Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"The Sanctuary" by Ted Dekker - A Book Review


    The Sanctuary is the gripping story of vigilante priest Danny Hansen, who is now serving a fifty-year prison term in California for the murder of two abusive men. Filled with remorse, Danny is determined to live out his days by a code of nonviolence and maneuvers deftly within a deadly prison system.
    But when Renee Gilmore, the woman he loves, receives a box containing a bloody finger and draconian demands from a mysterious enemy on the outside, Danny must find a way to protect Renee while at the same time Renee enacts a plan to free Danny from incarceration.
    They are both drawn into a terrifying game of life and death. If Renee fails, the priest will die; if Danny fails, Renee will die. And the body count will not stop at two.

    The Sanctuary follows the story of Danny Hansen, priest-turned-vigilante-turned-Christian, and the woman he loves, Renee Gilmore.
    Danny has taken a vow of nonviolence and turned himself in for the murders of to abusive people. While in prison, he is faced with the questions: "How far am I willing to go to protect the one I love? How far am I willing to go to defend the innocent?" The Sanctuary is a tale that centers around grace, mercy, love, and "situational" ethics. Danny doesn't want to compromise his beliefs in order to conform to Warden Pape's twisted take on the grace of God.
    Renee loves Danny. When she receives a threat on his life, of course she would stop at nothing to warn him.
    There are points in this book where characters do things that they normally wouldn't do, all in order to help the one they love.
    A recurring theme in The Sanctuary is that of rape. Danny's first victim was a pedophile, who, with the help of his father a judge, escaped and killed someone he had raped whose testimony sent him to jail. This was what caused Danny to become a vigilante. In prison, rapists are referred to. And it is implied that one prisoner has raped another.
    When Danny is first transferred to Basal Facility, Pape's "Sanctuary", Warden Pape gives him a list of things you are not allowed to do. Among these things was masturbation, pornography, and any form of homosexuality.
    Language: Scr**ed, b*st*rd, b*lls, cr*p
    Sexy Stuff: References to rape; the term "b*lls" is used a couple of times; Danny is stripped completely naked and Renee is stripped to her underwear, though neither are sexually assaulted; Danny cuts the pedophile's penis off in an act of vigilantism;
    Violence: Danny and Renee both remember several of Danny's acts of vigilantism; Renee shoots a crooked judge's toes off; Danny shoots guards in an attempt to rescue Renee; a boy's finger is severed;
    Scary Images: Other than action sequences, or sequences of violence, there are no scary images.
    At times, the message of love that Ted Dekker is trying to get across can seem a bit shady, though at the end it becomes much clearer. There were frequent points in this book that made me uncomfortable reading, which included the references to sexual violation.
    All in all, I did enjoy The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker, however I enjoyed it less than I did some of his other works.
    I would not recommend this book to anyone younger than 16 years of age.

4 of 5 stars!

God bless,

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm a Liebster Blog Award Nominee!

Leah over at Apassionata has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you very much, Leah!

About the "Liebster Award": Bloggers nominate other bloggers that they enjoy with less than 200 followers. It doesn't matter what kind of blog you have, or in what language. If you have a blog, then you can be nominated! It's to get to know new bloggers a little better and go networking with them. It's gone on for a few years already. It's unending!

The rules:
1. List 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you left
3. Ask 11 new questions for those you nominate
4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate
5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

Shall we begin?

11 Facts About Me:
1. I'm a passionate Christian
2. I am a musician in my church and out
3. I like to travel
4. I am a PK (Preacher's Kid)
5. I have so many books, they don't all fit on my bookshelf
6. I am a huge fan of sci-fi television
7. I am a senior in High-school
8. I used to want to be an actor (not so much anymore, now that I'm older)
9. I'm not very athletically inclined, though I do enjoy the occasional bout of basketball.
10. I was born in May
11. Answering these questions was surprisingly slightly difficult for me.

