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Book Review – The Shining by Stephen King

As part of my research for Hope in Blackshaw Moor, which is a Romance-Thriller, I decided to do a little light reading… and dived into Stephen King’s 1977 The Shining!

I am not a fan of horror or anything bloody or gory, so I planned to ‘skim-read’ through and just get a feel for the book opposed to a concentrated read.  Well best laid plans and all that don’t always go as imagined and I ended up reading the whole book from front to cover.

I was pleasantly surprised for the Shining book is a lot meatier than the film.  I confess to seeing the film in my early twenties before I firmly made up my mind to steer clear of horror.  The film had my pulse racing until quite frankly I felt sick.  It was one of three films that put me off horror for life.  As the film was released in 1980 I should imagine that most horror fans of today would find it laughably tame, such is the fall of our innocence.

Without the dramatic, pulsating boom of background music that allows you to prepare for the frightening stuff in a film, the book was far more enjoyable.  Firstly, not picked up in the film (obviously in an hour and a half there is only so much story you can portray) is the fact that this book’s main character actually isn’t (honey I’m home) Jack, it’s his son Danny.  Btw ‘honey I’m home’ doesn’t feature in the book.  Danny has the Shining, a seventh-sense that gives him glimmers of the future.  The story dives into depth about the relationship between Danny and his father, that alcoholic, bad-tempered man who broke his arm, yet who he idolizes and loves as any son loves his father.  Stephen King takes his time building the characters of this family, making all three of them very real, which ultimately becomes the true psychological horror of the story.  For how can a loving father turn into a man who wants to slaughter his wife and son?  Is it the ghosts that roam through Overlook Hotel or is it the hotel itself that’s haunted… or could it possibly be the horror that resides inside a person is released in the right (or should we say wrong) circumstances?  Danny sees it all happen way before it actually occurs, yet clings to the fact that he knows his father loves him and would never hurt him, right until the end, and that is impetus behind this well told story.

What I didn’t like, (remember it was written in 1977) is that thoughts are inserted mid-sentence, throwing you off balance and making you re-read to fully understand.

What I loved, the love that Danny held for his father despite everything, and the ending, which is much, much better than the film.

This book is so old that if you fancy reading it you probably know someone who has it on their bookshelf gathering dust so you could borrow a copy.  Or charity shops are bound to hold several dozen copies of it.  However, if you’re a kindle fan here is the link below to Amazon.

Review warning: Before you rush off and buy any book that someone reviews you should read the free sample chapters provided on Amazon, this way you can decide for yourself if this book is your cup of tea or not.  Happy reading everyone!

Amazon, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – Marriage and Ministry by Amanda Kai

For fans of Jane Austen, Marriage & Ministry by Amanda Kai is a must read. The author excels in making her writing style feel like a natural flow-on from Austen’s beautiful book Pride & Prejudice. Did you ever wonder what married life was like for Charlotte and William? Well wonder no more. Amanda Kai has woven together a beautiful Christian story, not only reflecting on historical attitudes but on Christian values.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the moral behind this story is how do we, as Christians, see other people who may currently test our grace and mercy? This book is so well written and beautifully edited. With wonderful characters, a great story line and values to boot, I can honestly recommend this as a great book. Also, I find a lot of Christian ebook novels really over priced, and I can’t afford to buy them. I am pleased to say that this is very reasonably priced at only $3.99 – a steal for such a beautiful book. Why not encourage this author by buying her book today? I’m sure you’ll love it as I did.

Angels and Demons, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

In research for my next novel I selected 10 books to read, ‘This Present Darkness’ was book no 2 on this list.

Well, wow, what can I say?  I certainly hope my next book ‘Hope in Blackshaw Moor’ turns out to be a page-turner like this book by Frank Peretti!

This is one of those books that, although it starts interesting, it starts slowly.  Then it builds and builds into a tense crescendo that explodes towards the end.  I loved the pace, the steady build had me on the end of my seat, and by the time I was two-thirds of the way through nothing was going to make me put the book down!

The characters are very real, and our main protagonists are thoroughly lovable, whereas the antagonists are easy to ‘boo’ at.

Although first published in 1986 (some 33 years ago) this book hasn’t aged.  In my opinion it is quite a classic thriller.

Taken from Eden.co.uk website:  Ashton is just a typical small town.  But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. This Present Darkness rivals The Screwtape Letters with its keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer.  It is fast-moving, riveting reading, ranking with the best thrillers on the bookshelf.  Readers have picked up more than 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1986, and, with its companion volume Piercing the Darkness, it has sparked great interest in spiritual warfare over the years.

If we only knew the reality of spiritual warfare I am sure our churches would be full.

I was captivated by the angels and demons that fight over the town and the people.  I really enjoyed the way the people (with a couple of rare exceptions) never saw the spiritual warfare going on all around them.  I was completely emotional at the end when the town’s believers rally together for prayer.  What an image!  This is well written and very biblically correct.  I can’t recommend it enough, this is simply a fantastic read.

Amazon, Book Clubs, Fairies, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – In For A Spell by Sharon Clare

Magical, enchanting, romantic, heartwarming… just a few words to describe this lovely book. Ever since I was little I have loved fairy tales. The magic, the mystery, the happy-ever-after. In For A Spell is definitely an adult (quite adult in one particular section!) fairy tale – and I loved it!

Finn, the interfering Elf, reminded me so much of Rumpelstiltskin it just made me smile every time he turned up on a page. This book is, however, much more than a fairy tale. For a start it’s a time-travelling romance, and a really good one at that. Maisie Armstrong is a wonderful character. I loved reading about the virtues that we nowadays would consider ‘old-fashioned.’ And who wouldn’t want to travel back in time to a place where honour was held in high regard? Especially if there was a tall, handsome, complicated laird Thane McKendrick waiting to sweeep you off your feet? This story is told really well, it flows smoothly and held my attention on every page. The theme takes you on a debate as to what really defines love and it’s importance in society in general, rather than just in your own life. Quite thought provoking. If you’re an adult, who like me, still loves a bit of magic, then this is a book you should read.

Sharon Clare has written other books and I really look forward to reading them. She is also an artist and offers book cover designs for authors. Sharon’s web page