My Top 3 Reads of 2018

My Top 3 Reads of 2018

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to share my top three reads of 2018 with you all.  Goodreads says I’ve read 37 books in 2018. It wasn’t quite as much as last year, but it’s a solid amount, especially considering how much happened. This list was made without regard to publisher, format, or author.

How I did it:  I kept track of books I liked and mentally compared one to the other. Without further delay, here’s my list.
51C+CI-HrZL#3 Colony Lost by Chris Philbrook: You can find my review for that book here.  This book was my at one point my favorite that I read this year. It had a slow start, but man are those characters awesome, and I just love the action in the story. Of the three, I’d want this made into a movie most. I think this is the first in a series, and if it is, I’ll be picking up the other books once the series is over.

 

 

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So that’s my top three. What are yours? Why? Do you have a review you can link it to? I’d love to reblog it for you.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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Story Review: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: The Kra’daar by Chris Winder s the 12th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Nik’Thil is a Kra’daar who’s looking to determine the source of a series of fires that have started to haunt his home. Will he be able to learn what, or who, is causing them before on breaks out of control?

Character:  I recalled this story a bit more quickly than others. It’s not at the top of my list, but I remember liking the back and forth between Nik’Thil and the creature he’s chasing. This story had a nice sense of tension, and I think the character is the main reason why.

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Image taken from Mr. Winder’s Amazon page for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This holds true from my last review. Any time I don’t think back in frustration about how many buttons that guy wore or what color the chips in the paint were, I feel like I was happy with the description. This element was a bit stronger than previous stories. I say this because I immediately remembered the overall plot and the world building, which only sticks if a scene or two stick in a reader’s head.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks
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Cover of this book was taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary: Night Stalker by TR.L. Weeks was my 2017 September Book Cover of the Month. Casey is a young woman who’s husband died. She’s haunted by reoccurring nightmares in which a stranger inflicts great pain upon her. One day, she rediscovers that not only is the man of her nightmares real, but he’s working against her supernaturally resurrected dead husband, who now only seeks pleasure in the suffering of mortals.

Character:  Casey is actually pretty proactive, but that’s what bothers me. She’s too quick to swoon and too quick to accept things for my taste. She also seems incredibly naive, and while that would be okay if that was her character arch in which she grew more discerning, but that’s not the plot. Rather than let the conflict of her clashing worlds drive the story in interesting directions, the character is forced along, which makes her feel hard to believe.

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Title image for R.L. Weeks taken from her Amazon Page for review puroposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This was well done. I got the imagery I needed without bogging the story down. It had a decent mix of detail and room for imagination.

I don’t typically give reviews like this. Most stories always have something that I can cling to and study. I don’t ever want to bash, and I hope I stopped before I got to “bashing status.”  This last section is simply me explaining that even this story deserves a chance if you’re in the writers’ audience. Please don’t let my own biases affect your willingness to give a story a try. No, I didn’t enjoy this story much, but yo might, and I’d like to hear why.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: 12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur

Book Review: 12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
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Image taken from Amazon for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

12 Ordinary Men by John MacArthur is a book that looks at the original 12 Apostles. I’ve already read this book twice, and I intend to read it again at some point.

What this book does is help the reader see just how human the Apostles were. They were chosen by God, and developed into the foundations of the Christian church, but they were just men. Not only that, they weren’t from a high station.

I appreciated the person-by-person structure of the book. I was honestly most impressed with Andrew, Peter’s younger brother. Why? Because all Andrew did was introduce people to Jesus.  While I wish I had more in common with Andrew, I see more of myself in Peter and John.

Like them, I’m aggressive. I’m task oriented. I’m driven. I have ambition. I value truth over most things. These aren’t inherently sinful traits, but they can lead one to stumble if no one is there to temper those traits into positive leadership.

I’m comforted in that while I see that I need to develop certain skills and bring back others, they are traits that could be useful to my Savior if I seek to serve Him more.

If any are wondering, this book even takes a look at Judas. It’s as comprehensive as it can be. It uses some church history writings to fill in some gaps, but the primary source of reference for the information is, of course, the Bible.

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This image taken from MacArthur’s web site for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

I’d recommend this book to any people in leadership. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to see personal growth. Seeing a detailed character study allowed me to see parts of myself and truly contemplate how I’m acting. This is probably my favorite book by MacArthur to date.

By looking at how Jesus developed his Apostles, we also get a unique view of Him, and that’s always a plus.

I’m honestly a big fan of this particular book. Any Christian looking to evaluate their walk with Christ would do well to read this.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: Go for Bait by T.C. Bucher, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Go for Bait by T.C. Bucher, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Go for Bait by T.C. Bucher is the 11th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Mackey seems to be running a boring operation in a crap location, but when projectiles randomly start flying at his team, he has to discern who’s attacking. Once he does, his team still has to take on the threat.

Character:  This is another story that I had to go back and skim just to remember stuff. I remember breezing through the story, but the characters aren’t very memorable. This story is a great action piece. But it’s plot driven, and while I don’t have a single negative memory of the story, nothing stood out either. The characters fell into this category for me.

TCBucher
Image of Mr. Bucher taken from his Amazon author page for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

Description: If I have trouble remembering it, the description had to have been done right. It was enough to keep my imagination active, but not so much that I felt like I had to slog through it.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Colony Lost by Chris Philbrook

Book Review: Colony Lost by Chris Philbrook

51C+CI-HrZL(NOTE: Again, if you’re wondering where the other For A Few Credits More stories are, please remember I review all books in the order I read them. Don’t worry! You’ll get the rest of the reviews in time.)

Spoiler Free Summary: Colony Lost by Chris Philbrook is the first book in The Ghara ChroniclesAlso, it was the M.L.S. Weech 2017 Book Cover of the Year! Humanity has been colonizing planets for generations. Dustin and Melody are newlywed Marines seeking to colonize one last planet so they can retire and start their life together. However, the planet Selva holds a dark, dangerous secret that will change the course of their lives and that of the human race.

Character:  So, I have to be honest here, the early pages were a bit hard to stay with. We had a bunch of characters thrown at us very quickly, and it was hard to keep track.  Now, I can’t complain; I did the same thing with Caught, and the rewards were similar. Once the characters were introduced, we got great action and wonderfully diverse tension. I love the characters in this story! I thought they were all fascinating and compelling. Once the story got going (and I’d say it took at least 50 pages to get there), I honestly didn’t want to put this book down.  The characters were one of two reasons why.

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Image of Mr. Philbrook taken from his website for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: A Family Tradition by Ian J. Malone, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: A Family Tradition by Ian J. Malone, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: A Family Tradition by Ian J. Malone is the tenth story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Taylor is a young man trying to keep his past quiet, but the nightmares of his older brother won’t go away, and he’s about to receive an offer that he never expected.

Character:  What I like about this is that Taylor’s story is powerful even without what I think is context fans of the world will have. This story is strong just on the power of Taylor’s guilt and his memory for his brother. My thought is (and I’d love it if fans of the universe could confirm or bust my theory) that Taylor is a much more relevant character than just a solid solo story. Of all the stories in the anthology (though this isn’t one of my top three) this is the story that made it most tempting to delve into the universe. Taylor’s depth and conflict are the reasons why.

Ian
Image of Mr. Malone taken from his website for review purposes under fair use doctrine. 

Description: This was just fine for me. I could have even used a bit more detail in the scenes, but I’d rather have “a little less than I’d like” than anything close to “more than I need.” It didn’t detract from the story, but I’d be lying if I said it added to it either.

Thanks for reading,

Matt