Questions from Leah:
1. Would you rather be respected or loved? - I believe that it is more important to be loved because God is, after all, love itself. So, even though it would be nice to be respected, I would much prefer to be loved by those around me. But we do need to remember, as older Christians, younger Christians look up to us and follow our example. They respect us.
2. What is a favorite quote of yours? - "When God calls us from somewhere, He leads us to somewhere else." by Caleb Bryant
3. List three of your favorite songs at the moment. - One Things Remains by Jesus Culture; Change My Life by Ashes Remain; The Power of Your Love by Worth Dying For.
4. Cows or peacocks? - Peacocks. I like birds. :)
5. Describe your style/taste in art, design, and fashion? - Art - abstract, scenery, any kind of art that is a sort of reflection of Van Gogh's Starry Night; Design - A sort of modern, but warm, inviting design; Fashion - I don't do "tacky". 
6. What place would you travel, if you could? - Rome
7. Coffee or tea? - Tea. Iced.
8. Introvert or Extrovert? - Introvert
9. What do you hope to do with your life? - I hope to continue to write and be a role model to those younger than me. I also hope to grow as a spiritual servant to others, always putting others' needs before my own.
10. What's your favorite entree? - I don't really have one
11. If you could be granted one wish, what would it be? - The ability to write a 100,000 word novel in a week!

Questions to my nominees:
1. What is your favorite book?
2. Book or movie?
3. What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2013?
4. Fantasy/sci-fi or Contemporary/romance?
5. What is your favorite animal?
6. Do you like Doctor Who?
7. Do you enjoy social outings, or do you prefer to stay home alone with a good book?
8. Canine or feline?
9. Are you home-schooled, public-schooled, or private-schooled?
10. Reading or writing?
11. Stranded alone on an island, what would be the one thing you would want with you?

3. Ellyn
4. Gillian
5. Jake
6. R.P.H.
7. Mirriam
8. Noah
10. Galadriel

And there you have it! Be sure to check out my nominees' blogs! Oh, and don't forget to link back to me and my blog!

God bless,

Friday, January 18, 2013

"From Darkness Won" by Jill Williamson - A Book Review

Achan steps into his role as Crown Prince and prepares for war. But war against whom? Could Esek still be alive? Has Lord Nathak taken Esek's place? Or is the mysterious Hadad the true enemy Achan must confront?
    Vrell has her own agenda of serving Prince Oren as a healer, but when she is stormed and lost to the Veil, Achan does all he can to bring her back. His conversations with her are strange, though, as if she has no memory of who he is.
    In a land consumed by Darkness, the fate of Er'Rets hangs in the balance as Achan endeavors to take the throne and end the reign of Darkness.

From Darkness Won, the final installment of The Blood of Kings Trilogy is an incredible conclusion to the trilogy. It drug me in and kept me under for hours at a time, until I finally finished.
    I can honestly say that I am said to say goodbye to Vrell and Achan. I truly hope that the author continues to write more stories about them.
    From Darkness Won would capture the interest of any avid reader of fantasy right away, drawing them into a land of battles, affairs, scandals, romance, chivalry, bravery, action, adventure, and raw EPICNESS!
    This has been one of the most fantastic trilogies that I have read. It is a mix of middle ages history with the perfect amount of fantasy added into the mix.
    Vulgarity/Profanity - NONE
    Sexy stuff - *SPOILERS*.......................... Achan and Vrell talk frequently of marriage and the night that would follow, though nothing is spoken outright.
    Violence - The body count is around average for an epic fantasy novel. Severed limbs, beheadings, etc...
    Scary scenes - Fantastical creatures are a-plenty, the dark knights wield dark powers, plenty of battle scenes.
    I wholeheartedly recommend From Darkness Won to any and every die-hard fan of fantasy.

5 of 5 stars!!!

God bless,

-Have you read The Blood of Kings Trilogy by Jill Williamson? If so, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Top Ten Young Adult Books

    I got the idea to post my top ten favorite young adult books from a post over at the Go Teen Writers Facebook group. So, here is my top ten!

1. To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
3. The Tide of Unmaking by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
6. Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton
7. Solitary by Travis Thrasher
8. DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul
9. Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis
10. The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan

    Some of you may be thinking "How dare this bloke put Andrew Klavan's The Last Thing I Remember at the VERY BOTTOM??!!" Well, I had a hard time numbering these books because they were all so FANTASTIC! Realistically, they were all close to a tie! But I couldn't do that because that would defeat the purpose of having a top ten. :) Anyway...

    Have you read any of those books? If so, which ones were your favorites?

God bless,