Monday, February 23, 2015


When I saw this title listed for review on Netgalley, I was intrigued. When I was approved to review it, I was hopeful and a little excited. Historical fiction has overcome fantasy and horror as my favorite genre. Biblical fiction is especially interesting to me, not because of religion or even spirituality, but because these people lived and their stories- their lives- have lived on for this long.

Maximus is an interesting idea- a Roman soldier sent to Judea in the guise of "a common Jew" (Hebrew would have been a better choice for biblical times, imo..) in order to gather information on Jesus and report to Pontius Pilate whether he may be a threat to Rome or not. Kind of catches your attention, right? Here are my little ticks with the book:
  • It is clear from beginning to end that the book was written by a Christian. Not that there's a problem with that, but I would classify it as Christian Lit, not Historical. The Christian influence is apparent in the character portrayal- again, not really a big deal when you are portraying the first Christians of the time, but the problem goes back to genre...
  • Time actually spent with Jesus is lacking... when Jesus does make an appearance he seems a bit harried and constantly surrounded by bodyguard apostles trying to hold back the multitudes. At other times it feels like a scriptural re-telling of  events. 
I liked Maximus/Jacob and his internal struggles after being away on such long campaigns for Rome, fighting for reasons he doesn't even believe in anymore. I liked that the book never becomes preachy, even when the characters describe the feeling that comes over them when they think of Jesus. I just would have liked Maximus to have had more interaction with Jesus.

Fans of Christian Lit will love this book, I'm sure, and I still would have wanted to read it had it been classified as such. Reminds me a bit of the Left Behind series in style...

MaximusMaximus by Richard L. Black

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

Just a quick review today, anyone who has ever had the pleasure of reading a Hans Christian Anderson or Grimm fairytale BEFORE a certain big, family-friendly corporation got hold of them will appreciate this collection. Some of the stories are very familiar, but no less entertaining. I miss my big book of fairy tales, and reading this brought me back to my childhood. I can't wait to share them with my grandson.

Note- received an ARC through Netgalley. =)

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics)The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sadie Sugarspear and the Weeping Willow

Sadie Sugarspear and the Weeping Willow (The Sugarspear Chronicles, #1)Sadie Sugarspear and the Weeping Willow by Nicole Arlyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really should have finished this book in one day because it really is short, but I had to put it down and come back to it more than once.I almost gave up on it but decided to stick it out and see where it takes me. At first it was a little disjointed and confusing, but dealing with the mind and view of an abused child can't be anything but...

I'm still not too sure of how I feel, reading about the rape of a child is never an easy thing, but towards the end when Sadie is in the world at the bottom of the tree, I started to wonder if imagining being in this place was how she disassociated herself from the abuse she is physically enduring at that moment. I feel like I need to know what is happening to her there, as it also doesn't seem to be a nice place for her, so I will be reading whatever comes next, and hoping for a peaceful outcome for her.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand, Elizabeth Berg

The Dream Lover: A Novel of George SandThe Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before receiving a copy of this book for review through Netgalley, I had never heard of Elizabeth Berg or George Sand. I know their names now, and thanks to Ms. Berg's writing, I have a need to know them both better.

Elizabeth Berg takes you through the life of George Sand, France's most famous female novelist, almost as though she had lived along side her. I felt as though I could be reading George's own thoughts and reflections; her passion and need to love and be loved is felt on almost every page. George seemed to exist only to search constantly for love, to fall in love easily and to be consumed by it, only to then fall into a deep despair when her relationships failed.

But as interesting as George Sand's life was, (she was a friend to great artists such as Dumas, Balzac, Delacroix, and counted Frederic Chopin as one of her many lovers) it is Ms. Berg's talent that kept me interested and wanting to know more. So, now I am off to find and read more of Elizabeth Berg's work, and to find a copy of Lelia, to start with.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 2, 2015

No reviews today, I'm a little behind in my reading. I'm currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and The Dream Lover, A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg, which is a Netgalley ARC that I need to review before the 24th. I didn't read anything this weekend though, because I decided to clean my bookshelves which led to cataloging my books on

Right now I have over 600 books in my apartment. Of course, they're not all my books, but I figure the amount of my books currently residing in the homes of my friends balances out the number of friends books currently residing with me. Makes sense, right? Now I feel challenged to make it 1000. I need a bigger house.