Starflower / by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. May 14, 2013

Starflower (Tales of the Goldston Wood, 4) / Anne Elisabeth Steng
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012), ISBN 978-0764210266
HS Grades 8-12  Rating: 4
Award-winning author Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood series with Starflower, a prequel to her first three books. Starflower takes place more than sixteen hundred years earlier, but lays the foundation for the story in Heartless.

Starflower tells how Hri Sora the dragon loses her wings and dragon form. In order for her dragon father to restore her back to dragon form, she must find the Flowing Gold of Rudiobus, securely hidden by the queen of fairies. Hri Sora kidnaps the queen’s cousin, Gleamdren, in an attempt to find the Flowing Gold. Meanwhile, Lady Gleamdren believes an army of suitors will follow in pursuit to rescue her when, to her dismay, only two of them make the attempt: the Bard Eanrin, and Glomar, the Captain of the Guard.

Glomar and Eanrin compete to rescue Gleamdren, knowing whoever reaches her first  wins her favor. On the way, Eanrin comes across a deaf mortal woman, Starflower, under an enchantment. Eanrin takes her on his quest to Hri Sora’s castle. Starflower (or Imraldera as she is called later) is pursued by the Beast (the Wolf Lord) and his Black Dogs, as well as by the Hound. Imraldera gains Gleamdren’s freedom in exchange for assisting Hri Sora in her quest to complete her quest.

In her author’s note, Stengl shares she was partially inspired by the poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. Anyone familiar with this poem will be reminded of it. The Hound in Starflower pursues Imeldera, as do the Black Dogs, slaves to the Wolf Lord. One hounds her to life, the other to death.

Recommended for high school libraries, as well as teen collections in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer

 

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Chasing Jupiter / by Rachel Coker. May 14, 2013

Chasing Jupiter / by Rachel Coker

Zondervan   ISBN 978-0310732938
HS   Grades 8-12   Rating:  4
Pre-Publication Reviewed (March 13, 2013)

Rachel Coker, author of Interrupted, returns with a novel about sixteen year old Scarlett Blaine whose dreams and reality clash as the world around her changes.

In Chasing Jupiter, Scarlett lives in the shadow of an older rebellious sister and a younger autistic brother. Both parents work hard to make ends meet. Their grandfather who also lives with Scarlett’s family, begins to suffer from dementia. It is the summer of 1969 when Neil Armstrong lands on the moon. Scarlett’s brother Cliff announces he wants to be the first person to fly to Jupiter. Scarlett promises to help him by selling peach pies to raise the money to build Cliff’s rocket.  A farmer’s son, Frank, helps Scarlett, and they become close friends.

Scarlett’s mother volunteers her to teach the pastor’s wife to cook one afternoon each week. As they spend time together, Scarlett talks about her desire for God to fix everything in her life, so she would have a (normal) family again. Mrs. Greene tells her “God’s grace isn’t in him solving our problems instantly,” but in the assurance that “he has a greater plan.” When situations arise to complicate matters further, Scarlett’s faith is weakened until she is able to recapture God’s purpose for her life.

Although this is her second novel, Coker writes at a level beyond her years. Her well-written narratives and character development are excellent. The reader is drawn into the middle of Scarlett’s family and each family member’s challenges. Some scenes told after the fact might have enhanced the story if they had been included.

Chasing Jupiter is realistic fiction, historical fiction, and a light romance, all rolled into one. If you haven’t discovered Ms. Coker’s books yet, do so now!

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2Read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Captives / Jill Williamson. May 11, 2013

The Captives / Jill Williamson (The Safe Lands, 1)

Zondervan (April 2, 2013)  ISBN 978-0310724223

HS Grades 8-12 Rating: 4

In this young adult dystopian novel, award-winning author Jill Williamson tells the story of how one brother’s choice dramatically affects the lives of those around him.

In The Captives, three brothers live in a rural village outside the walls of the Safe Lands. The youngest, Omar, struggles to fit in, making him susceptible to the lies of a better life behind the walls. Mason dreams of becoming a doctor and helping others, while the eldest , Levi, eventually will follow in his father’s footsteps as the elder.

Omar sends Levi on a wild goose chase while he helps the Safe Land enforcers take over the village. Promised wealth and power, Omar doesn’t realize his choice will result in deaths and captivity. When Levi returns, he finds his fiancée, Mason, and others taken captives. Those who resisted, like their father, are dead. Levi vows to enter the Safe Lands and rescue them. Will he be able to rescue his beloved before it is too late?

The walled cities are built to protect people, but not necessarily families. With its citizens infected by a deadly disease, the government tries to increase the population by capturing uninfected males as donors and females as surrogates. When the villagers are captured, can they maintain their faith in the midst of their captivity? What will happen as they live among the pleasures and perceived freedoms of the Safe Lands?

Williamson is a master storyteller, setting the stage with fascinating storyline, excellent character and plot development, and a believable future world. The Captives is based on Daniel 1, the Babylonian captivity, but set years in the future, after the world’s population was decimated by a pandemic.

 

Carol R. Gehringer

Worthy2Read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Storm / by Evan Angler. May 10, 2013

Storm / by Evan Angler. (The Swipe series, 3)
Thomas Nelson            ISBN 9781400321971
MS     Grades 5-8       Rating 4         Paperback
Pre-Publication copy reviewed (May 7, 2013)

Evan Angler returns with his third book in his dystopian series for middle school readers.

Set in the future, everyone over the age of thirteen gets “the Mark” except for those who are fighting back like Logan Langly and his friends, the Dust. Logan tries rescuing his sister Lily, only to find she is part of the government’s military force.

