Numb

Title: Numb

Author: John W. Otte

Publisher: Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing)

Length: 395 pages


 

Summary:

Save the girl… or his soul?

Crusader is numb. He feels neither emotion nor pain, a divine gift that allows him to be the Ministrix’s best assassin. Whether it’s heretics from within or heathen from without, Crusader is the sword in the True Church’s hand. And if he remains obedient to his superiors, he will be able to let go of his guilt.

But then he’s ordered to kill Isolda Westin. It shouldn’t be a problem. A target is a target. When Crusader sees Isolda’s image, though, something strange happens. He experiences a moment of panic, a wave of emotions, the first he’s felt in as long as he can remember.

In that moment, he realizes he can’t fulfill his mission. He can’t kill Isolda Westin, even if it means he’ll be condemned as an enemy of the Ministrix.

Soon Crusader and Isolda are on the run. Will they be able to learn why the Ministrix wants Isolda dead? Or will they both face the harsh justice of the “True Church”?


Positive Elements:

Isolda is determined to keep secret the location of a hidden base, thereby keeping safe her friends. Crusader chooses to protect rather than carry out his orders. A secondary character speaks briefly about a choice he had to make: destroy innocent colonists or defy orders (he chose the latter).


Spiritual Content:

A faction called the Ministrix sees itself as the “True Church”, and hunts down those who disagree or believe otherwise; it also has twisted Scripture (which is pointed out in the book), and refers to God as wrathful. Isolda and a secondary character explain that works do not secure salvation. Isolda is mentioned as the daughter of the King (God); she is also seen praying.


Violence:

Crusader shoots several people, and is shot and shot at himself. He also uses his knife to carry out assassination orders. Isolda shoots at Crusader, as does a secondary character. There are battles, a fistfight or two, and reflection on how an innocent colony of people were destroyed by the Ministrix. Another minor character is also knifed in the back. As far as actual blood spilled, it is minor, and none of the injuries noted are detailed upon.


Language:

One usage of he**. There are a few usages of “moron(s)”.


Other negative elements:

It is mentioned briefly that Isolda’s mother and one of the Ministrix officials had an affair (that resulted in Isolda).


Other:

Crusader and Isolda kiss.


Rating:

5 Stars


Conclusion:

Numb, despite being science fiction, opens your eyes to the sad reality that some still think works can get them to Heaven. With it’s interesting plot and complex characters, Numb is a must-read.

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The Great Battle

Book Title: The Great Battle (Guardians of Allon, Book One)

Author: Shawn Lamb

Starting Age: Thirteen

 

Principalities and Powers

The vast splendor of the Almighty’s compound graced the Region of Sanctuary. With Great Battlewisdom, compassion, and justice, Jor’el utilized his immortal Guardians as administrators of the kingdom.

For centuries, the mortals lived in peace and prosperity under divine guidance. They went about content with life – or so they though.

Guardians interacted with mortals on a daiy basis. They offered protection and order. They were content in their role – or so they thought.

When one Guardian upsets the balance, the consequences are devastating. For the first time ever, Guardians will face each other in war. Can the kingdom survive a battle of immortals?

 

Language: None

Violence: Nothing explicit

Sex: None

Dare

Book title: Dare (The Blades of Acktar, Book One)

Author: Tricia Mingerink

Starting age: Thirteen

Summary:

Courage could cost him everything.

Third Blade Leith Torren never questions his orders or his loyalty to King Respen until an arrow wound and a prairie blizzard drive him to the doorstep of the girls whose family he once destroyed.

Their forbidden faith and ties to the Resistance could devastate their family a second time. Survival depends on obedience, but freedom beckons.

How far does he dare go to resist the king and his Blades? No matter what Leith chooses, one thing is certain. Someone will die.

 

Language: None

Violence: Some, but not descriptive

Sexuality: None

Resistance

Book Title: Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles, Volume One)

Author: Jaye L. Knight

Genre: Fantasy

Starting age: Thirteen

Summary:

“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”

Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs Resistanceto forget, but can never escape.

Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.

Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

Other:

Language: None.

Violence: A little, but nothing is descriptive.

Sexuality: None

 

Half Blood

Book Title: Half Blood (Ilyon Chronicles, Prequel Novella)

Author: Jaye L. Knight

Genre: Fantasy

Starting age:  Thirteen

Summary:

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears–dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood–one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. Yet, when his Half Bloodvolatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . .

Other:

Language: None

Violence: Some, as the main character is a gladiator, but there is no in-depth description.

Sexuality: None

 

 

Prophet

Book title: Prophet (Books of the Infinite Series, Book One)

Author: R. J. Larson

Summary:

Ela Roeh is a simple girl from Parne. Nothing special, no one spectacular. But when ash rains from the sky and a vision sweeps over her, her life is suddenly changed.

Ambassador Kien Lantec had no intent of being imprisoned when he went to confront the king of Istgard. But that’s what has happened, and his future is not looking any brighter. How can he possibly change the king’s mind and not get killed in the process?Prophet

Traveling with her crippled sister, Ela, following the Infinite’s instructions, makes her way to Istgard. But will she fail Continue reading “Prophet”

Eragon

Book title: Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, Book One)

Author: Christopher Paolini

Summary:

Eragon is hunting when a blue stone of unmatched beauty appears. Mystified by its appearance, he takes it home to his uncle. But no one – not even the traders – know what this stone is, nor what it is made of.

And then it happens. The stone that was unbreakable cracks, revealing a dragon. As the Eragondays pass and the dragon grows, Eragon fears the attention it will draw. But is the attention of simple townspeople all he should fear? Continue reading “Eragon”