Blog Tour! Interview and Review-Exiles

Greetings y’all! Today, I am so blessed to get to be a part of Jaye L. Knight’s blog tour for her epic new book, Exiles. So join me for an interview with the author, a review of for the book, and possibly best of all…a giveaway! Let’s begin!

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Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Read about it below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Okay, can I just say, this cover is amazing!!! Like, seriously, my favorite cover of all the books she has EVER written! It’s epic! 😛


About the Book

Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

 

Available now on Amazon!

goodreads
Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th!
You can find them on Amazon.
3BookKindleSale


About the Author

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Time for the author interview! Let’s get to the questions! 

ME:  So, I am a big fan of pretty much all your books, and throughout different series I have noticed some consistencies. For example, in the Makilien Trilogy the king of Eldor is named Darand and the prince is Darian. In the Ilyon Chronicles the king is Daican and the prince Daniel. In the Makilien Trilogy there is a character named Laena, in the Ilyon Chronicles there is Lenae. In the Makilien Trilogy God is represented by Elohim and in Ilyon He is represented by Elom. So, I have to ask, what’s the deal all the ‘D’ names in royalty and the “L” names for motherly women and the “E” names for God? Did you even realize you were doing it? 😀

Jaye: Haha! Actually, I didn’t realize I was doing it except for the names for God. Elohim is a name for God in the Bible, so I chose to use it in Makilien. Then, in Ilyon, I wanted something similar, so that’s why I chose Elôm. I like using real names for God or creatively tweaked versions. Otherwise, yeah, I didn’t realize the similarity in the others.

 

ME: Who are you LEAST like of all your main cast of characters?

Jaye: Probably Trask or Talas. They are very outgoing and extroverted. That is definitely not me. I’m a quiet introvert. I’m quite happy in the background. 🙂

 

ME: Where did the idea of the ryriks kinship with animals come from, and if you could choose any of the giant animals from Dorland to own, what would it be?

Jaye: After working on this series for six years now, I honestly can’t remember, sadly. I think it was probably because of Tyra. Jace cared about her so much, that it then grew toward other animals and eventually became part of the ryrik race. As for Dorland animals, I’d probably want a giant Dorland horse. 😀 I’m actually kind of scared of big horses, but it would still be cool.

 

ME: Did you ever anticipate what a success this series would become?

Jaye: I’m sure I dreamed of it (all authors do), but I don’t think I ever quite anticipated it.

 

ME: What is your favorite book of the entire series? 

Jaye: That’s hard to say definitively since it depends on my mood. At the moment, I lean toward Exiles. There were so many story lines, such as Daniel’s, that I finally got to explore.

 

ME: Who do you think inspired Kyrin Altair the most?

Jaye: I’m not sure. Kyrin was actually a difficult character to write at first. It took a couple of rewrites of the first chapters of Resistance before I finally felt that I had her figured out. Actually, that didn’t happen until after Kaden became part of the story. He didn’t come into existence until I was quite a ways into the book (shocking, I know). I guess, before that, she was just missing her brother and I had no idea. 🙂 As for her abilities, well, those were inspired by Patrick Jane on The Mentalist and a commercial I saw for a show called Unforgettable where the main character remembers everything.

 

ME: What is your favorite culture in Ilyon?

Jaye: Probably the cretes. Their culture is made up of a lot of things I love. I have a thing for Native American culture, so that was a big influence. And then I have ALWAYS wanted to live in a treehouse like on Swiss Family Robinson, so that’s how they ended up living in the trees.

 

ME: If you had to choose one of time periods/worlds from all of your books to live in, which one would it be? 

Jaye: Oh, probably Ilyon. I would like to live with the cretes. 😀

 

ME:  What is your favorite name in Ilyon? (I like Ilvaran quite a lot!)

Jaye: I like Ilvaran too. 😀 It’s really kind of hard to pick. I think I have to say Jace. I just really like that name. (I think most Ilyon fan girls can probably agree on that one!) 

