns of Matanceros. They’ll also have to survive the bloodthirsty man in charge, Cazalla. Hunter obtains the help of many different men to help him in his task, an Explosives expert, a professional killer, and others. Many of these men have a personal grudge against Cazalla. Some will come back, some won’t.

Review

Michael Crichton passed away on November 4, 2008. This novel was discovered in his paperwork. A year after his death, it was published. It’s uncertain whether it was meant to be published, or what other plans he had with it. Taken as it is, it was a pretty enjoyable book. I really liked the character of Charles Hunter. There were many instances that had me grinning at his behavior. There were also some wow scenes. Reading through it, I had the thoughts that it would make a good movie. Having researched some for this review, I’ve discovered that Steven Spielburg is considering a movie version.

While it may not have been what Mr. Chrichton envisioned, it was an exciting novel. It started a bit slow, but once the voyage got under way things picked up. There were many instances where I thought, “It can’t end like this”, only to have our hero’s go from one frying pan to another. The characters seemed true to the rogue pirate attitudes that we’ve been accustomed to in Pirates of the Caribbean.

If you have the opportunity to pick this up, do so. I think you’ll enjoy it. However, don’t expect all the typical stuff you’d get from Michael Crichton. This is a pure adventure. While I’m not a profesional in regards to Pirate history, it seems very accurate to all the history I do know. I’d say this is for older teens and above because of some strong language and strong situations.

You can discuss it here