Posts Tagged Faith

The Black God’s War: Splendor & Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III

Storyline: Holy Moses! What a splendid and unique fantasy start to an original fantasy series! The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I written by the highly talented Mr. Mosey Siregar, will grab a’hold of you and pull into his world where gods fight alongside man and destinies unfold in unimaginable ways.

A mighty empire pushes to conquer the neighboring kingdom of Pawelon and after ten years of endless fighting, an end might finally be in sight. Lucia must decode the meaning of The Black God’s messages for her and her holy brother, Caio. Even though Caio is a man of peace, their father, the king, thrusts this war upon them, risking both of their lives for glory.

Prince Rao is powerful sage who will stop at nothing to see this war stopped and gone from his lands. He must use all of his skills to fight not only the gifted siblings, but their gods as well. Rao must reconcile his own philosophical beliefs with those of the myths of the invaders’ gods.

Can a peaceful resolution be met without anymore unnecessary bloodshed and tears?

Grammar/Spelling:  Incredibly, this might be the first book I’ve read in ages and ages without a single grammatical or spelling error. I don’t know if it’s because I was so captivated by the story that I overlooked them, but Moses did a phenomenal job editing his book!

Character Development: The story focuses on a variety of characters and fully develops each person perfectly. Moses carefully crafted each character’s personality so that the reader can truly feel Caio’s reluctance in leading his father’s army into battle. The inner-struggle of Prince Rao as he tried to convince his father that he was worthy of his respect and was a worthy fighter. Lucia’s strong will and desire to protect her brother at all costs while hiding her own dark secrets came across clearly and distinctly.

Writing Style: The story flowed beautifully and quickly. Even though Moses introduced two very different and wholly new religions and a completely new pantheon if gods, I never felt as if I were overwhelmed with information. Nor did I felt as if I there wasn’t enough information about each side’s beliefs and rituals.

Another unique facet of The Black God’s War was the telling of all sides of the story. I’ve read books (and hell, watched movies) that showed both sides of warring nations, but never with this approach. Every important scene was told through the eyes of each player’s perspective.

I felt myself being pulled in separate directions: Huzzah! May the Rezzians conquer all!

No, wait! Let’s hear it for the Pawelons! They must destroy the invaders!

Well played, Moses. Well played indeed!

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 5

The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III was a dazzling beginning to a fantasy series that was a delight to read and nearly impossible to put down. I am really looking forward to continuing the series and believe that Moses’ story will only get better!

Everyone and their respective mamas should go out and get a copy (or sit on their couch and order it)! I only hate that it took so long for me to review the book and pass along the greatness to you!

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Now, I would like for you to meet Lucia, the royal daughter of the Kingdom of Rezzia. She’s as stunning as she is fearless.

Celia: How did you first meet your writer?

Lucia: You want to talk about that bastard? Was it when he was torturing me with nightmares of dying children? Or when he tortured me with nightmares of my flesh burning? Or when he decided to kill (SPOILER ALERT)? No, I remember now. It was when he dropped me into the black god’s underworld lair. After falling through the pitch black for so long I lost my sanity, I landed in a dark sea full of the dead bodies of our soldiers. Yes, that was how I met him. You’ll pardon me if I prefer that we change the subject.

Celia: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Lucia: Yes. The Book of Time. I am a member of the royal family of Rezzia, and I have a patron goddess. At the least, a brief mention of my life would have to be written into The Book.

Celia: What are your favorite scenes in your book: Action, Dialogue, Romance?

Lucia: Romance. There are so many scenes in this book. Action? There was too much of it for me. Dialogue? I prefer quiet. I only found some modicum of repose in my romance with Ilario.

Celia: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Lucia: No, but the bastard had to work on some things.

Celia: Do you infiltrate your author’s dreams?

Lucia: Ha! What kind of person do you take me for? Do you understand that Lord Danato, The Black One, has invaded my dreams since I was thirteen years old? For the last sixteen years? And after all I’ve been through, you think I would be so insensitive as to infiltrate another person’s dreams? The answer is no.

Celia: Are you happy with the genre your author has placed you in?

Lucia: I’d much prefer to be in a trashy romance. A very trashy romance, at that. That sounds rather pleasant after all I’ve been through. But the bastard put me in the correct genre. I can’t hold that against him.

Celia: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer is so inclined?

Lucia:  *Sigh*

He hasn’t put me through enough? Why would I want to be subjected to his cruel treatment again? I suppose it’s possible that my life will be very different in the future. I admit, I’ve put some of my demons to rest. But I’m afraid the decision I made at the end of this book will haunt me, and I’m not sure I’m ready to face those issues.

