Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt ~ Book review

 

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt

Biblical Fiction

Review copy through Bethany House Publishers

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

Seeking peace and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everything to follow the law of Moses.

Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands his son to pick up his sword and continue the fight–or bear responsibility for the obliteration of the land of Judah. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision–what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long? 

The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’s wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice. 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I was actually hesitant to read this book at first because the other books I’ve read by this author were not favourites. But since this one was about the Maccabees, I was very intrigued and willing to give it a chance. Happily, I didn’t find it to be like the other books I’d read previously, which was good. It was pretty clean, as a whole, though since it is largely a battle-book, there are definitely some graphic scenes, but the graphic-descriptions never lasted too long.
Being someone who celebrates The Feast of Dedication with my family, I was particularly interested in that aspect of this novel, but honestly, that specific account was told in a matter of 2 or so pages without much depth.
A lot of the book seemed mostly factual instead of story-sounding, and I realize facts are good, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  I prefer a Biblical based book to explain things more in a story-telling way – where you relate to it at a deeper level because it is incorporating characters and storylines along with the information.  I couldn’t really connect with the main characters because, well, there wasn’t much about them. The first half of the book showed them well enough, and I was able to connect a bit there and the book’s title made sense, but at the middle-mark, when the battles all started to happen, it lost the character-relation and was really more of a battle play-by-play and less about Leah and much more about Judah. Which is fine for many, just not what the title suggests at all, or what I was hoping for.
Things that I thought they would spend time on were glossed over within a paragraph, or mentioned as just a passing thought, which I thought was a little odd.
It was nice to see each battle-victory be given to the glory of Adoni, though.
I appreciate the author’s intent, writing a novel about the Maccabees, because it is fascinating, I just personally could not connect with this book.

Quote:

“And we are to teach our children that no king can ever take the place of HaShem in our hearts. The Hellenes may abolish our Temple service, they may forbid us to circumcise our children or observe the Sabbath, and they may encourage us to eat unclean animals. But they can never unseat HaShem from His throne. He still owns heaven and earth, and He still controls the fate of kings and priests.” 
** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher.  All opinions expressed are mine alone.

 

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Bethany House Book Review: “Risen” by Angela Hunt

 

(READERS: DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE “MIRIAM SCAVENGER HUNT” IN THE POST BEFORE THIS ONE :) )

Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture

(Image via goodreads.com and description of book take from Amazon.com)

“Risen” by Angela Hunt, The Novelization of the major motion picture.

Based on the story by Paul Aiello and Screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello

Review copy source: Bethany House

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

 

Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.

His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth–and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.

My Thoughts:

I’m giving this two stars to give it the benefit of the doubt, otherwise I might give it less. I did not finish it because I was very disappointed in the immorality displayed by the 7th chapter already. It was inappropriate and should not be in Christian fiction, let alone Biblical Fiction. Various ages read Biblical fiction and having “sex-scenes” is beyond not okay. I did finish Angela Hunt’s previous book (“Bathsheba”), so I know firsthand the sex-scenes that she has written into that book, which lends to my decision not to finish this book. In other words, I know from reading previous content by the author that this would undoubtedly prove to continue the same way. When I requested this book for review, I was first unaware that it was by this author, and when I realised it was by her, I had hoped that since it has been an acclaimed movie, that it would be a bit cleaner.
The rest of the book may have been good, but I cannot condone such things in what is supposed to be a Godly book. I want a clean read, and so that is what I will spend my time on.
It bothers me that there are so many such scenes in Christian fiction, because it is numbing the minds of the reader to make it seem ‘okay’ to have sex out of wedlock. Nothing is Holy anymore, and that is very grievous to me.

I’ve heard that the movie doesn’t contain the immoral element, so I may watch that at some point, but I won’t be finishing the book, and cannot rightly recommend it either.

 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

 

Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Pictures, Uncategorized

I’ve been readin’, I’ve been writin’, I’ve been singin’.

