Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A.A. Milne's Poetry

After last week's delightful article on poetry by Victoria, I'm here today with the first poetry installment on My Lady Bibliophile. They may not be grand and romantic, but they are whimsical, with great insight into the human heart. I've been savoring them for months: A.A. Milne's Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young.

If you've read the Pooh stories and not the poetry, like I had, then you won't want to miss these any longer than you have already. If you haven't read the Pooh stories or his poems, then what are you waiting for? Be off with you!

Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young
[From Goodreads] Everyone who has read Milne's original Pooh books knows that he can write a good hum, after all Pooh gives us several.
In this volume (and the earlier "When We Were Very Young") Milne's voice comes through more clearly, unmoderated by writing for his bear of little brain. He gives us a small volume full of poems that should surely last as well as his prose. While some of them are strongly flavoured by the time and place where he wrote them others are more universal in their subject and tone.
As you read this volume you will almost certainly come across something you recognise, if it isn't the line "James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree" that catches your memory then it might be "Just a bit of butter for the royal slice of bread." If not, then you will find many of them sticking when you have read them to a child.
My Thoughts

I now find I read them out of order by accident. *blushes* So start with When We Were Very Young! Actually, it doesn't matter what you start with, they're quite individual volumes, but Now We Are Six emphasizes Christopher Robin getting older, so that's the only difference between them.

Each poem was so precious that I savored them like candy, making myself stop every few so that it could last longer. I think what I loved most about these two volumes is Milne's ability to deeply sympathize with the perspective of a child. As he writes, all the childhood joys and trials flood over you again--the joy of imagination and brand new grown-up things, and the annoyance of things like holding hands and busy adults who won't listen. Milne's stories have a magical essence to them because he never forgot childhood. Most of us do. I'm already forgetting, and I was passionate about remembering so I could sympathize with the younger lot. But Milne--he helps me remember. The joys of watching raindrops race down a window and choosing your favorite to win. Trying to walk so you don't touch the sidewalk cracks. Imaginary friends that you took everywhere with you. Those joyful, common childhood experiences wash over you in a wave of nostalgia as you read each line. Milne's poems are so innocent and idyllic that they almost hurt your heart to read sometimes--but in the best and most joyful of ways.

Favorite Poems from Now We Are Six: The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak, Us Two, Forgiven, Come Out With Me, Waiting at the Window, Pinkle Purr.

Favorite Poems from When We Were Very Young: Buckingham Palace, Independence, Nursery Chairs, The Invaders, Teddy Bear, Vespers.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How to Write Lovable Protagonists--Guest Posting!

Friends! Have you ever wondered how to turn your main characters from flat to 3D? Or have you ever read a  book where they just weren't up to par? I'm guest posting over at Curious Wren today with some thoughts on how to write lovable protagonists. I hope you'll join me there!

Who are your favorite protagonists in literature, and why? :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

On Poetry and How Amazing It Is [Guest Post]

Hi friends! I have an amazing friend, Victoria, who I have spent countless happy hours with discussing literature, writing, and movies. She writes an absolutely fantastic blog which you'll want to check out, and has greatly expanded my horizons on thinking deeply abut Christianity and classic literature. Very sweet and extremely smart, with a beautiful knack for writing poetry herself, she's sharing her thoughts on the importance of poetry with us on the blog today. Without further ado, I'll hand it over to her! 

I feel like one thing so many young people nowadays are missing out on is poetry. We read novels and watch movies, and it ends there. But the truth is, poetry holds as much worth and meaning, if not more, than other forms of literature.

Let me get one thing straight. I haven’t always loved poetry with a burning passion. Fortunately throughout high school I have been blessed with teachers who have taught me to love it. And poetry definitely deserves more attention than it receives.

People call poetry crystallized thought, and that is exactly what it is. It is truth and emotion all packed into just a couple stanzas, and that is the beauty of it. People think they need a whole novel to show a theme to readers, but poets can do it in the space of several lines. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some of my favorite poems.