Celia: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Lucia: You haven’t read this book yet, have you? I have powers, but I didn’t ask for every power that I have. Although, if I could, I would choose to have one of those powers again. I’m sorry I can’t say more. You’ll have to read the The Black God’s War.

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The White Hairs – Noah K. Mullette-Gillman

Storyline: The White Hairs is an unusual short story by Noah K. Mullette-Gillman. Noah blends some interesting concepts for this story: astral projection, the existence or non-existence of the eternal soul and the acceptance of your fate.

Farshoul is a White Hair – a humanoid creature – that lives high in the mountains with his people. They’re a world apart from man and yet so closely related. The White Hairs view humans with a sort of dismissive contempt for their lack of “sight” and appreciation for the world around them.

Like many of his tribe, Farshoul has the ability to travel outside of his body and see the world via astral projection. But, his experiences are completely different than that of his fellow White Hairs and he isn’t entirely sure that he likes it. It changes him and he must fight to get back what he lost.

Grammar/Spelling: The book had no grammatical issues to speak of and zero spelling errors. My suggestion would be to combine some of the shorter sentences as there are sections that seem rather choppy and do not flow as well as other passages. I noticed a couple of formatting issues that will be easily corrected after another read through.

Character Development: The story follows Farshoul and his adventures with soul traveling, but I didn’t feel as if I got to know Farshoul very well. His experiences were pretty life-altering, but I can only assume that as there is really very little development of his character. Noah created a potentially very interesting character/creature but fell short in explaining his outlook and thoughts prior to his initial soul traveling incident. Perhaps flushing Farshoul’s character out a bit more would help the reader truly understand the exceptional differences in Farshoul’s personality before and after his excursions in the astral planes.

Writing Style: The writing style was simple and lacked any technical aspects.  The story was a little vague at times when it could have explored the White Hairs’ past and their interactions with the humans and their revere for the Giants. The ending was also quite confusing as the Giants who were evil at one point in the story were not evil at the conclusion of the book.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

 

Overall Rating: 4

I have to be honest and say that I don’t believe that this is a book that I would have chosen on my own to read. I want to be fair and say that as this was not exactly my cup of tea, I am basing my rating purely on formatting, grammar and spelling. It might be better if it were geared toward young adult readers.

For myself, I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of the soul not being eternal. Not that I’m particularly religious, but I like to think of myself as sort of spiritual. Not in the hemp skirt and dreadlocks kind of way, but in a more casual, “Hey, yeah… I have soul. It’s pretty cool and lasts forever…” This is simply because these beliefs help me sleep at night.

The White Hairs by Noah K. Mullette-Gillman is an interesting concept and great for people who are interested in astral projection, the question of the eternal soul and different spiritual planes. There are some scenes of mild violence, but no adult language or situations.

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Duality – J.M. Pierce

Storyline: Duality written by J.M. Pierce addresses the eternal struggle of man’s faith in a higher power; a modern day story of Job, if you will.

Kurt is a very bitter man and he’s lost. He has tried to be a good man by praying and going to church as often as possible. But after burying his wife and then his eldest daughter and losing his job all in a very short span of time, he first questions and then loses his faith.

Eventually this all comes to a head when he ends up killing a man. As he’s trying to escape, Kurt is hit by a car and killed. But… his troubles are not over just yet.  Kurt now has a new job as the devil’s newest demon, Gavril, and he must accept his fate as a servant of Satan. His first task is to harvest his own son’s soul and bring him back to hell with the rest of the damned.

Can Kurt overcome his dark anger in time to prevent his son from making the ultimate mistake? Will Kurt regain his faith in God? Only God Himself knows…

Grammar/Spelling: I only noted one problem with Duality: a double period at the end of a sentence on page 82 (in my PDF version). Other than that, it was perfect.

Character Development: Duality features a simple man, Kurt, who doesn’t realize all of the good things he has in life. He thinks of himself as a good Christian, goes to church frequently and prays often. The reader is able to follow Kurt from the beginnings of his trials and tribulations to the very edge of madness when he must make the ultimate decision regarding his faith in God.

Writing Style: The story was written as a series of flashbacks throughout his current situation as a demon in order to highlight Kurt’s struggles with his inner demons. This definitely kept the plot moving along at nice pace. Mr. Pierce’s descriptions of hell and of the devil are very realistic and quite frightening.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4-

This was an interesting story of one man’s journey from faith to hell and back. I could very nearly feel Kurt’s pain and resentment at the world around him for all of the terrible things that befell him. This would be an excellent story for someone who has lost a loved one and can’t seem to find the light again. I believe that his might help show that there is always a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and to make life as great as you can possibly make it.

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