Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer

Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer is a novel set in a dystopian American future. Centered around a girl who is the product of a crazed genetic experiment and the cast of characters that are involved in her life, Flight of Shadows attempts to take the reader on a suspenseful journey to the truth.

Overall, Flight of Shadows is one of the worst books I've ever read. The narrative is told from so many points of view that I had a hard time developing any sort of attachment to, or investment in, any of the characters. The continual switching of points of view among so many characters was confusing as well. The story itself is convoluted and the characters as a whole unlikeable. There were elements that were shocking for seemingly no reason other than being shocking, for example when one of the characters bites of and eats the head of a rat. The lack of character development is part of this. I think it was meant to be a cautionary tale of what happens when scientists attempt to play God, but it just ended up being terrible.

There isn't really any element of this book that worked for me. I didn't connect with the characters, the story was convoluted, there was no message to take away or any entertainment value. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I know.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books 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 Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

The Voice New Testament

The Voice, New Testament is a daily reading Bible, meant to bring new life and greater understanding to the words of scripture. The Voice is a new translation put out by the Ecclesia Bible Society. In the preface, it says that "The Voice is created for and by a church in great transition...Instead of furthering the division over culture and theology, it is time to bring the body of Christ together again around the Bible." The preface also tells how The Voice is unique among other translations. Instead of simply being done by scholars, "The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists."

The Voice, New Testament has many extra features to aid the reader in his/her understanding of the scripture. There are reading plans for Advent, Lent and Easter, and personal growth, as well as a 24 week complete New Testament reading plan. Each book has an introduction that sets the stage for the reader as far as author, setting, and context. Throughout the scripture there are little blocks of commentary to further explain what is going on. The Voice, New Testament also includes a topical guide and an appendix on the titles of Jesus. As part of the unique features of The Voice translation itself, dialogue is set apart with each person's name, like one would see while reading a play. There are also words in italics throughout the scripture that help the reader understand any nuances the original audience would have inherently understood.

Overall, I really enjoy The Voice, New Testament. The translation itself is not only easy to read and understand, but beautifully written; the combination of both scholars and artists in the group that did the translation provides an accurate rendering that recaptures the power and beauty of the original text. The italicized words are not a distraction, but an easy way to see what was originally inherently understood. The commentary is helpful and relevant, and the fact that it follows whatever verse or passage it is describing is extremely convenient. The design is appealing; the color scheme and font is both visually appealing and understated. It's obvious everything was chosen for optimal comprehension, not to be flashy or draw attention away from the text. I would definitely recommend this Bible to anyone, wherever they are on their journey of faith.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze 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 Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255