 

ME: If you could get a Crete tattoo, what would it be of? 

Jaye: A blue jay. 😀


That wraps up our author interview, I loved getting to hear Jaye’s thoughts on my questions! So fun!

And, last but not least, book review time! 

(Some spoilers, enter at your risk!)

 

Overall Impression

Anyone who knows me even a little bit is aware that Ilyon is my favorite modern (as in written recently) fantasy series. I love the world, the characters, and the story! It’s an amazing adventure that I would recommend to almost all readers.

That said, Exiles, though very good, fell a bit short for me. I don’t know that this was really Jaye’s fault, more of my own personal preferences and the fact that the story had to be divided over so many POV’s. (Although there were some things that I think could have used adjustment. Those, I will explain in Plot and Characters.)

I would recommend this book to mid to older teens, adults, and some families. Parent discretion advised for younger children due to several bits of mature/suggestive content. (see content guide at bottom) I didn’t feel that any of this was merely for the sensationalism and was handled well, but I would suggest parents skimming through certain parts before handing to any kid under 13, especially those who haven’t had the facts of life presented to them yet. 

 

Characters

So, to be honest, it was a bit hard to judge character progression in this book for the very fact that Exiles was laid out way different from the previous three. The rise and fall of this book wasn’t my favorite and the large amount of time spent with Anne’s POV was really annoying to me. 

I don’t hate Anne, I just don’t like her. In my opinion she is pretty much the flattest character of the whole series. She never really changes. In Exiles a lot of things change around her, but not a whole lot in her. And really, this has been how it is the entire series. Anne never changes. Mostly,  Anne enters the scene, says something about how Goler is annoying but dangerous, flirts with Trask, and then steps out of the scene. I have never enjoyed Anne  so to have such great amounts of the book focused on her when I felt that much of her screen-time would have been put to better use with Jace, Kyrin, or Daniel was pretty frustrating. It really bogged the book down for me. (Note, to achieve the plot goals there were some necessary times to focus on Anne, so those parts aren’t what I’m talking about.)

Daniel was a delight! I was so excited to read his POV. I have been anxiously awaiting hearing more about him since Resistance, so to finally get his part of the story was awesome! I think having him already established in his faith was a good move. Had Jaye taken the time to show us his journey to accepting Elom and Elon it would have elongated the timeline of the story. So to have him a firm believer was a good place to start with. I really enjoyed all the parts with Daniel except for one thing. How in the world did he not see Davira’s plot?!?!?!?! I mean, come on! Dude, get your head out of the clouds. I don’t think it was completely in sync with Daniel’s character to have him just expect that no one was going to resist his plans, he’s waaaay to smart for that. But, other than that, Daniel’s arc was done well in this book. I really enjoyed his character and hope to see more of him. 

Jace’s POV was, well, Jace. It was pretty consistent throughout the book, a few places in his heart had grown by the end of the book but there wasn’t the emotional struggle that we have been used to. That was good, but at the same time his POV felt a little off to me, perhaps it was just because the layout of the plot was so different, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual. Still, well written. 

Kyrin, was pretty much the same as Jace. Except I think that there was even less changing in her. She didn’t evolve or change much through the book. Which is understandable considering how many other directions this book was going. There was a lot that needed to happen, (will talk more about in Plot) and unfortunately, in my opinion, some of our main characters didn’t get the screen-time/POV ratios that I would have like. I would have preferred to have 2/3’s of Anne’s time spent on Jace and Kyrin, because they are really who I care about most.

Also, two thumbs up on Leetra’s development! I was so glad to see a softer side of her! 

So, the character development in this book wasn’t my favorite. There was a lot I liked, but some I didn’t like as well. Over all well-written, though.