“DoverBeach” is perhaps one poem which I love immensely. As you read the first stanza, can’t you just feel the rhythm and lull of the waves on Dover Beach? Can’t you just perfectly see the beach and and the night sky? Arnold achieves this vibrant this with only about fourteen short lines. Then he continues, telling us about Sophocles and his view of the world, and how on this evening we can understand him. And maybe that’s the reason why faith, in the next stanza is withdrawing, leaving us on the darkling plain that is in the last stanza. Thus in two-hundred and fifty-eight words, Arnold not only paints a picture of Dover Beach at night, but also laments (or informs us?) of his view of the world, even if it is a bit pessimistic, in my opinion. (Who am I kidding. It’s as pessimistic as it can get.)

William Wordsworth, in “The World is Too Much with Us,” plainly shows the worldview of the Romantics. With descriptions he makes us feel sympathy for nature we have neglected, and goes as far as to say that he’d rather be a pagan who appreciates nature than believe in God and not care about the sea and wind. Now isn’t that radical.

And honestly, not all poetry exactly holds with Christian worldview. However that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the great artists behind those poems. Also poetry is a fantastic way to understand the different worldviews in the different periods of time. The depression of the Great War poets. The disillusion of the modernists. But there is also poetry which points to God and has a more positive look on life.

George Herbert’s spiritual sonnets fascinate me. He develops a theme, and then uses only the last view lines or so to wrap it up shortly, but powerfully. Crystallized thought right there. “Redemption”  especially shows this, as does “Love.” “The Altar”  is also a really neat picture poem.

Even if not explicating a Christian element, many poets wrote about things from a Christian worldview. John Donne’s “Death Be NotProud”  or Shakespeare’s Sonnet116. (Speaking of Shakespeare, our old pal, can we take a moment to appreciate how many sonnets he wrote? It’s ridiculous how hard it is writing in iambic pentameter.)

There’s also more personal poems like Langston Hughes’ “I, too, singAmerica” and Ben Johnson’s lament “On My First Daughter.”  (He also has one on his first son, but I thought one is depressing enough.)

Also poems don’t necessarily have to be super deep or anything. We all know of Lewis Carrol’s “Jabberwocky.”   Also there’s Hilaire Belloc and his “On the Giftof a Book to a Child”  (which I think most of us can agree with) and “Sarah Byng, Who Could Not Read and WasTossed Into a Thorny Hedge By a Bull.” (Face it. You want to read that one right now.)

If you want to explore even more poems than the ones I mentioned, the PoetryFoundation (which I’ve been referencing all this time) is a great place to start. There are also many collections you can buy; I personally own The Seashell Anthology of Poetry  which has a very diverse collection, but I’m sure you can find other collections as well.

Poetry is hard. Every stanza, every line, every word has more meaning than it would in any other form of literature, and you have to slow down and think about what it means. And not only that, but you also have to slow down as ask yourself, is this poet’s worldview right?

But reading poetry is totally worth it. It develops your reading skills (and challenges your concentration skills), it makes you more discerning, it offers unique ways of viewing at the world, and it demonstrates the different worldviews of the centuries, and how man’s thought has developed. Because writing and literature throughout the centuries has been trying again and again to give people answers. Whether answers through logic and reason, nature and feelings, or despair and disillusionment, poets have been trying to give answers, but so much of it conflicts with the ideas of other centuries.

And yet through the fog of human effort to explain the world, the unshakable truth of God shines through. Even when we read poetry with ideas which does not agree with His word, we can still ask ourselves, nevertheless, how can I find Him through it? And when we read poetry which, even if subtly, points to God, we can draw closer to Him.

Before I end, I also want to challenge you to try writing poetry. You never know, you might actually have a knack for it. Here’s a resource with lots of resources for getting started: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-poetry.html

Free verse is the easiest to write, but it’s harder to be certain that how you’re writing it is truly meaningful. (If you want an example of a truly well-done free verse poem, check out T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.”) I used to think that poems with a set meter and rhyme scheme restrain creativity, but then I realized that it’s the opposite. Rules can actually make you come up with more creative ways to say something. Thus I would suggest trying sonnets, even if they can be hard. And if all else fails, just try haikus. Anyone can write a haiku. All you need is three lines, first one five syllables, second seven syllables, and third five again. In fact, allow me to write one right now.

