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Customer Comments

Winters Read has commented on (76) products.

Swipe by Evan Angler

Winters Read, June 26, 2012

I've had quite a range of thoughts while reading this book. At first, the slow pace told me the book would be boring, but then it took off. lost me in slow movement again, and later recaptured me. While the storyline was fickle this way, the characters never made it far. Because of this, it was quite tempting to shut the book whenever the pages halted for the red light known as attempted pre-teen conversation. Swipe would have been better if it were filled with more constant action, while still making the point addressed next.

What changed my mind about not recommending this book (because I do, for some) is the originality and surprise of the plot. While I expected Angler to use a Biblical standpoint of the Mark and Pledging, he never did. Instead, he showed logical, secular reasons that the G.U. (Global Union) was immoral in using it to "weed out" those who would not "unify" the world. I am impressed by the skill he weaves this reasoning into the reader, no matter their views.
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Song of Albion Trilogy #01: The Paradise War by Stephen R Lawhead
Song of Albion Trilogy #01: The Paradise War

Winters Read, June 19, 2012

The Paradise War is a tough book to tackle, admittedly. Any book that comprises 464 pages is, but this one in particular was slow, despite being very interesting and intriguing. Though I haven't slogged through many of Lawhead's books, it seems that each of his series is quite unique from the rest. The first two novels in the Bright Empires series exhibited very good description (showing and not telling) but the characters were nowhere near as rich (and the writing style as a whole so captivating) as in this first volume of the Song of Albion.

While many fantasy books go the way this seems to be going (telling the story of the fall and redemption), this is a fresh relief in the genre. Everything is steeped in Celtic myth and lore, becoming vivid reality in the reader's mind. While still telling the story, it is not predictable, and the reader doesn't worry that Lawhead will take them somewhere they've been before. No, this is new territory, and he lets us blaze the trail with him.

The characters are wonderfully immature at first, showing us how much we are like them, and that we need to change. Then, Lawhead shows us the process of their maturing, either in good or in evil, as some characters choose. Some interesting persons show up near the beginning of the story, then disappear, when they could be great sub-characters during the war itself. However, they may appear in the next volumes, and that would be good to see.

In conclusion, while the writing is superb, the Celtic research is apparent, and the characters are quite helpful, the story slows down often, and that tires the reader out. It took me over two months from start to finish.
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Beckon by Tom Pawlik

Winters Read, June 10, 2012

All in all, Beckon wasn't as thrilling as Vanish and Valley of the Shadow were. The plot was good, and the Biblical message was wonderful. But it doesn't deliver to seekers of intensity. The characters are real, but one doesn't easily identify with them. I couldn't predict exactly what would happen. Many characters die, and they're not always who you expect them to be. I find that rarer in current thrillers and speculative fiction.

In conclusion, I would say that if one is looking for something to read, this is an option, but I would not put it as one of drastic importance.
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Failstate by John W. Otte

Winters Read, June 8, 2012

I can understand if someone is a bit wary of reading this book, at first. The cover art, though talented and meaningful, is a bit cheesy in concept and, let's face it, cartoon-ish. But once it's cracked open, it is not nearly as bad. With a wonderful writing style similar to Travis Thrasher's, Mr. Otte captures the reader's attention and holds it in place.

The plot was mostly well-planned, and didn't appear too cliche at the end. In fact, it was a bit harder to predict than many sci-fi/mystery titles. However, near the middle, Otte begins to lose the reader's intrigue, by confusing them with so many details, and they don't know what to do with them all! Each person could be the true criminal, and the reader is left throwing his hands in the air, because they are all suspect. He must simply read on, not caring as much as before.

To end on a positive note, Otte did a great job incorporating Scripture into key parts of the book. When Rob would attend a youth group lesson, or talk with fellow Christians, there was always something he needed, which is likewise important to us.

*This book was provided free by the publisher, in conjunction with Team Novel Teen. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*
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Lifting the Wheel of Karma
Lifting the Wheel of Karma

Winters Read, March 24, 2012

When I first agreed to read Lifting the Wheel of Karma, I must have thought it was from a Christian perspective. Now knowing that it was not, I honestly don't agree with what it's saying. But, I won't rant about that any longer. The writing is very unique, I think. On one hand, there were quite a few grammatical errors, misspellings, and so forth. I had an advanced review copy, so that is understandable. They won't be on the official copies. On the other hand, the writing drew me in instantly, and this perplexes me. Usually I don't like anything if the editing is bad.

In conclusion, I don't agree with anything that he said concerning worldviews. However, the writing was very good.

*This book was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*
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