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”

The Topkapi Secret

There is a book, hidden for many years from prying eyes, that contains many secrets.  Blood was spilt over this book, literally on it, and this murder caused the split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims today.  This book is called the Topkapi codex, kept safe at the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul.  It is this manuscript that the new book The Topkapi Secret is about.  The author, Terry Kelhawk, did an amazing job of researching the information for this book.  It raises such questions about the integrity of the modern Koran that it could be called a new DaVinci Code, but in this case, it is based on fact, not fiction.  To see, take a look at all of the sources Terry provides in the appendix.

The Topkapi Secret begins with the two characters of Mohammed Atareek, a researcher of ancient Koranic manuscripts, and Angela Hall, a UC Berkley English professor.  Mohammed is interested in the integrity of the Koran, and is looking at all the old manuscripts to try to find something of use, but the real manuscript he wants to see is the Topkapi codex, and none are allowed access to it.  Angela is recovering from the recent loss of a friend and colleague as well as a recent divorce.  She ventures to the Middle East with a friend and is enjoying her trip when she runs into Mohammed, who rushes off with her in search of adventure and the Topkapi codex. Continue reading “The Topkapi Secret”

The Strange Man

I recently reviewed this book for The Christian Manifesto, but you should know about this book if you don’t already!  Therefore I am re-posting my review here for your great enjoyment!  It is quite the thriller, and you get to read a short story at the back of the book, which I also reviewed HERE, so check it out!

The Strange Man is the first act in the upcoming Christian horror trilogy,The Coming Evil, which tells of a world filled with horror movies and comic books, where there is no longer anyone who believes in such things, but yet they are still real.  Dras Weldon has grown up in this world hearing of monsters and goblins, and of the creature called the Bogeyman who takes away bad little girls and boys.  Dras is a twenty-two-year-old unemployed man stuck in the world of adolescence, collecting GI Joe figures in his unkempt apartment.  He has lived a life under the watchful eye of his older brother Jeff, the local pastor.  Dras has always professed Christianity but has never had a life of spirituality, but soon everything he believes in will be put to the test. Continue reading “The Strange Man”

Among The Dead by Greg Mitchell

Among The Dead is a short story written by Greg Mitchell as a prequel to his new “The Coming Evil” trilogy.  It is included in the back of the first book, The Strange Man.  I recently reviewed The Strange Man for The Christian Manifesto, and I thought it would be good to give you a review of this prequel short story as well.

The book maintains the same main characters as The Strange Man, but does a great job of establishing their characters and the evil that is just around the corner for them.  The world no longer believes in the creatures and monsters of the night, but these Demons are real and they are coming to stake their claim in this little town. Continue reading “Among The Dead by Greg Mitchell”

Dr. Seuss

What kind of books did you read while growing up?  Chances are that you read at least one Dr. Seuss book in your life.  At first they all just seem like a crazy story made up in a crazy part of the mind, but take another look and you just might learn something more.

Have you ever read The Sneeches?  It tells of these creatures that are segregated into stars and no-stars on their stomachs.  Seuss wrote this book to tell young children about segregation and racism.  Seuss even experienced it himself as he was mistaken for a Jew, even though he was a German Christian.  Seuss was made fun of and he saw others in the same situation and felt the need to do something about it.  Seuss was not always on the right side though, as during World War II he was for the Japanese imprisonment and believed it was good how we treated them.  I believe that Seuss had a change of heart when he realized what he was saying years later when he began to write Horton Hears a Who. Continue reading “Dr. Seuss”

Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Lexi Solomon is doing all she can to raise her beautiful little girl Molly even though her husband Grant abandoned her seven years ago.  Not that Grant was much of a father figure, as he was addicted to several types of drugs and even was dealing them.  Lexi’s own father is in a mental institution after a mental breakdown.  Lexi’s sister’s murder triggered his mental collapse, combined with Lexi’s mother leaving him soon afterward.  But now the man responsible for Lexi’s sister’s murder, Grant, and Grant’s own drug dealer Warden (who is demanding payment with interest) are all back in town.  It sounds like a scenario only cooked up in the TV soap opera realm, but I promise you, this story has much more to offer than that!  Erin Healy writes an excellent novel that thrills you to the bone and leaves you shaking! Continue reading “Never Let You Go by Erin Healy”

The Circle Series 4-in-1 by Ted Dekker (Pt. 2)

White by Ted Dekker book coverFirst of all, if you haven’t read part 1 of my review you should read it first!