 

Plot

I anticipate the numerous cultures in, Exiles, being something that fans adore. I know that I loved getting to so the crete’s home, it was so magical. It sounded like a much more impressive Lothlorien. SO gorgeous! The giants were interesting, (Although their sizing and the sizing of things around them was hard to picture, it felt rather inconsistent.) but a bit frustrating to me in their stubbornness! 🙂 One of the most unexpected things for me was seeing the ryriks culture. It was awesome! 

The flow of Exiles was far different from any of the other books. It began and ended with a wedding, (who’s I won’t say! ;P) and it was more of a ‘travelling’ book. As in, it jumped from place to place. There wasn’t as much of a single, focused goal, which wasn’t bad for what was happening in the story, but it wasn’t as enjoyable of a story for me. I prefer more focused story-lines to travelling ones. 

Here’s the thing though, while I don’t personally prefer the flow Exiles, I don’t think it was wrong or bad. In fact, it was good, because it was necessary. Exiles is a turning point. This is the book that moves us from skirmishes and resistance to all out warfare. I am very, VERY excited to see what the next two books will bring. Exiles rose the stakes in unexpected ways. 

The climax of the book was very good. Way different from anything in the previous books and very exciting! No matter how many times I read stories with underdog resistances, I love them! 

And, y’all, I could not believe some of what happened in the end of this book. I predicted a few things, but overall, I was very surprised. (which is a good thing for me) Readers will be squealing in surprise, horror, and delight at some of the plot twists in this one! Well done, Miss Knight!

One last thing I would say is that I wished there would have been an extra chapter or two at the end. It felt rather abbreviated to me. 

So, to sum up all I have said thus far in the review, there were many, MANY things I loved in Exiles. But, at the same time, in my opinion it under-delivered. This will be the first of all the Ilyon books that I rate at 4 stars. Very good, but not my favorite. Exiles is sure to enthrall many Ilyon fans, and will doubtless do well! Good story! 

 

Warnings: 

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: There is an arena scene-not overly gory but clearly violent and horrible, MC’s threatened by ryriks multiple times, character is attacked by wolves, a bone is broken, multiple injuries described-not too bad, a bad character tries to drown a main character, multiple battle scenes, a man forcefully kisses a woman. 

Sex/Nudity: There is a clear knowledge that an evil character is having bedroom rendezvous with various men, this is not explored deeply nor is it just sensationalism, it is for the purpose of honestly portraying evil. An evil ryrik wishes to rape a woman, she is saved and it doesn’t happen. Several comments and places are suggestive of sexual interaction. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book for readers under 13. Past that it really depends on maturity and personal convictions of readers. For those 13 or under I would run past a parent before reading. The mature elements do not feel purely sensational, they have purpose.

“I received this book free from the author for promotional purposes. No reviews, positive or otherwise, were required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.”

 

 

 

                                                                                                           

July 4th: Because of the Brave

Home of the Free

Hi guys. I know I haven’t posted in a long time…blogger fail, I know. But, I wanted to post today because, well, it’s important. 241 years ago today, we declared our freedom from Britain. Our thirteen colonies came together to throw back our oppressors, to fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

I believe with every ounce of my being that the United States of America is a nation blessed by God. I believe that the USA is here for a reason, many reasons in fact. But the only reason we are here at all is because of the greatness and wisdom of our Lord and Savior and the bravery and courage of those who have fought for us. 

So, today I say thank you to every person who has fought for this country. The soldiers, marines, politicians, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, federal agents, accountants, janitors, and soccer moms. Thank you to all the fathers’, sons’, mothers’, daughters’…every single American who has every given something up to protect, raise up, or empower our nation.

Thank you to every single person who has been brave enough to stand up and shout the truth and when necessary fight for it. To all those who sacrificed their lives, whether that be dying on a battlefield, pursuing criminals, or giving everything to the children who are our future. 

This is the land of the free because of the brave. So who are the brave? I am the brave, you are the brave, we are the brave. So don’t ever stop fighting for freedom, righteousness, love and hope. Never stop fighting for goodness! Never stop remembering those who made it that way, and always be brave! 