Much thanks to Schuyler
Hope you like poem ramblings
Do you like poems?

Victoria Marinov is a homeschooled teenager living in Texas. She has been writing stories since she was thirteen, but making them up in her head from long before that. She enjoys writing a poem now and then, and loves reading, swimming, and photography. She also prefers tea over coffee. He blog is at https://victoriam00.wordpress.com/.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay

Do you ever happen to see a book cover or read about a new release coming out, and think "Boy, I'd love to read that one"?

As soon as I saw Dear Mr. Knightley, for some reason I had this knowing sense that it and I were meant to be.

After finishing up the first draft of War of Honor (currently letting that precious baby sleep for a while, before I roust it out for its first round of editing), I pulled up my Kindle and dove into Dear Mr. Knightley. It was one of those delightfully impulse decisions, and I'm thrilled to say I read the whole thing in one day.

One day. The joys of being off a deadline.

The Book (from Goodreads)
Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

My Thoughts
There are a wide variety of relationships in this story, many of which are fantastic, but by far my favorite relationships were Sam and the Muir couple, and Sam and Alex Powell. Professor Muir is retired, and he and Mrs. Muir give Sam a taste of the family she never had. I would love to have dinner at their house. They were safe and fun mentors for her.

As for Sam and Alex...he's kind, gentlemanly, a good conversationalist, and a great comrade. I loved their talk of writing, and their visits to the different Chicago restaurants. It made me hungry for that kind of fellowship, that kind of personal care. Their relationship is built on an authentic friendship that shares the deep and the small joys with gusto. It's good to read stories that mirror that, and give you something good to aspire too. I love the way Alex texts her, takes her out, and sometimes gets grumpy and apologizes. :) While I'm not sure either Sam or Alex are believers, their hearts grow more open, and they are in good hands with the Muirs to continue witnessing to them. I found the honest portrayal of both characters to be moving and inspiring. This book is about coming out of our hiding places and taking off our masks with friends, coworkers, family, spouses, and everyone who loves us. As that's something I've been learning, that really resonated with me.

There were only a couple of things I didn't care for. Sam's boyfriend Josh keeps pressuring her to spend the night at his apartment. Sam is not a believer, neither is Josh, so I think that was a fair and accurate thing to put in. It was appropriately and biblically resolved, but still, I wouldn't want it to be in every book I read. There was a plot line with someone who assaulted Sam that I wish could have been resolved. I had suspicions all through the book, only to find it never really came to a conclusion. Also, the last scene had some abrupt emotion swings which took just a touch of the magic off the conclusion, but I still enjoyed it.

The thing I appreciated most about this story was Sam's faith journey. It's slow and subtle. It's natural, and feels very real for how someone in her life circumstances might have felt and processed things. She has a messy background, and the pain and confusion that left her were well captured. Reay leaves us in a good place, but with plenty of room for Sam to continue growing.

This was an endearing story, perfect to curl up when I needed some TLC and was in the mood for something sweet.

Have you read Dear Mr. Knightley? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Visual Theology, by Tim Challies and Josh Byers

I've been excited about Visual Theology ever since I heard of its release--the idea of infographics explaining the truth of God's Word sounded really cool. I love infographics--fresh, quick ways to present timeless truths--and while I'd never read Tim Challies, I recognized his name as a sound theologian. So I put it on request to give it a try.

The Book (from Goodreads)
We live in a visual culture. Today, people increasingly rely upon visuals to help them understand new and difficult concepts. The rise and stunning popularity of the Internet infographic has given us a new way in which to convey data, concepts and ideas.

But the visual portrayal of truth is not a novel idea. Indeed, God himself used visuals to teach truth to his people. The tabernacle of the Old Testament was a visual representation of man’s distance from God and God’s condescension to his people. Each part of the tabernacle was meant to display something of man’s treason against God and God’s kind response. Likewise, the sacraments of the New Testament are visual representations of man’s sin and God’s response. Even the cross was both reality and a visual demonstration.