In Storm, a deadly epidemic is spreading throughout the Marked, and the weather is becoming less stable, creating a major drought. While the Dust race to find a cure for this bioengineered disease, there are other problems. Some of their friends are captured and brainwashed. Who can they trust when friends become foes and no ones knows who is really on their side? What about the “book” that knows all about their earlier adventures and warns of impending doom? What happens when sabotage is prevented but its prevention causes greater problems?

Angler builds a future world that is not too dark for his readers yet it will cause them to think. The technology, weather spinning out of control, biotechnology and growing government control contribute to the realistic possibilities.  Though published by Thomas Nelson, this series has a very subtle faith element. There are allusions to biblical truth. Some could think “the Mark” as being the “Mark of the Beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelations but it is unclear if this is the author’s intention.

The book’s ending is weak, perhaps because the next book, Spark, is coming out in November 2013. The series is a good alternative to the Hunger Games, and suitable for younger readers. Older teens will also enjoy it.

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2ead.wordpress.com

 

 

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Shattered / Dani Pattrey. May 8, 2013

Shatttered / by Dani Pettrey (Alaskan Courage, 2)

Bethany House Publishers  ISBN 978-0764209833

HS (Adult)  Rating: 5

Pre-Publication Copy Reviewed (February 1, 2013)

Dani Pettrey returns with another contemporary suspense novel set in the Alaskan wilderness, continuing the story of the McKenna family.

In Shattered, Reef McKenna returns to Yancy, Alaska after an absence of five years. His sister Piper is delighted until he shows up on her doorstep covered in blood. While circumstantial evidence points to Reef as the one responsible for the murder of a fellow snowboarder, Piper believes her brother when he swears he is innocent.

Meanwhile, Deputy Landon Grainger, a lifelong friend to the McKenna family, is determined to find the facts, especially as the details of the snowboarder’s life points to a life of mystery. While they try to sort out the leads, Reef is charged with the snowboarder’s murder. As Landon and Piper race to find out the truth, they plunge headlong into Alaska’s backcountry, their changing relationship, and the real killer who will do anything to bury the facts and possibly, them.

Pettrey has done it again, writing a cleverly-crafted mystery with romance, adventure, rich character development, and spine-tingling suspense. Her characters are imperfect-they struggle with faith and relationship issues, and yet, they endear themselves to the reader because of this. Hopefully, Ms. Pettrey will return with another book in this series.

Fans of Dee Henderson, Irene Hanson, and other Christian suspense writers will not be disappointed by this series. Recommended for high school libraries, as well as adult collections in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2Read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The New Recruit / Jill Williamson. May 08, 2013

The New Recruit / by Jill Williamson (Mission 1: Moscow)

Marcher Lord Press (September 1, 2012)  ISBN 978-1935929703

MS (HS), grades 8-12, rating: 4. Paperback.

Award-winning author Jill Williamson delivers a contemporary book filled with spies and adventure, just the type of book to appeal to teens.

In The New Recruit, teenager Spencer Garmond has gotten in too many fights. His grandma gives him a choice: attend a military school where he would give up basketball or go on a summer trip with the Mission League.  What Spencer doesn’t know is that the Mission League is more of a Christian spy organization than a Bible club. Spencer is not a Christian, so neither choice appeals to him.

Once he decides to go with the Mission League, he begins training in espionage for his trip to Moscow. One of his new friends explains, “The Mission League takes on the forces of darkness to expose the truth” (p.43). He is bullied by one League member, and even faces a few near-death experiences.

Williamson does a good job of capturing the teen boy persona. He is “real” in his struggles with faith issues. He doesn’t become a Christian by the end of the book, nor does everything work out. The book is filled with good and bad examples of teens, and it is usually clear which one is which.

The New Recruit is a good start to a new series with possibilities for more adventures. A cast of characters, a glossary of Russian terms, an author’s note (which encourages the reader to study Bible references about spiritual gifts and might have been better included at the end of the book), and acknowledgements are included.

Recommended for teen collections in public libraries, church libraries, and school libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2Read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Safe in His Arms / by Colleen Coble. May 7, 2013

Safe in His Arms  / by Colleen Coble. (Under Texas Stars ; 2)

Thomas Nelson (January 29, 2013), ISBN 9781595549143

Adult, rating: 5.  Paperback.

Written by master storyteller Colleen Coble, this romantic suspense novel features a rancher’s daughter, a handsome stranger, and suspicious accidents that threaten her way of life.

In Safe in His Arms, Margaret lives with her father on their Texas ranch. She has been handling all the details of running the ranch, including riding with the hands. Her father surprises Margaret by announcing a handsome stranger, Daniel, is the new foreman. Her father wants her to get married and raise a family, something she had given up years ago. She assumes she will inherit her father’s ranch when he dies, but he informs her that he changed his will and her cousin Lewis will inherit it. Margaret is, of course, taken aback by this news.

But there is more to Daniel than meets the eye. She suspects he is part of a gang of bank robbers when Margaret overhears a conversation. He denies it but he has his own secrets. When her father suffers from two accidents, suspicions start to form in Margaret’s mind. Daniel is attracted to Margaret, but she suspects Daniel is trying to take the ranch away from her. Margaret struggles with her self-image until she is finally able to accept her worth in God’s eyes. Meanwhile, Daniel struggles with guilt over his own past.

Coble is a master at suspense. Just when the reader thinks they have identified the villain, there is a twist in the book’s plot. Excellent storytelling, admirable characters (including a tall, strong woman instead of a petite, dainty one), and faith elements combine to make this a winning novel which includes a reading group guide.

Carol R. Gehringer
Worthy2Read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.