Happy 4th of July

 

 

 

Writing: Three Ways to Avoid Bunny-trailing

 

Smith & Sons

Hey all!

To me, something that can often detract from a book is when the story or characters bunny-trail. It is greatly frustrating to me when writers do this, they take space up in a book with excess characters or plot lines and waste the possibilities and potential that is at their fingertips. So here are 3 tips on how to avoid the ever frustrating bunny-trail.

 


  • #1. If something doesn’t add to your main story goal but rather is a personal pet idea be prepared to crush it mercilessly. It’s that scene that you have played out in your head 236 times and is really cool but doesn’t really fit in anywhere. Most of the time it’s not a good plan to structure your entire story around one little scene that has no purpose beyond making you, the author, happy. If you can fit these beloved scenes into the story without them detracting from the flow of it, then go ahead and enjoy yourself, but not at the expense of your story’s purpose. 

 

  • #2. Avoid characters that are unnecessary. The more often you bring in characters who serve little to no purpose at all the more often you will injure your story and distract your readers from the overall goal. Often these characters end up flat, annoying, or plain weird! 

 

  • #3. And last but not least, have characters and plot threads serve dual purposes. Often time the best way to a good story that doesn’t bunny-trail is by taking a smaller amount of people and plot threads and using them for multiple things. Rather than have many characters who serve one single story purpose and end up lacking the time to develop the personality of each and every one, make your characters influential and important in multiple ways and gain time to showcase their individual personalities. Instead of having one incident serve a single purpose in the plot have it serve three. Your plot and people will be stronger, more realistic, and you will avoid the annoying bunny-trail. 

 

Alrighty, guys, that’s it for today. I hope these tips are helpful in your present and future writing endeavors! Comment below with your thoughts-do you agree with these tips? 

Happy writing, y’all! 

Book Launch-Deliver

Hey guys! I am here today to share about Deliver the final installment in the Blades of Acktar series! –Synopsis below.


34791322 Can something broken ever heal?

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn’t belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can’t lose his guilt.

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever run from his past?

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself?

They face their hardest battle yet.
Peace.


 

Although the only book I have read out of TBoA series is, DareI look forward to one day reading the rest! After all, who isn’t a fan of a super-assassin with a sad back-story? 

Anyways, Deliver, will be released on April 25! Mark it on your calendars, or pre-order on Amazon and make sure to catch up on the rest of the series!

For more info on the rest of the series you can go to Tricia’s Goodreads page, or her website! Have a great weekend, everyone, good reading! 

 

Book Review: Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass

Sea of Crystal, Sea of GlassWhen faced with the impossible and the unthinkable, choose the impossible.

All that fifteen-year-old Einur Landman has left in the world are his flock of sheep and his beloved little sister. His entire life’s purpose is to keep Lody safe from the evil ruling class. But he never expected that it would be his own name that was drawn for the child sacrifice. Leaving Lody with his promise to return, Einur escapes into the wild where he meets a stranger with a plan to bring down the Illyrië. Forced to choose between the unthinkable – Lody’s probable death – and the seemingly impossible, Einur takes the latter.

In his quest from his mountain village, through countless dangers, to the sea itself, everything Einur believes will be tested. For Lody’s sake, can he make a final crucial choice and stand firm to the end?


 

Overall Impression

Benita is a self-professed lover of Fantasy, especially Tolkien. Something clear in SOCSOG to an occasional fault, more on this in Plot

While I know several people on Goodreads who thoroughly enjoyed this book, for me it was dry. I wasn’t compelled to finish it.

If you love anything fantasy I would recommend this book to you. If you are hesitant towards fantasy already, this is probably not for you. 

Appropriate for older-readers and some families. I would, however, advise discretion towards parents reading to their little children. This book includes child-sacrifice and some intense/scary scenes. 

 

Characters

To be honest, I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the characters in this book. In a lot of ways the character development was inconsistent and unrealistic. As well as to many extraneous characters being brought in.

