Saturday, October 22, 2011
The Night Circus is the magnificently written debut novel by Erin Morgensten. She eloquently tells the tale of the constantly moving, unique circus that "...arrives without warning" beginning at dusk and continuing throughout the night. Unlike most circus-going experiences, this nocturnal adventure is different. "He had expected it to be a show. Something to sit in a chair and watch. He realized quickly how wrong he was. It was something to be explored." Many tents are available to explore, each with its own theme.
A competition is underway. For years, Celia and Marco have been training diligently for the challenge for which they were inducted by their trainers, neither one knowing that they were the adversary. A world of mystery, magic and illusion; Morgenstern easily draws the reader into the nocturnal world of Le Cirque de Reves. What the competitors do not know is that in order for a winner to be determined, only one can be left standing.
The Night Circus provides the venue for this competition to take place. Celia and Marco didn't expect to fall in love with one another, which makes their challenge much more difficult.
I truly enjoyed this novel, down to the artwork of the book keeping with the color theme. The Night Circus draws you into its magical world and leaves you with a feeling of hope, and the desire to dream as any majestic fairy tale would accomplish. Completely captivating, mysterious, romantic, and a dream-like fantasy bound into one book!
Morgenstern is quite successful in this, her debut novel, craftily written, and providing a truly unique reading experience. It would be wonderful to see this book go to film, for the magical scenes Morgenstern so brilliantly expresses and conveys are vividly seen by the reader. She achieves all of the goals a writer wishes to achieve as she takes you on the journey of The Night Circus. Well done!
Posted by Jennifer Ochs at 4:21 PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Has God Spoken?Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration, written by Hank Hanegraaff.
Book Description: Using the memorable acronym MAPS, radio host and Bible scholar Hank Hanegraaff masterfully reveals four proofs that confirm the divine origin of the Bible:
M represents the strength of the manuscript itself as many actual fragments have been located
A stands for the archaeological proofs that have been uncovered
P is for the prophecy that has accurately predicted events
S represents the scriptural synergy found in the unity, consistency, and harmony of the sixty-six books
These clearly presented proofs provide powerful indicators that confirm the trustworthiness and divine nature of Scripture, that God has indeed spoken, and that the Bible is the reliable repository of His words.
This book is aimed at substantiating that the Bible is divine in origin, rather than merely just a man-made collaboration. Hanegraaff makes several viable arguments in which he disproves skeptical objections. From details of how manuscript evidence was used to establish our present day Bible, to historical facts that cannot have resulted from anything but divine intervention, Hanegraaff presents a strong argument for his position on the divine nature of the Bible itself.
The chapters of Hanegraaff’s book were cleverly devised. There are four parts to this book. Part One, Manuscript Copies, Part Two, Archaeologists’ Spade, Part Three, Prophetic Stars, and Part Four, Scriptural Lights. Each part is further broken down into chapters which are acronyms of the Title. For instance, in Part One, Manuscript C-O-P-I-E-S has six chapters, Copyist Practices, Oral Culture, Papyrus and Parchment, Internal Evidence, External Evidence, and Science of Textural Criticism.
Hanegraaff makes a compelling argument for his position. He is known to most people as the host of the “Bible Answer Man” radio show, which is broadcast throughout the USA and Canada. In addition, he is the president of the Christian Research Institute.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>
Posted by Jennifer Ochs at 6:49 AM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Fallen is an exhilarating romance novel that takes place during the end-times. It is Slatton’s first installation in this trilogy series. Emma is the main protagonist of the story. She has charge of her daughter as well as seven other children. Emma fights to protect her children from the mists that seem to be killing people. The mists are attracted to the metals such as iron, zinc, and copper. Therefore, when the mists are drawn by this attraction, they utterly obliterate people as it engulfs them.
As a result of the mists’ effects on the people that remain alive, many of the children, as well as Emma herself, have developed special abilities and powers. Emma finds that she has the power to heal. One of the children has psychic abilities. Emma later meets Arthur, who takes her and the children into the safety of his camp, with specific stipulation and conditions. Arthur later shows her that he has the ability to control the mists and dispel them when he is calm and focused.
Slatton brings the reader on this apocalyptic journey and keeps the reader enticed. As the story progresses, there is a secret about Arthur. How that secret effects Emma’s relationship with him is central to the story. As Emma is reunited with her first husband, the father of her child, her struggle with her love for Arthur is evident, and crossing his path again appears inevitable “…the divine Source that brought me to Arthur in the first place would somehow bring me back to him.”
Slatton is successful in maintaining the reader’s interest, and I look forward to continuing this saga in book two.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the FSB Media. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted by Jennifer Ochs at 6:18 AM
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Most people have a preconceived notion of Karl Marx, the man who has also been referred to as "the father of socialism." This biographical account entitled Love and Capital, Karl and Jenny Marx and The Birth of a Revolution, written by Mary Gabriel, gives us a new perspective on the man. It is the account of his relationship with Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a Prussian baron, who later became his wife. Gabriel gives the reader not only the political side to Marx, but also the human side, the loving husband and father to his two daughters, amidst the tragedies suffered by their family.
Gabriel brings to light the revolutionary ideals versus the pragmatic side of Marx. The everyday life that Marx demonstrated versus the ideals he envisioned are seen throughout the many trials he and his wife suffered through. At one point, his marriage was almost destroyed. Though tested many times throughout their life together, their love kept their family strong through the tumultuous effects of historical circumstances. Gabriel includes several photographs spanning the lives of the two, including some portraits and intimate pictures of their family, as well as portraits of important figures in their life, such as Friedrich Engels. A few maps are also included as well as a political timeline, and character reference listing important figures and their role in the lives of Marx.
From a literary perspective, it was interesting that Gabriel briefly mentions how authors like Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens became popular through the use of fiction writing to describe the political sphere in which they found themselves during the19th century as a result of the effect of the Industrial Revolution.
Despite the fall of Communism, and economic problems facing western civilization today, the work of Marx and Engels has a vital role of importance, and has influenced the way many people think about the concepts of government, money, work, and society. Mary Gabriel contributes a concise biography, which is well organized, and accomplishes the theme, that despite one's perspective on socialism and Marx's theory, "Marx's ideas, which for most of their lives existed solely as a storm brewing inside his turbulent brain, and for which almost no one else acknowledged or even understood. Yet as improbable as it might have seemed during those years of hunger, Marx did what he set out to do: he changed the world."
Posted by Jennifer Ochs at 5:25 PM