Category Archives: Thomas Nelson

You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado

You'll Get Through This cover artTitle: You’ll Get Through This

Author: Max Lucado

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

You’ll get through this.

It won’t be painless.

It won’t be quick.

But God will use this mess for good.

Don’t be foolish or naïve.

But don’t despair either.

With God’s help, you’ll get through this.

You fear you won’t make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten?

In You’ll Get Through This, pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. “Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.” Max reminds readers God doesn’t promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn’t for Joseph–tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed–but his Old Testament story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to trump evil.

With the compassion of a pastor, the heart of a storyteller, and the joy of one who has seen what God can do, Max explores the story of Joseph and the truth of Genesis 50:20. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good.

Review:

The world is full of bad things, and everyone on the planet will experience bad at some point in their lives. Max Lucado takes a look at some of these bad things and shares real life examples of how God has used them for good. Interspersed throughout the book is the biblical story of Joseph. Sold into slavery by his older brothers, wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt, forgotten, scorned, and mistreated, Joseph’s story is the perfect example of how God can take the biggest messes in our lives and use them for good.

Once again, Lucado has written a book that takes everyday challenges and holds them up for closer examination. Through the conversational tone of his writing, he reaches straight into the reader’s heart and invites them to let go of earthly troubles and focus on God instead. Each chapter has a theme that ties a piece of Joseph’s story and a modern example together in a way that offers hope that God can and will use even the worst events in a person’s life for good.

You’ll Get Through This doesn’t offer a quick and easy solution to surviving the stressful times in life. Instead, it reminds readers that God is always in control and has a plan, and no matter how bad life may get He will ultimately use those bad things for something good. Our job is to trust God and cling to our faith regardless of what happens.

One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from the first chapter and sums up the theme of the entire book: “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going through a difficult time and anyone who wants to read a book full of hope and advice for surviving the difficult times that will undoubtedly come.

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Filed under Christian, Non-fiction, Thomas Nelson

Afloat by Erin Healy

Afloat cover artTitle: Afloat

Author: Erin Healy

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

Who will you trust when dark waters rise?

Eagle’s Talon is an architectural marvel—shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.

They’re bitterly divided over what to do next.

Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.

Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle’s young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater—beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.

In this watery world where everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.

Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.

Review:

Vance Nolan designed floating housing with the goal of providing affordable housing for the poor and homeless. Tony Dean finances the project and then turns the floating condos into an exclusive housing development for the wealthy. Danielle Clement is a single mom struggling to find her way after the death of her husband, and both Vance and Tony want her for their own. When disaster strikes the floating neighborhood of Eagle’s Talon, everybody who gets trapped by rising floodwater must set aside their differences if they want to survive.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading Afloat, but what I got was a complex mystery, supernatural elements, suspense, and a new way to view Psalm 119 all wrapped up in an almost apocalyptic setting. Between the eclectic cast of characters, mysterious events, and revelations about what brought several of the characters to Eagle’s Talon, the story pulled me in and made it difficult to put the book down. The plot contained so many twists and turns that I couldn’t even begin to guess what might happen next. Every time I thought things couldn’t get worse for those stranded in building 12, it did. Yet through Vance, his old friend Zeke, and Danielle’s five-year-old son Simeon, it was impossible to not hope everything would turn out all right in the end.

Ms. Healy did an amazing job of showing the battle between good and evil, as well as God’s faithfulness even in the worst situations. The contrast between selfishness and love, which creates selflessness, is artfully woven throughout the story. I particularly enjoyed the way Ms. Healy applied verses from Psalm 119 to events in the story and used them to give Vance strength when his faith struggled. If you enjoy suspense or speculative fiction, you’ll enjoy Afloat.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Thomas Nelson, Thriller

Domination by Jon S. Lewis

Domination cover artTitle: Domination

Author: Jon S. Lewis

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

THEIR GOAL IS SIMPLE: TOTAL DOMINATION.