Einur, to me, was rather annoying. His thought processes didn’t make sense and he had a rather cynical/snarky feeling to him overall. 

Lody was sweet, I liked her. In fact she was probably my favorite. 

 

 

Plot

As I said before, Benita is a lover of Tolkien-who isn’t, am I right? 🙂 But this could go too far: there was a feeling throughout the entire book that Benita was grasping to make it similar to the works of Tolkien, many names such as, Alarandil, that were obviously modeled after LoTR, and one part where there was a sentence* practically taken out of Fellowship of the Ring.

*”A fell voice-there is a fell voice on the wind. As though someone were cooking up a sorcery.”-Einur 

Here is what I would say about that…it’s not bad to model your books after books you love, the key part is to do it in moderation. When writers work so hard to make their books Tolkien-ish, or similar to the works of C.S. Lewis etc. they get in their own way. The only way you are going to be a truly successful and original author is if it is original! 

Another thing that was hard about this book was that it was hard to follow. The characters, plot, flow all of it! There was much that was never fully explained (All the stuff with Berwyn and Eldrast, like, what the heck was going on there?!?) and much that was very confusing. Not a good mix. I believe had Benita dropped some more unnecessary bunny trails and stayed within the essential parts of her story it would have been clearer.  

One thing I liked very much was the essential idea behind the plot. It was good, quite stereotypical fantasy, but who cares! I like all the cliché that can come along with fantasy! I think that in time, if Benita adjusts her approach to writing in some ways, she could be a very good storyteller! Part of it is just experience. 

To Benita I would say, keep working and persevering! Try not to write the best Tolkien-ish book you can and instead try to write the best book you can.

 

Also, may I just say, beautiful cover! 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: Characters take a fake god’s name in vain-didn’t really bother me. 

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: As there is child sacrifice in this there is going to be some creepy scenes. The Illyrie’s practices are creepy, there is a creepy guy who hypnotized a main character, several scenes where either they were dreams or real, not sure it was hard to tell. A big mist monster is fought. A very little bit of battle, not intense in the least. On the conservative side I would rate this 13+. 

Sex/Nudity: None

 


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review 

The Importance of Picking Apart Your Books

Everything we see, hear, or read is a tiny seed planted in our hearts and minds. A seed that we have to decide what to do with. Whether to water it and let it thrive, or to starve it! To yank it up from its roots, and burn the toxic ideology that is disagreeable to our beliefs. 

The difficulty is, sometimes you can’t recognize the seeds. Ideas and beliefs can be so easily slipped into books. Woven into the literature so seamlessly you don’t always realize they are there. So, when reading, it is import to digest as you go.

For example: with Fantasy sometimes it’s easy to pass something off as part of the story-world that really isn’t good. Since it’s Fantasy, it’s easy to say, “Hey, it’s how the world works. So maybe in the real world it’s evil to touch that dark, pyramid-shaped object and chant the special words to glean magical powers, but here? Eh, I’ll let it pass. After all, the main girl is using her powers to save the group who represent Christendom.”

So, when reading a book of any genre, it’s important to look closely. If something sounds or feels a bit funny, take a closer look. And hey, if it’s a bit off base, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is completely off-limits. But when you are aware of the snake in the grass you can avoid being bitten.

Don’t just accept everything you read, pick it apart. And even beyond identifying the things that don’t match up with your beliefs, picking a book apart can be a great idea. As a writer and reader the more you dissect a story the more you understand the art of literature, the more you understand the way to work your own theology and beliefs into the stories you create. 

The heart is easily swayed and the mind can be quickly fooled, and both impact how you see the world. So don’t accept all you see or hear. Dissect, prod, pick apart, and whatever you find you’ll be glad you did! 

 

February 14: A Little Update

Hey guys! Happy Valentines Day! I hope it’s a good one! I figured I’d type out this little post to let ya’ll know I am not dead, hiding from the law, or moving to Bavaria to escape an arranged marriage. All of which would be reasonable assumptions due to my lack of recent activity! 

