The Second Coming: A Love Story by Scott Pinsker

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When A Fiction Book Is Nonfiction        **

 

This is an interesting approach to writing.  The author has written what he is calling a fictional account of the second coming. What this really is is a dissertation listing all the sides of the debate over which is the truth of Christianity.  Taking no side himself, Pinsker gives us all the arguments from those who feel Christ is the sole gateway into heaven versus those who take a more inclusive view.

Couched in a fictional narrative are all the elements man has debated for centuries regarding the meaning of life and whether or not there even is a god. The problem here is, had it been published as a nonfiction treatise, it might have some merit.  As fiction it is neither a compelling read nor a page turner.  One of the irritating parts to the story is that as the author tells us of the conflict between the two camps of belief, he has a narrative running in the background regarding the original fall of Satan.  Bringing in a combination of biblically-based information and all the myths that have been added over the years, the author inserts this narrative in a way that most of the time is jarring to the reader most of the time..

By not drawing his own conclusion, Pinsker at least makes one think.  If you have never thought about religion or the possibility of god or the meaning of life, then this might get you to dig a little deeper.  It doesn’t resolve any of those issues but it does cover most of the points in a discussion.  As for being a good work of fiction, the author leaves us disappointed.

Two stars for fiction, three for nonfiction.

 

The First Noble Truth by C. Lynn Murphy

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Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde  ***

 

Can a book be good and bad at the same time? Evidently! This novel reads as if written by two different people or if by one, a person with a split writing personality.

The story is written from two points of view. One, first person, the second third person. The parts in first person are gripping, dramatic, page turning, emotional, and paint a very good story. The second viewpoint is sluggish, boring, way too much telling, and difficult to slog through. The author seems to be trying to capture the mindset of the character in third person by writing as if that character were narrating. If that was the author’s intent, it didn’t work.

My view here is that the author when writing first person is writing from the heart, from experience or at least a close knowledge of what this character feels. When in third person, the author seems to be reaching for words to tell us that character’s story. There in lies the issue, too much telling and not enough showing. I did not have a reason to like or dislike the character, she seemed flat.

Krista, who is the first person narrator, kept me reading until the end which was worth the wait. This should have been a four star book.

Saints in the Shadows: A Mystery of the Mind (The Madame Budska Series)

 

thum         Madame Budska or Maud Strand………  ****

Wow. Sometimes one finds a diamond in the rough. Having been asked to review this book I bought it for my kindle as I was drawn to the description which said it “dabbles in provocative subjects such as psychic phenomena, economics, morality, masochism, color, jazz, history, and a bit of romance with an NYPD detective”.   I was not disappointed.

First, let me talk about the negative aspect of the book. The author would have made this even better with just a bit more editing and maybe one more pass with a copy editor. Each scene change has a heading which in the beginning was distracting but I will say as the story developed this was not as bothersome.

The story itself is gripping and I found it hard to put down. The writer draws you in quickly and at times I forgot I was reading a work of fiction. If you have ever seen a film with a famous actor who makes you forget that you are watching them act, then you know what I mean. The transition from past to present was easy to follow and never “pulled” me out of the story.

The character, Maud Strand, is one I would like to read more about. She seemed to me, to be more interesting than Madame Budska. Based on the title the author seems to disagree, hopefully she will change her mind.

The ending was slightly rushed and left me wondering about what was going to happen to Maud. Maybe it all wrapped up too fast. But I will say I look forward to more books by Alana Cash.  This gets a well earned four stars!

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

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And Women Read This???   *

Everything that can be said about how bad this book was written, has been voiced by other reviewers.. What I cannot understand is a woman’s fascination with the story. The popularity of this book among women makes one wonder what they really want from a man.