With six arms and jaws that can snap a man in two, the warmongering race of aliens known as the Thule has conquered every planet they’ve attacked.

And now their invasion of Earth has begun.

Humanity’s only hope springs from a mysterious Thule legend about a Betrayer, who they believe will rise up and destroy their people. The American government tried to manufacture their own Betrayer by injecting children with Thule blood but time after time the experiment failed . . . until Colt McAlister.

A decade later, Colt is a 16-year-old cadet at the CHAOS Military Academy where he’s training to defend mankind. But he’s afraid that the alien blood may be turning him into a Thule—and he’s beginning to suspect that fulfilling his role as the Betrayer may cost him everything.

Experience a cosmic battle filled with high-tech gear, gateways to other planets, and ultimate stakes. Not everyone will survive. But heroes will rise up and step into their destiny in this earth-shaking conclusion to the C.H.A.O.S trilogy.

Review:

In this epic conclusion to the C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy, Colt McAlister is one step closer to saving Earth from an invasion of Thule. Unfortunately, the mission he and his friends have been tasked with completing if far from easy. If the practice runs in the simulator are any indication, humanity is doomed. But despite the odds stacked high against them, Colt and his friends hold onto the hope that when the time comes, they will succeed.

I loved the first two books in this trilogy, and I looked forward to reading Domination for quite some time. This book did not disappoint. As with the first two books, there is plenty of action, danger, and plot twists to keep the reader turning pages. There is also just the right amount of teenage angst as Colt faces the normal struggles of being a sixteen-year-old boy, although his challenges are made all the more difficult because the entire world is counting on him to save them from destruction.

Colt’s faith comes to the forefront in this book, shining bright through his struggles with the Thule blood running through his veins as well as wondering if he can live up to everyone’s expectations. Regardless of his doubts, he always clings to his faith in God. The verse he wears on a medallion around his neck serves as a constant reminder that God will help him, regardless of what dangers he may face.

If you haven’t read the first two books in this trilogy, I highly recommend you pick them up before reading Domination. If you have already read Invasion and Alienation, what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of Domination now. You won’t regret it.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Genre, Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction, Series, Thomas Nelson, Young Adult

Fire Prophet by Jerel Law

Fire Prophet cover artTitle: Fire Prophet (Book Two in the Sons of Angels Series)

Author: Jerel Law

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

Fire Prophet is Book Two in the Son of Angels Series. Spirit Fighter began the Son of Angels series.

What if you could actually see angels and fallen angels engaging in battle—and you were expected to join the fight?

It’s been one year since Jonah Stone and his sister, Eliza, discovered that their mother is a nephilim, the product of a union between a human and a fallen angel, which makes them and their little brother, Jeremiah, quarterlings, or one-quarter angel. After embarking on an epic journey to rescue their mother and the other nephilim, who were kidnapped by fallen angels, the Stone kids have enjoyed a little peace and quiet.

But when Jonah and Eliza are attacked by fallen angels at school, they learn that quarterlings all over the world are being targeted, and separating them from their parents is the only way to keep them safe. The kids undergo special training to help them discover their own unique angelic gifts, which come in handy when they embark on a mission to find a mysterious prophet who they believe holds the key to Abaddon’s defeat in a massive battle between good and evil.

Parents today are looking for fiction that makes Christianity and the Bible exciting for their kids. This series is the first Christian answer to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Kane Chronicles, the Secret Series, and other middle grade series packed with adventure, action, and supernatural fights. But the message is solidly scriptural in that God alone is always in control.

Review:

Jonah Stone and his younger brother and sister, Jeremiah and Eliza, are quarterlings (one-quarter angel). Abbadon, the ruler of evil, is determined to destroy the Stone children, every other quarterling, and the nephilim (half angels). Jonah and his siblings take refuge with the rest of the quarterlings and begin learning to use their angelic abilities to fight evil. The quarterlings’ parents, both nephilim and human, are taken to other secure locations for their own protection. Jonah, his brother and sister, and their new quarterling friends must work with the angels and use the unique gifts Elohim has given each of them if they are to save their parents and themselves from death.

