Book Reviews – Any of these would make a good Christmas present for someone.

My tutoring student is down with the flu today, and having a large pile of books that I have promised to review, I will use some of this serendipitous time to begin.
Winter by Keven Newsome   
Can a person be both Goth, and a Christian? Some people might argue that the two philosophies are not compatible, but in his book, Keven Newsome makes a strong case for harmony between them. 
The protagonist, Winter, a young believer, is headed for a Christian college –  and not all of the baggage that she takes to college is packed in her suitcases. Her faith is relatively new, and untried. Summer, Winter’s roommate, is the antithesis of Winter, and their dorm room reflects just how different they are.
As Winter accustoms herself to being in a Christian environment, she realizes that not everyone approves of her choice of individuality. One of her professors sees her Goth appearance as a sign of rebellion. Other students who are more conventionally dressed stare at her from a distance. 
Then Winter begins to have visions. Terrifying visions. Bad things begin to happen on campus, and Winter sees a connection between her visions and the incidents at the school. The action amps up into crisis mode, and Winter’s life is at stake.
Newsome has done an awesome job writing about Winter’s spiritual gifting, and in presenting the dark side of the world of the occult from a thoroughly biblical point of view. I enjoyed reading this book.
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Alpha Redemption by P.A. Baines 
What kind of a man would knowingly accept the job of traveling through space to Alpha Centauri alone? Well, perhaps not totally alone. He travels with a state of the art computer that is responsible for his welfare. Brett Denton is that kind of man.
Brett is in a dismal state of mind, regretting choices that he had made, and things he wished he had done differently. He had given up on God. When he was offered the position to explore Alpha Centauri, he took it. Jay is the computer who was to look after him, but he is more than just a computer. Jay has the capacity to modify his instructions as the story unfolds, it is apparent his abilities include spiritual understanding of God’s gift of salvation. 
This is a fast-paced narrative that captivated me from the beginning. The two key characters kept the story line moving as their interaction deepens and broadens. The only thing I would change would be to find a way for the conversion to Christianity scene to be handled more subtly. In my opinion, it felt like it had accidentally jumped over from a different book. The rest of the book is outstanding. 
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by Liz Curtis Higgs
These two companion books are based on the relationship between Ruth, and Naomi in the book of Ruth, and they are set in Scotland in the 1700s. 
Both books are “can’t put it down you’ll have to get takeout” kind of books. Every detail of this history of the Jacobite Rebellion was carefully researched. The descriptions are detailed, and make you feel as if you were there. The writing is superb. You feel the heartache of Elizabeth Kerr when she loses her husband. You can connect to her struggle to find God, and the tension between her and her mother-in-law.
The second book, Mine is the Night seamlessly picks up Elizabeth’s story, and realistically brings it to the good (but somewhat unexpected) ending. The relationships that are built among the characters, and the historical tidbits make you wish there was more to come. The story just flows naturally, and beautifully. I believe if I were to meet any of these characters on the street, I would recognize them immediately.
I’ve been reading Liz Curtis Higgs’ books for a number of years, and she has been growing in and mastering her craft more with each book she has written. These are great Christian historical fiction books.

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About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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