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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Road to Hell - Christopher C. Starr

Once there was a creator who was lonely. To cure his loneliness he creates a being, an angel, whom he names Lucifer. Lucifer, shining one, morning star, bringer of light. But his creation is not content to be the entertainment of the Father. He wants to have his own life, and in so doing he crosses the Father. As punishment, he is sent away from the Father's presence.

While Lucifer languishes away from the Father and Heaven, he creates his own world. From time to time the Father sends his new creations to visit Lucifer, but never reveals himself again and tells his minions Lucifer is now Satan: the enemy.

With his trickery, Lucifer is able to recruit many angels for his army: Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, and more. Launching war upon Heaven will prove to be devastating to everyone, including Lucifer himself.

This amazing work makes the Christian figure of Lucifer, Satan, closer to humanity. While reading, readers may remember times when they felt the same with feelings of abandonment, being used, or a number of other situations in their own lives. The writing is poetic at times, making it fantastic to reader. Near the end the descriptions of battle get brutal and bloody, which may be a little over the top for some readers. I enjoyed reading this piece and I hope to see more from this author in the future.

Source Material:
The Bible

Recommended Reads:
The Devil's Apocrypha - John A De Vito
God Knows - Joseph Heller
Book of Job

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson

In hopes of saving the world, Vin and Elend go in search of the remaining caches the Lord Ruler left behind. Not only are they fighting against nature, including the mists and ash that are becoming increasingly hostile toward the people, they are also up against the citizens of other cities and wild koloss.

With TenSoon's contract complete, he returns to his people only to meet with punishment for his betrayal of his people. He's determined to somehow convince them to keep him alive and to break free of the contract that has bound his people for a thousand years.

And Sazed continues to compare the religions of the past in hopes of finding the truth and a way to save their world. As he digs deeper he becomes more discouraged finding the contradictions of each show how wrong they are. Time is running out. And they need to find the Hero of Ages.

The entire series has kept me on my toes and the conclusion of the series only solidified my enjoyment of this series. Sanderson's characters are all complex, as are their relationships. His ability to bring many storylines together for a final conclusion is something I don't see often and is refreshing to find. While I was reluctant to finish the series, I also couldn't wait to discover the end.

Books in the Series:
The Well of Ascension

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Family of Earth - Schim Schimmel

Humans mostly live in cities and towns all around the world in many different climates, but animals do not have apartments, huts, and houses to live in. They live in the jungle, the desert, the ocean, and the sky. Despite living in such different environments, we all share the same earth.

With gorgeous illustrations, both parents and children will delight in the message of harmony.

More by the Author
Dear Children of the Earth
Children of the Earth: Remember

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Agricola and the Germania - Tacitus

Tacitus records the life of Julius Agricola, the governor of Roman-ruled Britain. In revealing the challenges Agricola faces with the British natives, he reveals the traditions and lives of the people.

In The Germania, Tacitus sole purpose is to record and comment on the way of life in the tribes of Germany, including housing, laws, livelihood, and much more.

With little to no record of many of the early tribes in Europe, even the observations of outsiders, which were often unfavorable to the traditions, provide valuable insight for those who want to learn more about the European people before the Roman influence took hold.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson

Defeating the Lord Ruler was only the beginning of setting the Final Empire free of tyranny. Elend Venture has taken the throne and chooses to set a council of representatives for Luthadel. Unfortunately, his ideas on how to run the kingdom are much different from the councilmen. When the city comes under attack by not just one but two armies the differences become even more pronounced. While Vin and the others advise that dispensing of the council would be the best course of action, Elend insists that keeping the council will build confidence in the new rule.

While Elend plays politics, Vin finds herself matched against an unknown alomancer who can match her own skillset. If that weren't bad enough, a Kandra taken on the form of a member of their team, but Vin must discover who.

In the meantime, the Keeper Sazed, who had set out to learn more and spread knowledge in the kingdom discovers disturbing news. The Mists are killing people. And a mysterious location reveals clues as to the Lord Ruler's power.

Because the novel focused mainly on politics in the beginning I found it a slow start, but intrigue and danger soon took over. I enjoyed watching the evolving relationships between Vin and characters like Elend and OreSeur. The politics could be boring at times, but in the end the loose ends all come together making it worth paying attention. The action scenes are well-written, sometimes leaving me breathless as I listened to Vin and others fight against skilled enemies or large numbers of them.

I immediately started the next book in the series after finishing this one. I look forward to my commute every day because I get to listen to novels like this!

Books in the Series:
The Hero of Ages