When I first read the description of this book, it sounded like an amazing story full of action and lively battles between good and evil. While the book does contain these, it fell far from my initial expectations. Speculative fiction requires readers to suspend their disbelief and accept that the fantastical elements could really exist. Unfortunately, the first third of Fire Prophet contained too many ridiculous and clichéd elements for me to adequately suspend my disbelief. The story did improve after the first third and began to live up to the potential given in the book’s description. The spiritual battles were vividly described and drew me in, allowing me to almost experience them alongside the characters.

I say almost because of another set of issues that cropped up throughout the book. The frequent head-hopping and shifts to points of view other than the protagonists made it difficult to fully get into the story. Minor consistency issues also pulled me out of the story. I also started skimming over the repeated statements of the kids disappearing from the physical realm every time they entered the hidden realm. The first time or two they popped into the hidden realm, it made sense to mention that they suddenly vanished from the view of anyone in the physical realm. By the second half of the book, however, I felt as though the author didn’t think I would remember that going into the hidden realm meant the quarterlings were hidden from the sight of any nearby humans.

Over all, I think this is a book children in middle school could enjoy because of the fast-paced action and unique plot. I wouldn’t recommend it for high school aged kids, however. Despite being labeled a young adult novel, it reads more like an upper middle grade novel.

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Filed under Christian, Fantasy, Fiction, Series, Speculative Fiction, Thomas Nelson, Young Adult

Alienation by Jon S. Lewis

Alienation cover artTitle: Alienation

Author: Jon S. Lewis

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

The invasion was only the beginning . . .

After his parents were killed in a car accident, Colt McAllister was drawn into a world he thought only existed in comic books—one where mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles don’t even scratch the surface.

Along with his best friends Oz and Danielle, Colt is now training at the secret Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural academy. But strange accidents seem to follow him. . . even with the security of the school grounds. What first seems random soon turns deadly. But who is targeting Colt?

As the alien invasions increase in frequency and force, C.H.A.O.S resources are taxed to the limit and they’re forced to utilize the new recruits. In the midst of battle, Colt will discover some startling revelations . . . about himself, his friendship with Oz, and why he has been chosen to defeat this alien attack against earth.

Review:

Sixteen-year-old Colt McAlister is back for another exciting adventure full of aliens and intrigue. This time, however, someone is determined to kill him. Thanks to the government’s belief that Colt is the one who will save the world from an invasion of six-armed, shapeshifting aliens, he must survive multiple attempts on his life. His friends Danielle and Oz are determined to help him in any way they can, but can he truly trust them? Can he trust anyone?

The second book in the C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy, Alienation is an action-packed thrill ride full of conspiracies, danger, and of course, aliens. From hoverboards and nanotechnology to robots and jet packs, this book embodies any geek’s dream world. Although fictional, the technology is described in such a way that it is fully believable and undeniably awesome. Colt, Danielle, and Oz continue to develop their close friendship as their characters grow in strength and depth. When the three friends arrive at the CHAOS Military Academy, they work together and separately to stop the plot to eliminate Colt. Through the wild, life-threatening events, Colt learns who he can trust and what friendship really means.

Yet again, Jon Lewis has done a wonderful job of writing a book that will hold the interest of both teens and adults until the very last page. Alienation shows the importance of thinking for yourself, as well as knowing when to rely on others. Teens are sure to love the adrenaline-laced adventures Colt and his friends experience, and parents will appreciate the thread of faith skillfully woven into the tale. With all of the questionable role models out there, Colt McAlister and his friends provide a welcome change with their determination to help others and do the right thing, no matter the personal cost.

