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Jordan Mierek has commented on (13) products.

Daughters of Caleb Bender #3: Though Mountains Fall by Dale Cramer
Daughters of Caleb Bender #3: Though Mountains Fall

Jordan Mierek, February 3, 2013

I received a copy of THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL by Dale Cramer from Bethany House. It is the third book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series. Overall, I have very mixed feelings about the novel. I haven’t read any other books by Dale Cramer, and I’m not sure I’ll seek them out, although if one does fall into my hands, I’ll give it a try.

There were aspects of THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL that I loved. For one thing, Dale Cramer based the series on his own ancestors. That is a huge plus for me. For another thing, it involves an Amish community in Mexico, something I’d never heard about before ��" definitely another plus. For those of you who follow my reading habits, you know Amish fiction is a favorite (there are many Amish families in my town, so I enjoy understanding their perspectives). I recommend this series to anyone else who enjoys learning about the Amish just because it takes place in Mexico, setting it apart from other Amish series.

There were some things I didn’t like: mainly, the writing style. Everyone has a different preference, and I just couldn’t get into the story. The characters were interesting, but there were too many adverbs and not enough descriptions to hold my interest. The characters also seemed to blend together as I read. No one had a distinct personality, at least in my opinion. I know other people will feel differently about those aspects, so nonetheless, I recommend this book. I will continue to read Amish books and this one will remain on my list of novels to discuss with other fans of Amish fiction.
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Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix
Tangled Ashes

Jordan Mierek, October 19, 2012

I received a copy of TANGLED ASHES by Michele Phoenix from Tyndale Fiction via Handlebar Central. This adult novel, with plenty of action and mystery, is based on World War II. I shouldn’t say that’s my favorite topic ��" it is much too dark and morbid. However, I do read a lot of novels on the subject. This fits in well with those, so I recommend this to anyone interested in the Holocaust ��" if “interested” is the right word.

The book focuses on a Manor in France. The best part? It’s a real place! I hope to visit it someday. The author paints it into a beautiful, majestic light, interweaving history with nature. The story jumps between World War II and 2001. In 2001, Becker is hired to restore the manor for the owner’s wife’s birthday; time to welcome a cast of unique, realistic characters. I loved the descriptions and the discovered artifacts. The manor really came to life for me.

In World War II, the manor was used by the Nazis as a “baby factory.” Aryan women, whose babies had been sired by Nazi soldiers, came to the Manor to bear their children. After the baby was born, the women had to leave them there to be raised. A servant in the house decides to steal one away… I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoiling the plot.
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Love in Disguise by Carol Cox
Love in Disguise

Jordan Mierek, July 6, 2012

I received a copy of LOVE IN DISGUISE by Carol Cox from Bethany House. Not only is the front cover intriguing, but the back cover hooked me from the first sentence: “Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?” I started reading at lunch and couldn’t wait to get home to finish the novel. It really is one you can’t put down, and fast-paced enough to read in one day.

The novel begins in Chicago in 1881, where Ellie works as an actress’s assistant. The actress, however, moves to Europe. Without her, Ellie doesn’t have a job. She wrangles her way into Pinkerton’s Detective Agency (a favorite topic of mine to read about) and is sent to Arizona. There, someone has been stealing from a mine. Ellie must pretend to be a widowed aunt and another detective will be her niece. That other experienced detective decides not to go, though, so Ellie decides to play both parts. So many places had me laughing out loud (which caused quite a few stairs in the cafeteria).

I loved the characters ��" each unique and realistic. Major events in the story seemed a bit too coincidental and predictable, but overall I enjoyed the book. The romance left me smiling. This is truly a feel-good novel. I hope to read more novels by this author.
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Legacy Road by Graham Garrison
Legacy Road

Jordan Mierek, July 2, 2012

I received a copy of LEGACY ROAD by Graham Garrison, from Kregel. Normally, I love Kregel books. This one, not so much. It was good, but not a favorite. The story centers on three main characters ��" Wes, his girlfriend Emmy, and his dad, Ron.

Wes’s parents divorced when he was young, and he’s never been close with his dad. His dad has been in and out of jail for various reasons, and Wes sees him as a horrible person. Ron knows he’s done wretched things, but he still cares about his son. He recognizes his mistakes, but has trouble righting them, and he also struggles to stay on the correct side of the law. In the past, Ron sent his son letters, and some are shown in the story as Wes analyzes his feelings for his father.

Wes needs to work on an assignment for a history graduate course and Ron decides to help them, so they grow closer, while Wes struggles to deal with his mother’s declining health. In the meantime, Wes hopes to propose to his girlfriend, Emmy. She works in the medical field and is being sent to Afghanistan soon. Although she cares for Wes, a secret in her past keeps her from saying yes.

I never got a strong sense of the characters. I couldn’t tell ages, and no one was strongly described. Most of the secrets were revealed suddenly at the end, making it feel rushed. I would have liked to see them come out a little at a time through the entire novel.

I did like how history tried in with today, and I enjoyed reading the different perspectives of the main characters. I love it when chapters explore varying point of views. The end brought tears and a smile. Overall, the book is an interesting family drama.
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The Book of Books: The Bible Retold by Trevor Dennis
The Book of Books: The Bible Retold

Jordan Mierek, June 28, 2012

I received a copy of THE BOOK OF BOOKS: THE BIBLE RETOLD by Trevor Dennis, from Lion via Kregel. The book, bound with an impressive hard cover, contains many stories from the Bible, retold in simple language for today’s youth to enjoy.

There are twelve chapters. They deal with popular Bible stories. For example, chapter six contains four parts: Ruth, Naeomi, and Boaz: Love Wins the Day; Jonah, a Big Fish, a Great City and the Forgiveness of God; the Book of Job: Shaking a Fist at Heaven; and Songs of Light. Each chapter starts with a few paragraphs explaining what it contains, and then the parts include illustrations. Some of the pictures were a little abstract for me, but the patterns will surely appeal to children.

Since the stories are short, it was easy to read one every night before bed and then discuss it with my family. My grandmother also enjoyed it. She has dementia and we’ve hired people to sit with her at nights. They all enjoyed sharing these stories. They were quick and simple enough to keep her attention, while keeping the meaning. This is a perfect addition to any library for children of all ages.
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