Original Books

Original Books is the blog where you will find the best of Christian fiction reviews. We hope you enjoy this blog and that you keep up with us as we continue to post reviews. Make sure you check the Elite List, the list of books we have rated 4 stars and above and the coming soon list to see what will soon be posted. If you feel we have forgotten about an author or a book or have any questions please email us at originalbooks200@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Blind Trust by Terri Blackstock

Sherry Cranston has tried to move on and find a new purpose for her life after her fiance, Clint, abruptly disappeared from her life just days before their impending wedding. Now, eight months later, Clint has suddenly reappeared in her life with an urgency to keep her safe from an unknown foe. However, he will not tell her any helpful information, yet only wants her to trust him. Sherry and her roommate Madeline suddenly find themselves dragged across the country with Clint and his bodyguard Sam, heading to unknown locations with the enemy on their tails. Despite all of the danger and intrigue, can Sherry and Clint find once again the love they lost?
If one wants to learn how to write a completely run-of-the-mill suspense plot, one should read Blind Trust and write accordingly. Not only does this book borrow the same old, worn out plot; it borrows it in an unprofessional fashion that does not reflect well on Christian fiction as a whole.
Sherry, Clint, Madeline, and Sam are the core characters of this plot, but they are not characters that carry the story along with their personalities. Though the character count is few, the quality of the characters is lacking. Terri Blackstock has done better with character development in her career; obviously this book was written before she established this talent. The villain is not as bad as they could have been, but still not very intriguing.
This plot is definitely not lacking in potential. At any point, Terri could have changed up the pace and surprised her readers. There are plenty of opportunities for surprises and plot twists. However, Terri Blackstock took the safe way out by writing a predictable novel. Two, not one, romantic subplots are formed by the time the book is over. A typical showdown at the end makes for a boring read. However, despite these wasted opportunities, I know that the Terri Blackstock today would not write such a plot in the same fashion.
These are the types of books that make one appreciate how far an author has come in their career since they started.
2 stars

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

Jane Lindsay never thought her husband of twenty plus years would leave her. But now he has announced that he is moving out to take another job several states away, in order to give them some space. As Jane tries to figure out where their marriage went wrong, she finds solace in discovering the past behind a ring with her name inscribed on it, which she found in the pages of an old prayer book. She discovers the story of Lucy Day, a dressmaker for Lady Jane Grey, who held the throne of England for less than two weeks. Even though Jane Lindsay tries to numb the situation with her husband, she cannot hide forever and will soon have to face the truth.
Susan Meissner has continued her new trend of writing past\present plots with Lady in Waiting. She has departed from the average historical account by discovering an obscure tale to write about. She combines this with an above-average present plot to make for an interesting read. However, Susan could still use some help with her ends.
Jane and her husband are both well-developed characters and are both at fault for their separation. As the book progresses, the reader discovers more and more how these two characters' choices drove them to where they are at the beginning of the novel. The characters in the past could be better than they are, but they are not unbearable. There are no real villains in particular, making for an interesting and ambiguous read. All in all, the characters are good, but not great.
The problem with a marriage trouble\separation plot is the inevitability of the end. There are really only two options, and Susan chose the more predictable, though it could have been worse than it was. There was one element of the past plot that Susan could not avoid being that it is historical fact. However, Susan took liberty to add unoriginal elements to the past plot. However, these issues are not something dwell on, since they can be easily forgotten in the light of other original elements, such as key character deaths.
While this book cannot be five stars, it is nonetheless an enjoyable book to read. Susan Meissner clearly knows what she is doing as an author.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer

Civil attorney\part-time pastor Alex Madison makes his living preaching the Word of God and offering his services to patients in hospital beds. However, one of these such incidents changes the face of his career. While visiting the room of a Muslim car accident victim, Alex saw a typical opportunity, but not the groundbreaking case it would eventually become. After taking on the woman’s case, her husband is accused of ordering an honor killing, sparking one of the most heated and publicized court cases of the year. The question is this: did the quiet and reserved Muslim imam, who calls himself a Muslim reformer, order the death of a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity and the man who converted her? Alex takes his case because he believes his client is innocent, but what he soon discovers is that this case is dangerous. Alex soon finds himself fighting not only for his reputation, but for his life.

As is his custom, Randy Singer wrote a book that appeared to be a typical legal thriller he should have never written, but once again, he proved us wrong. Though on the surface Fatal Convictions looks like a run-of-the-mill plot, it is really run-of-the-mill Randy Singer.

As usual, Alex Madison is an exemplary lead, not a perfect and downtrodden attorney looking for a big case to lift his head out of the mud. Alex is actually far from perfect. The defendant is not a perfect victim, the prosecutor is not a belligerent criminal, and the judge is not a biased idiot. If Randy Singer has anything above other legal authors, it is his characters.

On the surface, this plot looks highly typical: an impossible case with international ramifications. It appears this way all the way up until the end. That’s when Randy Singer starts going crazy, placing one character with the enemies, while proving an enemy innocent. Kill one off here, save one there. In the end, the outcome is surprising yet is packaged with a purpose. Randy Singer proved us all wrong once again.

Randy Singer has reached a point in his career where he is not exhausted his store of ideas, but keeps slowly giving us another groundbreaking novel each year. He’s a role that does not appear to be ending any time soon.

5 stars