Truth is, I am SWAMPED! My family is, in fact, moving to a new house and getting it ready has taken a lot of time outta my schedule. With the move combined with some other life changes, blogging simply hasn’t been at the top of my priorities. But, despite all of that, I am giving you all an update on my reading life. 

My most recent reading adventures have included Deep Shadows by Vannetta Chapman, (Which you can find a short review of here!) The Song of Lyric series by Sharon Hinck, (Haven’t written a review on these, but hope to soon.) and I am currently reading The Healers Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson. (Hopefully, my life permitting, I will review that when finished!) 

Looking for a great book? Try one of these!

The Princess Adelina

The Widow of Larkspur Inn

Book Review: Call of the Wild by Jack London

Book Review: Kate’s Choice

Book Review: Truth by Molly Evangeline

Need inspiration or an encouraging reminder? 

December 31st: A New Year’s Message

November 30th: A Message For NaNo’ers

~Happy Valentines Day!~

Cover Reveal: A Question of Honor

Hey guys! Instead of a review, this week I will be revealing the cover of my friend Jesseca’s newest book! Enjoy! 

*****

About the Book:

Releases March 3rd, 2017.

A man. A child. A war. 
When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna’s perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met. 
David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God’s will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives. 
Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

About the Author:

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

author-image

And now…what you have been waiting for this whole time! 🙂 

THE COVER! 

a-question-of-honor-final-front-cover

Book Review: The Silent Blade

30524121Dromiskin, Ireland. 925 A.D.

Eira has no greater desire than to see her life returned to what it once was—before her older brother Kevin’s sudden disappearance four years earlier. But the simple life she hoped for seems unattainable; on the contrary, her life is about to get all the more complicated.
When she suddenly finds herself and Willem, her twin brother, taken captive by someone who claims to be Kevin’s enemy, things go from bad to worse. It soon becomes clear that she and Willem are to become bait in a trap set for Kevin, and Eira knows she must try to warn him. But how, when she herself is a captive?
As mysteries of the past are unveiled, and loyalties are revealed, Eira realizes how precious her friends truly are. And when mortal danger threatens those nearest to her, will she be
able to trust God with the lives of her friends and family?


 

 

Overall Impression

This story, while in many ways a good concept, was not carried out well. The book didn’t really hold my attention, the characters were not easy to connect to, and to me personally I found many plot-holes. 

I would still say that many single-readers and perhaps even families would enjoy the story even though I didn’t. I know that among it’s target audience on Goodreads it has done very well. Averaging at 4.4 stars. 

 

Characters

Eira, to be honest, annoyed me. I feel like it is a trend right now to have that female character who is good with weapons, can’t cook for her life, and has a temper that gets her into trouble. This type of person is really frustrating to me and often feels clichéd and two-dimensional. I want to see more sweet AND capable female characters. 

Willem and Cassimir, though you didn’t get to see their emotions/thoughts deeply, were sweet guys. 

Technically there was nothing ‘wrong’ with Kevin. But I just couldn’t connect. He was borderline annoying to me, I am not sure why, he just was. This does not mean that he was a bad character, but he and I didn’t mesh. 

Henry and Merek, the two big baddies. Honestly, they just weren’t scary. They didn’t make sense. The reasons behind their actions felt to weak to me. The things they experienced were hard, but I didn’t feel like it was enough to merit the type people they became. 

 

Plot 

I felt the plot to this book was rather weak and undeveloped. The threads of the story weren’t held together well and I felt that we, as readers, were missing certain key bits of information. Sometimes we would get unnecessary information and others we wouldn’t get enough. This left if feeling inconsistent.

 A lot of conversations in this book didn’t make sense to me. Either they were hard to follow, or they were out-of-place. The conversations between bad guys and main characters were especially awkward. 

Also, after all that Eira’s sword-work is praised, the one time that she would have gotten a chance to use it in an influential situation she does horribly. It didn’t make sense. If she was so good she should have done better. 