As teachers and lovers of sound theology, Challies and Byers have a deep desire to convey the concepts and principles of systematic theology in a fresh, beautiful and informative way. In this book, they have made the deepest truths of the Bible accessible in a way that can be seen and understood by a visual generation.

My Thoughts 
While I expected a lot more infographics than the book actually had (it was comprised of ten chapters, with two or three infographics per chapter) the ones that were included really did enhance the book. When I'm reading nonfiction or theology, a graphic or two never goes amiss, and it made for a refreshing break from reading now and then to study over the charts and graphs accompanying the chapter. I thought the book was primarily going to be infographics, and I wish it could have been, but it hit its mark in being a simple, basic overview of God's work in the world and in our lives. For teens, people want to increase their biblical knowledge, or people who are overwhelmed by long books, Visual Theology would be a fantastic jump start into meatier works.

Infographics I especially liked were:
-the "I am" graphic, about our identity in Christ.
-the books of the Bible graphic, which looked like a scientific elements chart with little boxes for each book, the date it was written, and the author.
-the time lines of God's dramatic redemption plan throughout Scripture.
-the flowchart of how to put off sin.
-and the word cloud of character aspects we are to cultivate in our relationships with one another.

The colors were beautiful, and those particular graphics would make for edifying artwork to put up in the home to study and ponder over. (Interestingly enough, you can buy these infographics as posters on the book website).

As far as the text portion of the book, most of it was a basic summary of things I was familiar with. I never got too excited about the text in general because it didn't present familiar information in a fresh way, but there were some chapters I particularly enjoyed:

-our identity in Christ (ch 2): the reminders of God's willing adoption of me, my security and freedom from sin in him, and the deep, tender love of God the Father in identifying us as his children. This chapter was a comforting reminder that I often need to preach to my soul.

-our relationship with God (ch 3): Challies laid out how God talks to us through Scripture, exploring different facts about the Bible and benefits of reading Scripture, and contrasted it with the way we talk to God in prayer. It was a fascinating explanation of how an intimate relationship with God is fostered by mutual communication.

-doctrine (ch 5): knowing doctrine leads to love, humility, obedience, worship, unity, and healthy growth. Good doctrine leads to visible fruits in your life. Excellent, excellent reminders.

-and the chapter about putting on Christ (ch 7): In areas where we face specific and deep temptation, we replace vice with virtue. In areas where we aren't as prone to sin, we still generally pursue godly character. We value all of God's commands, whether we feel weak in those areas or not.

I was glad I had a chance to read Visual Theology. I would have preferred more infographics, but it's a book that offers a great reminder of basic biblical concepts, and would make a fantastic gift book for fellow believers. Check out more information at www.visualtheology.church

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Currently Vlog

Hey there, folkies! Thanks to Carrie-Grace, we have a vlog to share with you all today. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Leave of Absence

I'm almost done with War of Honor this week, and using everything I've got to get to the finish line, so I'm going to take leave of absence for Tuesday. I'll be back Friday, friends! Hope you all have a wonderful week filled with stories to love and bookish thoughts to mull over.


Friday, May 6, 2016

The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

I've been watching every Jungle Book movie clip I can lay my hands on from the new film over the last few weeks. There's something thrilling and exotic about jungle creatures, and what I've seen of the live-action film gives me delicious chills. So I thought I'd pick up the real Jungle Book and give it a read. Since it's free on Amazon Kindle, and fairly short, I whipped through it in no time, and enjoyed my first foray into Rudyard Kipling's fiction.

The Book
Saved from death at the hands of the greedy tiger, Shere Khan, young Mowgli grows up with a pack of wolves learning the laws of the jungle. As he encounters adventures and perils with his friends, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, hanging over his head are twin dangers: one that he is a man and will never completely be part of the animal world. And two, Shere Khan has not forgotten his secret desire to kill the man-cub who is rightfully his.

