If God is Good…

If you have turned on the TV or checked the news online today chances are you have heard about the shooting at a theater in Aurora.  Witnesses say a masked gunman, dressed in black, walked into the theater with a gas mask on, threw gas canisters into the theater and then opened fire on the crowd. (Hear two witnesses account of the tragedy).

Rather than wonder why God would allow such things to happen, read this to uplift your spirit and your faith in God in times like these:

Randy Alcorn, the author of the book If God is Good, also talks about his book here:

The Forsaken by Estevan Vega

Estevan Vega has done it again, writing yet another gritty and truly terrifying novel, The Forsaken. This time he weaves a tale about Jude Foster, a cop on the trail of a supernatural serial killer. The killer doesn’t kill them by any natural means and brands each of his victims with the mark of a broken cross. There are no witnesses and very little information to go on besides what the killer purposefully leaves behind. So how do you chase down a killer like that?
Jude goes on a full scale assault to take down the killer who he had chased once before, a year before the events of The Forsaken. He uses every resource available to him and now with the help of a new partner, Rachel, the daughter of a former detective on the force. Both Jude and Rachel have something to prove, that they belong there, hunting down killers.
Estevan Vega is a wonderful storyteller and an expert in the psyche of his characters, allowing the reader some sort of an emotional bond with characters not normally relatable. The viewpoint of the story switches from time to time inside each of the characters to give you that deeper understanding of who they are. Even minor characters sometimes share the limelight.
As Jude gets closer and closer to catching his killer we find ourselves diving deeper and deeper into his character and into his past. Jude has a real darkness inside of him and a terrible past to match. Jude is facing his own demons as it were, and he draws himself closer and closer to the most powerful one of all. Can he fight off the evil that surrounds him and lives within him as well?
The Forsaken is a wonderful psychological thriller, but beware! If you thought Estevan was dark and edgy before he has managed to take that several shades darker. Some moments of The Forsaken are truly terrifying, belonging in a really creepy horror film. If you like creepy, then you will definitely love this book! Estevan Vega will keep you glued to the pages with excellent pacing and keep you awake at night with his amazing sense of imagery. So check this book out and if you like it be sure to read his other books such as Arson and Ashes!

Ashes by Estevan Vega

Estevan Vega has done it again with his new book simply called Ashes.  This new tale picks up where Arson left off, telling the story of a boy with the power to create flame with his hands and his dear friend who was horribly burned in a fire
when she was young.  The end of Arson left us breathless, wondering where he would take us, where Arson and Emery would be taken, on this next part of their epic journey.

Arson and Emery have literally been taken away, far away into a horrendous laboratory where their bodies and their minds are being tested to see where they get their abilities.  Tested with machines and by psychologists, all deep beneath a top-secret government facility.  How in the world will they ever get out much less survive?  Emery’s father begins his search to find her with much desperation.  His relationship with his wife is tested once again by the fires that he now faces.  Will they make it through all of this together?

The thing that is most striking to me in this story is the trials that each character faces, and must face alone.  They all begin to fight their own demons, hoping that by doing so they will find their way.  Most of the story each main character spends alone in some fashion, and so we see deep within the minds of the characters.  That is something that Estevan Vega is particularly accomplished at, helping us to see and hear the thoughts of his characters, seemingly bringing them to life before our eyes.  Reading this book is better than watching the movie, though a movie wouldn’t be a bad idea with all the trippy and crazy things going on in this story.

If Arson cranked it up to eleven, Ashes somehow managed to crank it up to twelve, and the nonstop action and thrills kept me up late into the night more than one time!  I certainly can’t wait for the follow-up to this amazing book, as Estevan decided once again to hang us high up on that cliff’s edge on the very last page.  I won’t spoil the story for you as you must read it for yourself, but all I will say is a Phoenix can do more than simply death by fire. Now go get the book already!

The Priest’s Graveyard

Ted Dekker has done it again. The Priest’s Graveyard is a hit out of the ballpark and into the hands of millions of readers. But what makes it so amazing? Ted Dekker has managed to create characters that we can feel, that we can understand and agree with, and characters that connect with the hearts and minds of every reader. Continue reading “The Priest’s Graveyard”

When Colors Bleed by Estevan Vega

Estevan Vega is far from being a household name today heard in Christian circles but his is a name you soon won’t forget. Estevan Vega is perhaps one of the very best writers out there today with his first major novel Arson just recently releasing. That is one of my favorite pieces of fiction in a long time, and so when the opportunity to read his collection of short stories, When Colors Bleed, came up I could not pass it up!

The collection begins with the story Baby Blue, which is a romantic tragedy told oh so elegantly. It consists of the characters of Casey, a struggling girl who has never found love, and Thomas Rayford, a mysterious man who comes in one day from the rain looking for a suit in Casey’s store. He comes back week after week only looking at one suit, a baby blue one that no-one else will buy. He tells her how it is beautiful to him and how special it is even though he is the only one who looks at it. The story develops in a way that captured me instantly and took me along on a magical ride. The ending was as marvelous as it was tragic and it left my mind unravelling.

That is not all however. The second story is Vanilla Red, a tale of a man locked up for life in a padded cell. But what makes this story so powerful is the perspective. It is told from within the mind of this man, a man so crazy it is hard to understand. Diving beneath the skin of this character onto the path that led to this cell is almost poetic. It has a lyrical and almost beautiful feel to this horrific and terrifying story, lending the character an almost sane quality. It is some truly amazing prose and my favorite of this collection.

The final tale is called The Man in the Colored Room. It is equally mysterious as the first and as beautiful as the second, but is about a man who finds himself waking up in this colored room for an unknown reason. As the reader figures out the mystery of it all you are learning alongside the man so it really brings you into the story. The ending is unforeseen and it is truly amazing how Estevan Vega can manage it in such a short tale. You must read When Colors Bleed, and you will be hooked on his writing forever after!

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore is a modern twist on the classic mystery novel created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He never liked creating the tales of Sherlock Holmes so loved by his readers, and would rather move on to more interesting writing from his point of view. He saw it as far too simple writing and eventually grew to hate his own character, Holmes. In fact he killed off the hero Holmes in one of his books. The odd thing is that after a few years he came back and wrote Holmes back to life. Why? Nobody really knows. Those years have been lost, a very odd thing for a person that wrote in his diary
In modern times a different mystery is brewing regarding that very diary, the one that has gone missing all these years. Someone has found it, but when that someone turns up dead we fall into a Holmes like mystery of our own. Continue reading “The Sherlockian by Graham Moore”

Blessed Child by Ted Dekker

Bill Bright and Ted Dekker had a wonderful book in their hands from it’s inception.  Blessed Child is a novel about a young boy named Caleb who is left in the care of one Jason Marker.  Jason is a Peace Corps representative working in the heart of Ethiopia.  He runs into Leiah, a Red Cross nurse who is covered in physical scars from her past, but it is Caleb that brings them together and Caleb that launches their adventure around the world.  Something seems a bit different about Caleb, and when he comes to the U.S. with Jason unusual things begin to happen.  Caleb has the heart and the faith of the child he is and when extraordinary powers begin to show through him he believes God is giving him this gift.  Of course no one else can believe it is God and so Caleb is tested for his powers. Continue reading “Blessed Child by Ted Dekker”