Tag Archives: book reviews

A Five-Star Fantasy

Every now and then I get to read and review a book that makes my work a pleasure. S.D. Smith’s The Black Star of Kingston is such a book. It’s been a long time since I read a book that so deeply moved me.

Smith’s first book in what I hope will be a long series, The Green Ember, was very good–but this, a prequel, is even better. It’s a little book. You could read it in a sitting, but I stretched it out to two sittings because I didn’t want it to end.

It’s a simple story of rabbits–very human rabbits, with a government, industries, arts and crafts, etc.–trying to establish themselves in a new home, after being driven out of their old home by merciless enemies. Why rabbits instead of people? Well, why not? It’s a fantasy for children, and children like animal characters.

Smith is a good enough writer to make it look easy, a very good writer indeed. His suspense is masterful, and the action of the climax is intense. Maybe a little too intense for some young readers–but to write it off as a children’s book is to rob adult readers. This is, quite simply, the best book I’ve read in quite a while.

What’s it about? It’s about love, courage, and loyalty. Friendship and self-sacrifice. Hope and faith. Although it’s not overtly “Christian,” it certainly conforms to Christian values. Not that we have a monopoly on these: we don’t. But taken as a whole, I call it a thoroughly Christian book. And a visit to Mr. Smith’s website, http://www.sdsmith.net , will leave you in no doubt as to his religious sensibilities.

Don’t let this one slip past you. Read it!


Review This? You Gotta Be Kiddin’

I’m always getting emails from publicists inviting me to review their clients’ books. I have no idea why they pick on me. What would ever make them think I was interested? Like, they know enough to know that I do book reviews, but have no idea what kind of books I review.

The invitation I got today was for a horror called Remembrance of Blue Roses by one Yorker Keith, who learned how to write novels in college. It seems to be about a menage-a-trois among three goofs, a guy named Mark and a married couple named Hans and Yukari. Hans and Yukari? Oh, please.

They meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and go on to share first friendship, then sex and obsession, along with classical music, opera (oh please again), and art. They never go to wrestling matches. These shared passions are “illuminating the lives of these international civil servants at the United Nations headquarters…”

Who’s out there saying “Uncle! Uncle!”

Eventually Mark’s ex-wife and ex-fiancee show up and there’s a menage-a-cinq or something, and it ends in a tragedy, although the only tragedy I can see here is that the UN is still standing at the end of the book.

What in the world made the publicist think I would ever want to read such a thing? Why would anybody? A bunch of arty-farty citizens of the world experimenting with assorted fornications… oh, feh. And it’s almost lunchtime, too.


Preview of Coming Attractions

If I can possibly get around to it today, I’ve just got to share with you the latest invitation I’ve received to review a book. Some of these publicists have extremely funny ideas!

Meanwhile, like, where did everybody go? Are we all worn out from Christmas week? All right, I understand.

Again, I extend to all readers, not just regulars, the invitation to request hymns or other Christian music to be posted here. Just scroll down and “Leave a Comment.” Usually, but not always, I will not post secular music. I am not a DJ. I just think hymns are increasingly important in this evil age.

Anyhow, you won’t believe this book they think I should review.


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