Tag Archives: book review

Amazon Review.

Below is an interesting review posted on Amazon and GoodReads today. I am so appreciative to everyone who keeps reading this little book and then takes time to share their thoughts. Means a lot to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Excellent!, October 8, 2014
By Marika
This review is from: Centurion: Mark’s Gospel as a Thriller (Kindle Edition)
To be honest, I almost disregarded this book because the title seemed so cheesy, but something pulled me in and after reading some reviews I thought I’d give it a try. I am SO grateful that I did!

First off, I really appreciate the fact that it is set in a dystopian society in the future. I really enjoyed some Biblical fiction works like The Robe and The Advocate that are set in the actual Biblical times, however I walk away with false narratives stuck in my mind that mix with the truth of God’s Word and that bothers me. With Centurion, it’s easily distinguishable to me what is pulled from scripture and what is fiction, without any confusion and I love that. The details and history of the society itself weren’t flushed out, but in my opinion that is not a detriment to the book because the point of the novel was not to be an epic work of standalone fiction, but to spread the Good News in a creative way.

I was pleasantly surprised with the direction Deacon’s character took. It wasn’t what I expected and while he was flawed, it was more interesting to read about his struggles.

I also wasn’t expecting the ending at all (thought I had it all figured out) and while it was abrupt and a bit shocking I thought it really worked fantastically. I would have been fairly annoyed with a happy fairy tale ending, but thankfully Waller delivered a fantastic wrap that was realistic and thought provoking. It seems to be popular in today’s society to preach a convenient and happy Christianity where if you follow God nothing bad will ever happen to you, which is, if you actually take the time to read the Bible, quite false. While God definitely blesses and provides for His people on earth, His main concerns are our relationship with Him, our souls, and our eternity.

***SPOILER BELOW***
I loved the ending because even though it seems Maria has been fatally wounded on the train station, she dies spreading the Good News and is secure in her eternity. Even though Deacon is on his way to slave labor and very likely his death, he now has the opportunity to spend the time he has left in chains spreading the Gospel. While that isn’t exactly “happy”, it definitely is a reminder that our sole purpose on earth isn’t to be comfortable and happy. It’s a reminder to keep eternity in mind during our day to day living. Thank you for that reminder, Waller.

***SPOILER OVER***

My only irritation was the love-at-first-sight love story because I can’t stand that type of love story, but that’s just my own personal thing and I understand some people like that and that is ok. Thankfully, it didn’t overwhelm the purpose of the book.

Overall, Centurion was an excellent read and I highly recommend it!

I received the book for free for my honest review through Goodreads First Reads.

The Paris Wife

I finished reading THE PARIS WIFE last night, and I loved it.  It’s a wonderfully crafted historical fiction that follows Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, as they navigate the choppy seas of marriage in the 1920s.  The book is set mostly in Paris and Spain where the Hemingways lived, drank, and wrote with other literary expats like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. It’s a truly fantastic love story that looks at marriage intimately through a uniquely brutal psychological lens.  But what really struck me last night after I closed the book was not the novel itself, but rather the short essay the author, Paula McLain, included at the back of the paperback edition. She says a number of notable things in the short piece but I just want to highlight one point in particular. McLain says that once she found Hadley’s voice she began to believe that she could actually write this book that she was “dying” to write. That’s what hit me: she was dying to write this novel.  As a writer, I think that makes all the difference in the world. I am currently writing a novel that I feel the same way about. It is a story that has brewed within me for years, and the time has finally come for it. I, too, am dying to write it, and that has made all the difference. As an artist, there is nothing more exquisite than the singleminded focus that comes from writing a story that simply pours out of you, because if you don’t, you’ll die. Metaphorically, of course, well maybe not.

I wish writers everywhere today that same kind of story. The kind you don’t choose, because it chooses you first.