Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Cover of the Month - August

We are back with the Book Cover of the Month for August!  There were a lot of great options this month as usual.  Lets see who picks what.  Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

This actually wasn't very difficult for me this month.  I was instantly drawn to this book...

It's the glittery, shimmery look that drew me in.  The colours are very simple and plain but the lighting and shimmer effect brought my eye to it instantly.  I also really like the font.  This one didn't make it on my to read list, but it definitely made me look.

I almost picked the same one as Erin! But the moment I saw the cover below, it was a done deal!

My inner child had a nerdgasm the moment I saw this! How cool is this cover?? From the colors, to the peek of a great fantasy world in the background, an ominous red figure front and center. Love the title. Love the short little description in the front. 

This book cover of the month feature is not helping me with my to read list..... 

Two great covers this month. Any covers that have totally grabbed your attention to a particular book? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Reading everyone.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review - Iscariot by Tosca Lee

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.

But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous entry into a career and family life as a devout Jew, to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself that forces us all to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

Judas Iscariot is probably one of the most hated characters in Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, if not for his betrayal, our belief system may look very different today.... Such is the conflict with reading about the lead up to Jesus' crucifixion, and looking at it from a couple of perspectives. So go ahead, challenge my thoughts on Judas. A novel devoted to an interpretation of his story? Bring it! 

So... after finishing this novel, what were my thoughts? 

Thought provoking? Absolutely.

Inspiring? Sure

Challenging? 100%

Furthermore, I was surprised by the character of Jesus in this novel. For all of his miracles, compassion and touching emotion, there were moments when he appeared utterly mad and at others, someone in need of some serious depression medication. I certainly could relate to the ensuing doubts on the minds of those that observed this behavior and wondered if they were following a madman.

Trying not to spoil anything for any potential readers, Judas' 'betrayal' was quite believable, and it did make me wonder at the possibility of whether there were true elements to this story... after all, there were many that wanted to take Jesus down, and I wouldn't put it past these men to take advantage of someone like Judas to make this kind of plan happen. 

Judas' life story was very interesting and captivating. I don't really know if there is any fact interwoven with fiction as I am not sure how much information on the real Judas actually exists... but it was certainly was a sad story of someone who had a very hard life, and wandered through it looking for a place to belong and something to believe in. 

It is, of course quite clear, that there is no happy ending to this story. That being said, I found the ending a little vague compared to the rest of the novel, and wished there was more exploration of Judas' mind leading up to his impending death. I just felt like something substantial was lacking and I was left with a bit of a disastified feeling. But as with Havah, I enjoyed this novel well enough and looked forward to picking it up where I had last left off. 

Very easy 3 star rating, and though it may not seem like I was not wowed by this novel, rest assured that I thoroughly enjoyed it and will continue on to enjoy other novels by this same author.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review - Havah by Tosca Lee

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Tosca Lee shares the “passionate and riveting story of the Bible’s first woman and her remarkable journey after being cast from paradise” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Created, not born. Her name is Eve. Myth and legend shroud her in mystery. Now hear her story.

She knew this earth when it was perfect—as she was perfect, a creature without flaw. Created by God in a manner like no other, Eve lived in utter peace as the world’s first woman, until she made a choice, one mistake for which all of humanity would suffer. But what did it feel like to be the first person to sin and experience exile; to see innocence crumble so vividly; and to witness a new strange, darker world emerge in its place?

From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the epic dawn of mankind through the eyes and heart of Eve—the woman first known as Havah.

I love historical novels... and I don't mean pirates, westerns or civil wars. Ancient history though, gimme gimme gimme. Most of all, imaginative retellings, or interpretative fiction of biblical figures and times. I just love to eat those up.

So glad that I had the opportunity to read this novel by Tosca Lee, and also Iscariot which I will review soon also. My only regret here is that it took me so long to get to this book and discover such a talented author.

This is not the first biblical novel I have read, and I truly enjoy Tosca Lee's writing style. Rich and descriptive, both characters and the world around them was brought to life in my mind. From the beautiful world both Adam and Even inhabited, and their connection with all living things, to the temptation of the serpent and ensuing expulsion and chaos. The severed connection that they both suffered, not only from God, but all the animals that they loved and frolicked with literally saddened me. Some of the imagery painted in this book was gruesome and disturbing and adequately depicted the devastation of losing that connection.

Now Adam and Eve are out in the world, aware of their nakedness, ashamed, afraid, and trying to figure out their place in the strange cold, frightening world they are now in. This book explores their survival, their growing resentment and love for one another, the joy of having their children, and the anguish of looking on as some grew greedy and reckless. It was definitely different as their children grew up and began to look at each other with interest, formed couples, went on to have their own children. But how else would the world have populated when there was only one man and one woman? 

I found that the novel did drag on in areas, and felt a little repetitive at times. It also felt like the story was longer than it needed to be, but overall, I definitely enjoyed reading this novel and Lee's portrayal of not only these two characters, but also some of their children who had their own important roles and stories, not only in this book but the Bible as well. She offered some very interesting perspectives that really made me reflect.

I was very glad that I had Iscariot to read next and definitely plan on adding more of her novels to my list. Definitely recommend this author!

Happy Reading!


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