I don’t care how “big” I get (not claiming to be big now); I’m always going to love sharing reviews. The five-star review below from Shawna is for The Power of Words.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
These short stories were a great collection. I love having short stories by different authors in one book. It always seems to shake things up a little bit.
These stories really spoke to me and I loved every second of them. Usually, I can’t really connect too well with shorter stories but these ones all had me hooked from the moment I hit play. Very well done!
I truly appreciate the thoughtful words.
As always, please allow me this opportunity to ask that if you’ve read any of my books (especially Betrayed), please be kind enough to leave a rating and review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Audible (or all three). They really do help.
Amazon reviews are particularly valuable because they help improve an author’s visibility. I’m so grateful to the reviewer for taking the time to share his review. This particular review might be a little on the spoiler side of things, so I feel a bit of need to at least offer you fair warning. That doesn’t diminish my appreciation at all though.
Just when I thought it was too good to be true, I found this five-star review on Goodreads from Shawna! (Thank you again so much for your awesome support!)
If you’ve read any of my work, would you please consider leaving a rating and/or a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both? It really does help.
For now, I just want to thank this reviewer one more time.
I’m always happy to share reviews, so it’s with great joy that I present this four-star (sort of) review for Stealing Freedom. This was a review by Margaret for the Audible version of the story, so I have to copy-paste it below for you to access.
4/5 for narrators ability, 3/5 for having two
This is the first book I have read/listened to by this author. It is a very poignant, original book. It was written before 2020, but resonates now due to recent government and law enforcement actions. The book constantly reminded me of the recent excessive military responses to peaceful protesting and false, inconsistent and contradictory narratives provided to the public from governmental bodies. In this story, everyone over the age of seven must wear a collar that would punish people for speaking or publicly displaying emotions (hugging, smiling, negative facial expressions). Drones and cameras monitor everyone every moment of their day to ensure no one rests longer than allowed, spends more than allotted time in the bathroom, etc.. Everything was regulated. It was possible to purchase words, a cost that was prohibitive to most people to the point our main character purchased six words to say to her daughter and that is the first she had spoken to her in two years. Knowing this was no way for people to live and believing they had the ability to do something about it, the main character and a few other people attempt to shut down the servers that operate the collars. They do it at extreme risk to their lives. Their plan reminded me of the movies Ocean Eleven and Now You See Me. I really liked the ending part with the main monitor and his final moments.
This is the first book I have listened to by these narrators ( Lisa Negron, J.M. Needham ). They both do well narrating. She narrates the parts that have Laurie and Laurie’s conversations (even if it is with a male) and he narrates the parts from the perspectives of the male characters when they are not having a conversation but just re-counting their thoughts or actions. Since no one can speak, the narrative often switches perspectives many times within the same chapter. This meant the narrator switched many times throughout the chapter. Lisa did a fine job giving voice to both male and female characters and had very nice pacing and cadence. I think it was quite unnecessary to have a second narrator. I found it uncomfortable for the first half of the book until I got a little more used to it. The only reason it was not fully disruptive, was both narrators were good at what they were doing. There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence, or swearing. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.
As you can see, she would like feedback, so if you have the time and want to help a reviewer, please pop onto her link above and offer your thoughts. Just as I love feedback, some reviewers also seek and desire feedback.
I’m noticing a trend of reviewers be less happy about a team of narrators. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love having a male for the male POVs and a female for the female POVs. What are your thoughts?
If you’ve read my work, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Audible, Goodreads, or all three. It really means a lot.
Dr. MacArthur was in an interestingly difficult position, not because he wanted to take a stance for the truth of Biblical doctrine, but in that he wanted to also distinguish between righteous defense of the truth and needless contention or even disagreements among brothers on smaller, less-clear issues.
This book does have some repudiation of other religious texts, but it’s much more necessary here in the context of discernment, which is another major topic of the book.
This book was actually a motivating call to action for me. And it starts with the most important truth. Jesus Christ, God in flesh, came down to Earth to free mankind from its sin by dying on the cross and being resurrected on the third day.
MacArthur spent a significant amount of time seeming to shift from a firm declaration of truth, and justification of why the truth must be defended. The book spends the bulk of it’s time explaining that one can not stand for truth by avoiding possibly contentious doctrine.
This is the great challenge facing Christianity today in my thinking. I imagine many Christians such as myself feel torn between wanting to stand for Biblical truth but not being lashed out at simply for stating my beliefs and standing by them. The big take away is, so long as you lovingly and patiently defend the truth, you can actually rejoice in persecution as it sets you apart. I certainly don’t mean to say one can stand on a street corner shouting at people with megaphones, and I don’t believe that’s what MacArthur is stating either. I believe he advocates for the patient but firm contribution to discussions without sidestepping culturally charged issues. It is here I always find myself conflicted.
If I were to post a blog on how I feel that chicken was best and listed my reasons, I might receive some response and even some polite discourse. If I then post that I don’t eat pork, and I don’t like the food, I may have some people shrug and call me weird. I might have some disagree, but in this we allow a person to have their point of view. But point at a sin that the Bible clearly speaks against, and watch how many people call me narrow minded even as they narrow-mindedly call me any sort of name they can think of.
