Some Good Reads

 

Cover art for books I enjoyed in 2019With the year coming to a close soon, I thought I would share some of the books I enjoyed reading or caught my eye this year. And at the end share a bit about some news for my own writing in 2020.

Super Hero Stories:

LAUNCH by Jason Joyner:
I really enjoyed this one. It’s got solid characters, an action-filled plot, and manages to be a good YA, good superhero story, and solid choice for Christian fiction fans. SEE FULL REVIEW

SIX PACK: UPRISING by BW Morris:
After reading the first two in the series, I was excited to see where the story went. This is also a YA superhero tale, and it reads a lot like an arc from Young Justice or Teen Titans. So if you’re a fan of either series I’d recommend it.

Spiritual Thriller:
PARANORMIA by Paul Regnier:
This one was suggested to me at a writing conference and was an experimental read. I’m really glad I tried it out. It’s witty and soulful in equal measures and helps you see beyond circumstances to the forces at work in our world.  SEE FULL REVIEW

FATE OF THE REDEEMED by Chad Pettit:
This book would work as a thriller by any definition, but in particular it captures that desperate, time-is-running-out feeling that keeps you reading cover to cover. That the stakes are not just the present, though those are high enough and you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the protagonists, the eternal component makes it so profound to read.  SEE FULL REVIEW

Science Fiction:
FROZEN SECRETS (EUROPA ACADEMY BOOK 1) by Myles Christenson:
My wife is a middle school teacher so I get to read a lot of books in that age range, but not a lot of sci-fi. This was a real treat. Action, adventure, but with substance. I’m definitely looking forward to book two.  SEE FULL REVIEW

THE SPACE TRILOGY by C.S. Lewis:
How did I get this far in life without ever having read Lewis’s famed Space Trilogy? Great question, and I have no defense. But I did read all three books, and re-read them. As far as I’m concerned they’re literary treasures.

Potpourri:

ZOMBIE TAKEOVER by Michelle Israel Harper:
I’m probably what would be classified as a casual zombie story enthusiast. I’ve seen my share of movies but never got into The Walking Dead. I met the author at a writer’s conference and was surprised to see she had a zombie horror story, so I gave it a try. It was worth it, 100%. This is unexpected and witty and worth reading whether a casual or serious zombie fan.

WHERE YOUR TREASURE LIES by Joel Thimell:
This book blindsided me. I read the first book and enjoyed it, but this one really hit me hard. As a completion of the arc set up in book one it is phenomenal. It’s spiritually and emotionally impactful and definitely one of my favorite reads.  SEE FULL REVIEW

THE KINGDOM TO COME: A GREAT LIGHT by Jennifer Ball:
I’ve got a soft spot for epic fantasy, but having read a variety of it means having seen quite a bit. This book succeeded in surprising me and in a good way. I honestly didn’t see the major turn a third of the way in and it had me hooked till the end.  SEE FULL REVIEW

THE STAFF AND THE SWORD TRILOGY by Patrick Carr:
I started reading book one as research for what fans of Christian epic fantasy would expect as I completed edits to The Gathering Dark. I finished all three because the story was so engrossing.

 

On My TBR Stack:
MILLIE’S CHRISTMAS by Kathy McKinsey:
I know Christmas is past for this year, but my little guy still is reading Christmas books and this one looks promising. The author has been an editor for me on The Gathering Dark and is phenomenal! Good writer + Christ focused Christmas story + cat = a winning children’s book. I’ll probably post a review soon after reading so check back on it later as well.

MYSTICAL GREENWOOD by Andrew McDowell:
From the premise it sounds like this has all the classic elements of a solid fantasy story, but the reviews make it clear there’s something special to it. I’m looking forward to digging into it.
MARK OF THE RAVEN by Morgan Busse:
In Christian fiction circles it’s hard to go very long without hearing Morgan Busse’s name attached to a long list of compliments and recommendations. I read the start of her other fantasy series Daughter of Light and thought I should try this one as well. It’s won several awards and is definitely epic fantasy, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

 

Of course, I had two books release this year, both of which I’m very proud of:
QUEST OF FIRE: THE GATHERING DARK
WARDROBES, WIZARDS, AND HALFLINGS: A FAITH IN FICTION DEVOTIONAL
If the Lord wills, then 2020 could be an equally big year with a couple books I’m really excited about:

Veiled Sun (Tomorrow's Edge Book 2) coverVEILED SUN (January 21, 2020):
Day Moon‘s sequel has been long in coming, but is better for it. Here’s a bit about it:

Seventeen-year-old Elliott knows Project Alexandria is rewriting history. It daily shapes his world around its sinister goals. To stop it, he must assemble his grandfather’s program, the “Veiled Sun”. The authorities are after him and his allies are outlaw hackers almost as dark as Project Alexandria. Worst, reality’s fate is one betrayal away from disaster, and the knife is wielded by those he loves.

 

A Light Undimmed cover art

A LIGHT UNDIMMED (TBA 2020):
This is my long promised companion novella for Destitutio Quod Remissio. I characterized it at one time as deep state in ancient Rome, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s a deep story of three men striving to find the Way in the midst of harrowing persecution and personal failures. One is a coward, one a traitor, another a spy, and thousands of lives hinge on how they choose to let their lights shine in the dark.

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