The faith aspect wasn’t tied in well. There wasn’t a struggle in the middle of the book. There were a few mentions of God and then a bunch of verses in the end. I would have preferred for it to be interwoven through the story. 


Even though Jesseca has a lot of room to grow, I believe that she will grow to  become a much better author. Even if just for the understanding she had when she heard my thoughts on The Silent Blade, and the humility with which she received my critiques. 

 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: Mild descriptions of wounds. Light violence. I would think fine for all children. A man hits a woman. Some light battle scenes. 

Sex/Nudity: None

 

I received this book in return for a review. I was in no way obliged to write a positive review, merely an honest one. 

 

 

Book Review: Gift from the Storm

25236143 One cold, dark evening a young stranger appears outside the Morgan home with two small children. Injured and on the verge of complete exhaustion, she will only say that her name is “Amy.”

Where did she come from? Who is she? And what has she been through? Dr. Justin Morgan and his family look for answers as they struggle to minister life and health to the needy ones in their midst.

Overall Impression
Deciding how many Goodreads stars to put on this was difficult. There are many aspects in this book that haven’t been done well-more on this in Plot and Characters. But, at the same time, there was an overall sweetness, a warmth to the story that made me happy. Since I enjoyed it, I decide on 4 stars. I would recommend this to single readers who don’t mind a bit of a slower pace, and to families that have younger children. 
Characters
Unfortunately, for me, the characters ended up being rather two-dimensional. There wasn’t anything “wrong” with them, but I didn’t think they were executed to their fullest potential. Yet again, the emotions were told instead of shown. This makes a big difference in the connect-ability of characters.
Justin was okay, but definitely not my favorite of male leads. I would have preferred that Rebekah not call him Dr. Morgan all the time. It distanced you from him, especially when it was his POV. I wouldn’t walk around calling myself Miss Gidman, so to me it made it weird.
Sara was hard for me to decide on. Half the time I liked her, half the time she felt a bit overdone.
Adam was sweet, I liked his calm, ‘sturdy-ness’ you might say!
Amy was my favorite. She was sweet and approachable. And I was able to sympathize with her. How horribly upsetting her situation would have been!
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan were sweet. I liked how kind they were to Amy and how they ‘became’ her parents.
Plot
To be honest, the beginning is slow. It’s hard to get into, which is never good for a book. To me personally, Gift From the Storm wasn’t a page-turner. While reading it I liked it, but when I stepped away from it I didn’t have much initiative to go back. But, I kept on, and found a lovely story. 
Many aspects of this story, especially legal aspects did not make any sense at all! That was, until I read another readers review that said Miss Morris had told her that the story was set in the 50’s. Then I understood. However, it would have been wise to put some of that information out there. I thought this was a modern story, and thus found some things in it pretty unbelievable. I would have liked to have a mention of the time period. 
The story had a lot of telling instead of showing, emotions, events, and the like were flat sometimes. Instead of jumping off the page, they sat there and waved hello. I would have preferred more showing. 
I really enjoyed Christmas at the Morgan’s. It was sweet, homey, and warm. Again, some background on the time period would have helped because without the knowledge of the time it came across as a little overtly old-fashioned. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.
One of my favorite parts in the book was when during the bad winter storm Amy freaked out. This scene, unexpectedly, made me tear up. I think it was because of the intense love they showed her in her vulnerability. Just this last 4th of July, I dislocated my knee at a friend’s house. All at once everyone was helping me and showing me amazing love. The scene during the storm brought back all those memories. That is an amazing quality to a book, the ability to touch on someones past memories or emotions. It’s powerful. It probably won’t affect most people as strongly as it did me, but still, an amazing show of love. 
Also, I liked getting to see the characters lives later on. It was nice to see how they ended up. 
So while the story-line/plot had some downfalls, I found this a sweet story.  

 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: None

Sex/Nudity: None

 
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review