Ehh, not entirely true, but I felt a random title was in order, and that’s what came to mind first. :D I mean, I have been reading, and I have been writing, and I guess I have been singing (This is Not a Test, baby. TMac.), but that is not really the point now, is it? “I’m not quite sure,” you say in a British accent.

Alright, onward and forward!

 

Yes, books! I said I’ve been reading, after all. :) I just finished “Light of the Last” and it was beyond amazing!!!! I will be sharing my review with you very soon, God-willing! I just adored the book :) I will be beginning “Miriam” today, and looking forward to it. And then, as the third picture shows: I have a bit of Biblical fiction to be reading! Besides “Miriam” I have “Risen” by Angela Hunt, and “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith. I am very interested to see how they are.  Hopefully I’ll get all of them read in a good amount of time!

As for writing, I’ve just been writing in one of my stories :D When I started it a few months ago, it was meant to just be a quick, side-story type thing, but it’s turned into more, which is always fun. :)

Also in news of writing, the Love is in the Heart contest has ended and the two winners were announced on Valentine’s Day. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out my story was second! It really blessed me :) Lesa did a GREAT job hosting this fun writing contest and I’m looking forward to future contests! :)

What are you busy with, readers?

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Bethany House Book Review: “Bathsheba” by Angela Hunt

“Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty” by Angela Hunt

Biblical Fiction

Review copy source: Bethany House Publishers

My rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book

After receiving God’s promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier’s wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king’s household.

 

My Thoughts:

I hadn’t read any books by Angela Hunt before and so when “Bathsheba” came up for review,I was interested in reading it. And indeed the cover is beautiful (besides the unrealistic amount of makeup… ^.^).
But this book was unfortunately, not a favourite for me. There were several parts that I had to skip because they were really inappropriate – it would make a person blush, truly. I don’t think that is necessary at all to have it in any book, but especially Biblical Fiction.

One quote I liked: “A complacent man would eventually neglect the Lord, because he would depend upon HaShem’s promise, and not HaShem Himself.” – I agree with this, but sadly, the characters did not follow this. Bathsheba did rely on The Lord’s promise and not so much God Himself.  Her faith was quite strangely portrayed. She was mostly angry at God, and at some point she switched her attitude towards Him, but it was not clear or obvious.

One of the over-all themes that I didn’t care for at all was the great emphasis on physical beauty. The fact that Bathsheba was a “Tob” woman (meaning, very beautiful) was referenced and repeated a thousand times. And there was way too much stock put into her beauty.  I was also very disappointed with the prophet Nathan’s attitude towards his wife. He compared her to Bathsheba continually, and it was very degrading. It would be one thing if no physical description was given, but they did describe the looks of each, and to say that one figure type is more pleasing than another is just terrible. Every woman is made beautiful in Yahweh. There is absolutely no size or shape that is better than the other. Period.

Nathan as a character, as a prophet, was very discouraging to me. Yes, he was a man, but he was a man of God, and I do not believe that a prophet would behave as he did, in many aspects. In comparing his wife (who was extremely sweet, and probably the best character of the whole book) to Bathsheba, he thanked God that his wife wasn’t as pleasing as Bathsheba. It was just so wrong.

I get that this series is about ‘dangerous beauty” and that, in theory, is why so much emphasis is placed on it, but I don’t think it is godly, especially to give descriptions of what is “remarkably beautiful” because everyone’s perception of beauty is vastly different and unique. To talk down about one figure type is very detrimental to a reader who could be that figure type. I fear that any young lady who is not secure in God with how He has made her, will read this and feel inferior, inadequate and will compare themselves with the book’s interpretation of what is beautiful.  I feel that to be dangerous.  We can not put beauty in a box and say it is only one type of person. We cannot put beauty on a pedestal and say it is so important, because it is not. The important beauty comes from the heart overflowing with Christ’s love. We are to reflect His beauty, and that comes from inside us.

There were quite a few other things, like the pride issues, but I don’t want to keep going on negatively.  I am afraid I cannot recommend this book. I hate to give unfavourable reviews, but this book sent off so many alarms to me.