Coupled with stories of the Jungle, Kipling includes other tales of the animal kingdom in Kotick the seal searching for a safe home, Rikki the mongoose battling the cobra family, and a beautiful collection of poetry pertaining to the stories. The Jungle Book is a book of adventure and celebration, with darker strains of grief winding through the war between men and animals.

My Thoughts
The Jungle Book is such a fun twist of deep thoughts, talking animals, and rollicking adventures. Baloo the bear has always had a soft spot in my heart from the Disney Jungle Book, and while the original is slightly different, I still enjoyed him. I enjoyed the exotic jungle setting with panthers and wolves instead of more traditional animals. I never knew that Mowgli meant little frog. The fight between the apes and Bagheera and Baloo and Kaa the snake makes for a gripping tlae, and the gatherings of the wolves were deliciously shivery. Akela is such a noble wolf, and might have been my favorite character of them all. This book makes me want more jungle books, and if any readers know of any, I'd love suggestions.

It's interesting how darker, more disillusioned threads run through a book where a child is the main character. More than once in the stories of Mowgli and Kotick the seal, there's the theme of an outcast leader. Faithful followers grow corrupt or greedy, unwilling to change, throwing off the constraints of government. In every case, the other option of government is downfall and death, and the supremacy of the jungle declines in the years where lawlessness reigns. As Bagheera says to them when they plead for a return to their old ways, "Ye fought for freedom and it is yours. Eat it, O wolves." The outcast savior makes for a fascinating story theme.

I also thought a lot about animal treatment as I read this story. Before I was ever interested in The Jungle Book, I heard conservation thoughts from Prince William in my fangirl following of the Duchess Kate blog. He's passionate about saving animals from being hunted to extinction, and when you read the Jungle Book, you see a lot of similar themes as animals enounter the danger of man.

There are some things I wasn't sure of in Kipling's treatment of the theme. In some cases, animals are wiser than humans in their view of what is just and good, seemingly more in touch with the "laws of the jungle" or the right way things should go. When they respect each other's territory, they can exist in peace with one another, and they have rules for what can be hunted. In contrast, Mowgli, when he encounters men, encounters rather foolish people or people twisted by greed and false religion. He likes the animals better.

While it is interesting to read a book from a non-traditional perspective (animals instead of men) and think about the insights it offers, it doesn't offer a particularly robust view of the dominion of the earth that God has given humans. If anything, it would make you feel rather guilty for doing anything to disturb them.

However, there's another side of the coin to man's dominion. Often in our use of animals, we've gone far to the other side of cruelty. Animal abuse and excessive hunting, as Kipling dramatizes in the story of Kotick the seal, are a dark spot on man's dominion calling. We're made above the animals according to Genesis, but that doesn't mean we should freely use and mistreat them however we wish. Jungle Book reminded me of what Prince William speaks out for, the wise stewarding of endangered species, and the tragedy of harsh killings for profit.

My favorite story out of the bunch, one that made me squee with happiness (ahem, professional review, this) was Rikki Tikki Tavi. That mongoose is so adorable and brave, with a cute sense of ego. I love him to bits, and my heart was in my throat during the climax. I also loved the short story "Her Majesty's Servants" as a soldier overhears a conversation between various animals who serve in the army, and what they are afraid of, and what they do best. It was a fascinating piece about how different strengths and weaknesses can be used for a powerful force of good when they are united together.

Not to be forgotten is Kipling's wonderful poetry. I'd read his poems before, and love "Recessional" and "The Gods of the Copybook Headings", but Jungle Book gave me even more to treasure. Kipling bookends most of his stories with a poem about some element of the story we've just read. I love the rhythm and the animal perspectives in each one.

I highly recommend Jungle Book for a short and enthralling read of jungle stories and fun poetry. If you haven't tried Kipling before, this is a great place to start.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Sparrow Series, by Jason McIntyre

I'd heard high praise of Jason McIntyre's novels before he sent me an email and asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing his books. I always love a chance to review a book, and I'm enjoying getting to know the flavors and styles of indie authors in the homeschool community. Jason's books were no exception.