I highly recommend Alienation, and the rest of the C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy, to anyone who loves science fiction, adventure, and high-tech toys. These books will not disappoint.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction, Series, Thomas Nelson, Young Adult

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

Invasion cover artTitle: Invasion, a C.H.A.O.S. novel

Author: Jon S. Lewis

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

Colt McAlister is drawn into a war against things he thought only existed in comic books.

After a car wreck takes the lives of his parents, Colt moves to Arizona to stay with his grandfather. There, an informant tells him that his parents were actually murdered because his mom, a journalist, was getting ready to write a story exposing Trident Industries.

Along with Oz and Danielle, his new comrades at Chandler High, Colt vows to uncover the truth. But the more they learn, the more bizarre reality becomes. Mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles only scratch the surface of what they discover.

Colt is recruited by a secret organization called the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. But the battle isn’t just against an out-of-control giant corporation. A gateway to another world is opening, and the invasion has already begun.

Review:

Sixteen-year-old Colt McAlister is enjoying a summer of surfing and freedom in his first car. Then his parents die in a head-on collision and everything changes. He moves to Arizona with his grandpa, hangs out with his childhood friend Danielle, and makes a new friend in Oz, who seems oddly familiar. As Colt works to find his way around school and his new life, he stumbles into a deadly plot involving the largest company in the world. With Dani and Oz by his side, he learns there may be more to comic books and conspiracy theories than he had always believed. Is it possible that they are based on reality and shapeshifting aliens are planning to invade Earth?

The ups and downs in Colt McAlister’s life ring true, even when he’s in the midst of an unrealistic situation. Readers can easily suspend disbelief, however, as they follow along on the adventure of a lifetime and cheer on the good guys. This is a classic story of good versus evil, although there are a few instances where the line between good and evil must be blurred for the sake of saving the world. These instances bring out Colt’s conscience, which is remarkably strong in the face of the challenges he stumbles or runs headlong into at every turn.

Jon Lewis has written an amazing tale of science fiction with just enough truth mixed in to make it frighteningly realistic. The possibilities suggested throughout the book add a chilling glimpse into what could be, while also including alien species that leave one hoping the UFO fanatics are wrong. Colt is a character anyone can look up to and sympathize with, which makes him a great role model for adolescent readers. This book was written for teens, but it is one that is easily enjoyed by adults as well.

I highly recommend Invasion to anyone who loves science fiction, action/adventure, or stories of the supernatural. This book is a keeper, and I look forward to reading the next book in the C.H.A.O.S. series.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction, Series, Thomas Nelson, Young Adult

Lonestar Secrets by Colleen Coble

Lonestar Secrets cover artTitle: Lonestar Secrets

Author: Colleen Coble

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

Can Texas’s majestic Big Bend help Shannon find her life again?

Shannon Astor returns to southwest Texas to serve as the town’s veterinarian, believing she’s finally found the space to get her life back on track.

Then she catches a glimpse of Jack MacGowan, the man who ruined her life years before. But even more shocking is the sight of Jack’s five-year-old daughter Faith, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Shannon’s own daughter Kylie. Is it possible that their similarities could be more than just coincidence? Could Faith be the daughter that Shannon has believed to be dead for all these years?

As the truth emerges, everyone is forced to take sides–in a story with a heart as big as Texas.

Review:

This is an amazing story of love and faith, betrayal and trust. Ms. Coble has written a wonderful novel that shows how devastating secrets can be and just how far desperate people will go to keep their secrets hidden. Through Jack and Shannon’s story, we see how one moment of betrayal can ruin trust for years, but bringing secrets into the open and having faith in others can heal. Jack and Shannon’s story is riddled with secrets and mistrust, not only between each other, but also between friends. And some of those secrets threaten to become deadly.

Lonestar Secrets is filled with suspense, heart-rending emotion, and hope that everything will work out in the end. It’s a great read that shows Christians living out their faith without showing even a hint of being preachy. It was a pleasure to read this book as a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger, and I highly recommend Lonestar Secrets to anyone looking for a compelling novel with a surprising ending.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Series, Thomas Nelson