The simple truth is anyone willing to stand up for what he or she believes in must also be willing to endure anger, hostility, or even down-right hate. Christianity demands even more foreknowledge because it takes such a clear stand on several issues. This book explains that refusal to avoid these uncomfortable conversations only contribute to the degradation of the faith. If Biblical truth is to be upheld, it must start at the pulpit and extend through the congregation, and Christians should never compromise or alter God’s word for the sake of political correctness or inclusion.
That statement alone could lead to a lengthy debate, so I just state that once more everyone has a right to their own decisions, but they are also subject to the consequences of those decisions.
Once more, neither I nor MacArthur endorse needless argument for the sake of argument. Neither does MacArthur endorse resentful arguments over issues on which scripture isn’t clear.
What I wish this book had was more actionable information on how to go about it. I wish there was a section on social media. I wish there was more direction in those areas, and I hope MacArthur speaks to that in other books.
This book was a motivating call to action even though I wish it had more actionable information. I always enjoy MacArthur’s exegetical insight, especially because it is (almost) always based in scripture.
I’ve always been one to say that words have power more than just their meaning and lived by that idea, so I was excited to see this book. For some reason the first 2 stories didn’t speak to me much, but the last two, the ideas behind them. The acts of defiance they displayed via the use of words was incredibly powerful, and I intend to check out both of those authors’ other works. That doesn’t mean the first two stories weren’t good, they were good stories, just didn’t illicit a strong reaction either way in me. I received a copy of this book at my request in exchange for a FAIR review.
I did another Audio Book Boom for The Power of Words, so I’m hopeful I’ll have a handful of reviews to share with you soon.
As always, I humbly request that you consider leaving a review if you’ve read my work. I’d be happy to share it on this blog, and reviews really help an author out.
I’m thrilled that this is the third week in a row where I have (at least) one review to share with you! We’ll see how this all progresses, but I’m just so happy that people are trying my work and enjoying it.
This review is special because Krantz isn’t just an author; she’s an author in this genre. I love when readers like my work, but when my peers acknowledge it, I feel a special appreciation. To me it’s like getting a vote for the Top 100 in the NFL because the players also vote on that list.
If you like my work, there’s a chance you’ll like hers too. I haven’t tried her work yet, so if you do, and you like it, please let me know in the comments. My TBR has somewhere around 13 books on it (before the new Stormlight drops), so I’m just trying to get caught up before I add to that pile more than I already plan to.
Once more, I’m so grateful for the review, and I hope it encourages people to try my work. As always, if you’ve read some of my work, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Audible, or all three.
I’m always grateful for reviews. If you’ve read something of mine, please take a moment to offer a rating and/or review. If you’re interested in reviewing any of my books, please feel free to email me for a free Audible version of pretty much all of my titles.
Spoiler Free Summary:Victim with a Capital V by Scott Sigler is the thirteenth story in the Unfettered II Anthology. Lisa is a Victim. Yes, she was once a victim, but then she was trained to become something more, an avenger. She trained her whole life to prepare for the day she came face to face with the man who hurt her. That day has just arrived. What will she do? There are others nearby who are showing a bit too much interest in her as well. What will they do?
Character: I actually like Lisa. She’s not the driven killer most stories make characters like her out to be. In fact, that’s why this story is unique. Here she is faced with her “opportunity for vengeance,” and she doesn’t respond the way most books portray it. There’s a fine line between “weak” or “stereotyped” women and characters who simply have every right to be afraid or sad. I affirm that people may be over sensitive to women being emotional. In Caught, my book, Sal, a man, cries plenty. No one has ever said he was too weak. But Kaitlyn, a teenager, sheds one tear and some people declare her type cast. But, there is a point at which people need to evaluate a female character to see if they’re being too weak. I advise authors to listen carefully to their editors when this is mentioned. Don’t be over defensive, but don’t be quick to make changes either. Just listen carefully.
I think the author does a great job of letting a traumatic event actually be traumatic. This story has nice development. I’d read another story about Lisa if it were out there (time and TBR list permitting).
Exposition: This was probably a little heavy handed in my opinion. I really felt like the story was great. I didn’t need the additional context that was there, but that’s just me. There wasn’t so much exposition that I felt the story came to a screeching halt, but I definitely noticed it.
Worldbuilding: This was standard rouge’s tale. This might be early Earth history or it might be a different planet. I don’t know. Neither changes the plot very much. Now, if it was a different world or setting (and not just historical), I would have been happier with a bit more world building instead of the exposition I got. It’s possible that was the author’s goal, but it fell short.
Dialogue: This was good. It wasn’t the greatest dialogue I’ve ever read, but it might be the second best dialogue in the book (all respect to Dresden and crew). The characters had unique voices, and I appreciated that. The narrator may have helped in this regard, but the words and style were still unique.
Description: This probably could have had a bit more description. I can’t tell you what Lisa looks like, but I have a pretty solid memory of the other men around her. I’d assert that if I felt it needed more, it probably did because I never really want that much description in any story.
Overall: This is one of the better stories in the anthology. I’d definitely read more about Lisa, and I’d probably be willing to read more from the author (again, time and TBR permitting). It’s a great vengeance story with plenty of action and drama.