The Sparrow Found a House (The Sparrow Series #1) 
What if your new stepdad was a Bible-toting Army Sergeant? Fifteen-year-old Jessie Rivera is living every teenager's nightmare. Her widowed mom has married a man who wears his heavy Christian values like his sergeant's stripes - on both sleeves.

Glenn Sparrow is persistent, immovable, and not afraid to be firm. Worse than that, he's loving, kind - even fun - and he has Chris, Moe, and Katie completely won over.

But Jessie is determined that she won't be won over, or give up her "freedom" without a fight. She knows what she wants, and it isn't what they've got.

My Thoughts
One thing that made me really happy as I read these books is that Jason McIntire writes well. That's a good testimony in itself for indie publishing and Christian fiction. His books are easy to read, not at all clunky, and good quality narrative style. I appreciate the way he backs up his message with quality work, and definitely can't wait to see what he writes next.

What bothered me as I read was how many lifestyle choices Jason addressed as the kids came to know the Lord. After getting married, the parents talk to the kids about wise use of internet, smartphones, video games, modesty, and eventually homeschool. I thought the story might have been better served to tackle a few changes instead of so many in a fairly short book.

In spite of my struggle with the speed the family shifted their lifestyle choices, Jason did a great job in writing the perspectives of the kids as they come to terms with change. Jessie and Chris and even Sarge himself, who have wildly different personalities, come through quite authentically in their points of view. They tackle some big worldview shifts, and Jason doesn't make that switch easy or fun for all the characters. That's true to life.

I thought about this story a lot afterwards. I have the same convictions for the most part that the Sparrows did, with some different preferences on computers and city living. It's tricky to write about homeschoolers choosing to be conservative in a way that engages people outside of the conservative homeschool circle. We tend to be an exclusive set, and I'm not sure this book would give a winsome portrait to outsiders, though I do think conservative homeschoolers would enjoy relating to the characters. In the end, while it included both Gospel and good behavior, I spent more time thinking about lifestyle choices than the Gospel that was presented.

That was book one. But I'm really glad I got to read both books, because book two I really enjoyed.

Flight School (The Sparrow Series #2) 
On the verge of adult life, Chris Rivera is eager to get started on his career as a director of Christian movies. But he’ll have to do it without his best friend Ben, who has traded childhood toys for law books... and a very pretty study partner.

Meanwhile, Jessie is getting a lot of attention from conservative neighbor John and trendy friend Galen – each of whom, for drastically different reasons, seems a little too good to be true.

In the face of hard questions and big temptations, how do you know which choice is right? And where do you get the courage to make it?

My Thoughts
While I had trouble in spots enjoying book one, I enjoyed book two so much I want to re-read it. Jason's choices for his characters get knottier. His character motivations for people who live differently than the Sparrows gets more sympathetic. Teaching is more subtle, and through that, even more powerful. I learned things to apply to my own life from this book as each child struggles with their individual idols--not bad things in themselves, but things which grasped too tightly can become bad. Book two put the emphasis on how the main battle is really sin vs. Gospel, not world vs. homeschooler. I loved that focus.

Seeing Jessie and Chris and Ben grow and wrestle with adult choices about careers and relationships was well written and easier for me to relate to, as I'm at a similar stage. Jason captures his age ranges really accurately among the older and younger kids. I  also loved the way he included Katie's tender conscience. :) That's pretty easy to find in homeschool circles, and the way he wrote how family members tried to encourage and didn't know what to do by turns felt true to life. :) My main trouble in book one--seeing the people sanctify in their new-found faith too quickly--was dealt with really well in book two--as Sarge explains to Jessie that ultimately building up more rules to control your heart doesn't take care of the sin in your heart. The sin has to be dealt with at the root level. The Sparrows provide tender, Gospel-centered ministry to friends and neighbors, using the film making process to reach out to many different kinds of people. That was exciting to read about.

The climax was surprising and very believable. The characters were well-drawn, and the plotting was excellent. And the ending--satisfying, yet with some subtly written loose ends at the same time. I heartily enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it as good fictional story with a worthwhile message.

The Sparrow series #1 and #2 were given to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 
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