Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy -- Book Review


Janeal Mikkado has long felt trapped in her father’s Gypsy culture. One night a powerful man named Salazar Sanso promises her the life she longs for if, she will help recover a vast sum of money tied to her father just to save his life.

When the plan implodes, Sanso and his men attack the gypsy settlement and burn it to the ground. During the blaze, Janeal is faced with staggering choices. The impact of the attack at that moment would change her life forever.

Review: Coming off reading the best seller Kiss by this dynamic duo of Christian fiction writing a few months ago, Dekker and Healy have shown they are a great team again bouncing ideas together & making yet another best seller in Burn.

When I first started reading this book, I was hoping for an even better version of Kiss with all the supernatural powers or borderline God level powers in a human form. When you deal with stealing memories with a kiss in the last one, where can you go? How crazy was I for asking that question? Of course, I knew they were capable of using another of the major senses we deal with everyday all twisted up in a crazed thriller over a 15 year time-line.

This high octane rocket of a story dealing with Janeal Mikkado and her father Jason Mikkado, who runs a gypsy carnival of thrillers troop, was an interesting starting point. Another great starter was showing the villain right out of the box in drug dealer Salazar Sanso who is a man that always gets what he wants. There was no exception by seducing and duping Janeal to believe that her father was in danger and the DEA was going to hurt him too if the money was not found. One million dollars missing is a big deal. How about the idea of that million to be counterfeit? The power struggle to protect one’s self from prison because it is counterfeit can make a man desperate. Mr. Sanso would do just about anything. This includes burning down a whole camp filled with gypsies & killing them all.

As the story unfolds, I found that it was easy to follow and then imagery of the scenes rocketed through my head. I will not spoil the ending so I will end my review this way. I recommend anyone who wants to read a very good action packed adventure to add this one definitely to your reading list. I feel it will be a movie someday. The Dekker fans out there will just enjoy another great story. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Illuminating Angels and Demons Movie Documentary

Recently, I watched the movie Angels and Demons directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. After my viewing, I wanted to know more of the behind the scenes and factual content discussed and described in the film. The movie’s title is the same name as the book by Dan Brown. The main character, Robert Langdon, dealt with tracking down historical Biblical clues to stop the killing of Bishops and possibly the Pope in the Vatican and around Rome, Italy.

In this 90 minute documentary taken from the book title of the same name, Illuminating Angels & Demons by Simon Cox, is the examination of the book Angels and Demons which was written by Dan Brown. For those of you who may have recently seen the movie of Dan Brown’s book, Angels and Demons, watching this documentary might have you finding yourself more enlightened or illuminated on the back story to Dan Brown’s research and writing of his best selling book. It focuses on the “Path of Illumination” that is heavily discussed in Mr. Brown’s book.

As you watch the documentary, people might say it and Dan Brown’s book are conspiracy theory and innuendo that can not really be confirmed by any one. With Simon Cox’s gathering of people that are interviewed throughout his investigations, if it is all conspiracy theory then it is very entertaining for this reviewer.

Simon Cox gathers a few of the supposed foremost researchers and writers on the subject matters discussed. He brings in Ruled by Secrecy author Jim Marrs to explain various secret societies from the Knights Templar to the supposed Bilderburg group that is said to exist and run many things around the world. Mr. Marrs should know about conspiracies with his history of researching them according to a Wikipedia article on him.

In addition to Mr. Marrs, Simon Cox calls on fellow authors who have written books on the Vatican and various secret societies. Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, who have written various religious books on the history of various Christian groups, to Devon Jackson and Jon Rappaport are among these authors. The final interviewee was Paul L. Williams, a former FBI consultant dealing with organized crime.

Illuminating Angels & Demons directed by Dan Hall, is a good layout of information so that the viewer can take the information and believe it or chalk it up as another 90 minutes of entertainment for one night. This is a religious documentary and I’m glad I watched it. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Return Policy Book Review

Premise of the story:

Meet Willy Finneran, a washed-up genre novelist with an espresso maker that just won’t die. Ozena Webb is a customer service representative and single mother of a mentally handicapped twelve-year-old boy. Shaq is the homeless man who believes he’s everyman. This is a brilliant and poignant novel from the author of My Name Is Russell Fink.


In his second novel Return Policy, novelist Michael Snyder introduces us to three very unusual and relatable characters all dealing with tragedy. Willy Finneran, a washed-up genre novelist, has an espresso maker that just won’t die. When he calls Javatek, the company that makes the espresso maker, he doesn’t realize the needs and wants surrounding it even though he wants it gone. Ozena Webb, single mother and Javatek’s top customer service rep, is the person Willy contacts. The story begins to unfold sucking you in for more in all 4 chapters.

As for Ozena, she spends every evening playing board games with her young son who is mentally disabled from an early unknown childhood accident.

The final character, Shaq, is a small and scraggy homeless man with trauma-induced blank spots on his memory. While assisting Father Joe at the Mercy Mission, he crosses paths with Willy Finneran after an unexpected event caused by Willy while driving.

As the stories of these 3 characters intersect, the narrative deals with hope, naïveté, comic relief & childlike attraction. This unforgettable book reveals that no matter how far one has strayed from hope and faith, there is always a way to return. I believe this story is already a classic even though it has not been out a long time. It reminds me of Forrest Gump meets Fried Green Tomatoes which meets the face of God because I think all three deals with hope, faith and perseverance to be better than we all wanted to be the day before. Forrest Gump did, Idgie Threadgoode did, and God wants to meet us where we are and make us better. Just like Forrest Gump and Fried Green Tomatoes left me wanting for more, Return Policy left me asking for more. The ending was sweet and not too abrupt. I felt like I was finishing reading a good diary or journal of someone, just as the story seemed to begin. I give this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Thank you for your humor and southern comfort in the story Mr. Snyder!

Be blessed….