The next part in The Circle by Ted Dekker is White, and for the most part it is the conclusion to the tale of Thomas Hunter.  In White, Thomas faces his most difficult trials yet as not just one, but two worlds are facing an end.  In our world Thomas is trying to keep war from breaking out all over the globe and the Raison Strain from ravaging what is left of the population.  He must also face innumerable trials on other Earth as the Horde seeks to exterminate the remnant of the circle that is remaining.  Those left alive are now known as the albinos and it is the Horde that now live in the forests.  Most of all Thomas must know what it means for an albino to fall in love with Horde. Continue reading “The Circle Series 4-in-1 by Ted Dekker (Pt. 2)”

The Circle Series 4-in-1 by Ted Dekker (Pt. 1 of 2)

The Circle by Ted Dekker 4 in 1 book cover

Ted Dekker‘s greatest books are finally together under one binding and they couldn’t look better!  When you pick it up it has weight but is certainly lighter than if you were carrying around all of the books.  Not that you would….or would you?  It finally looks like an actual book of history with the leather thong and all.

Now all of that is nice and all, but Ted decided to make this particular edition extra special.  THIS version of the circle books has an alternate ending, and yes you read that right.  A new ending to the book series that so many fans have grown to love!

Ted Dekker’s book series began back in February of 2005 with a novel by the name of Black.  Black is the tale of a man by the name of Thomas Hunter and his dreams, but these are no ordinary dreams Continue reading “The Circle Series 4-in-1 by Ted Dekker (Pt. 1 of 2)”

Petra: City In Stone by T.L. Higley

This new book called Petra was a great read and really enlightened me to the times of the early church as they were being persecuted in Rome and elsewhere around the world.  In this book the main characters Cassia and her son Alexander travel to the city of Petra, a city carved in stone.  When Cassia discovers that her husband was heir to the throne the Queen plots to kill Cassia’s son Alexander and calls on demonic powers to carry out her goal.  This is to have her own son gain the throne of the kingdom.  Cassia joins a Roman named Julian, who has also fled his home, and his band of believers in the Jewish Messiah.  They seek a protection and a movement from God in that wondrous city. Continue reading “Petra: City In Stone by T.L. Higley”

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

The Pirate Queen is a modern drama in the life of one Saphora Warren and her relationship with her husband Bender and the rest of the family.  As I read it I truly had a hard time understanding the writing style of this book. I just can’t quite get Patricia’s style.  It was highly erratic and very confusing to me.  To get a clearer understanding of what happened in the first few pages of the book I turned to look for other reviews of the book.  Here is a pretty good description of what happened, though I didn’t know how to  figure out what was going on:

For the sake of their three children Saphora Warren stayed married to her womanizing spouse plastic surgeon Bender. However, with the nest empty, she has had enough of his cheating so decides to leave him and their affluent lifestyle. Her plan is to let Bender remain on the affluent estate overlooking Lake Norman where they just did a shoot for Southern Living magazine; she will move to their dilapidated bungalow Oriental on the Outer Banks.

As Saphora begins her exit speech, Bender interrupts with two words: “I’m Dying.” She agrees to remain with him at Oriental though she also feels like a fool for her sympathy towards the father of her children. Paradise Lost becomes more crowded than Noah’s Ark when a horde of family members arrive and townsfolk keep dropping in on them. As Saphora seeks herself she finds inadequate time to do so; instead she asks God for a sign of divine guidance to help her find Paradise Regained. Continue reading “The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman”

The Place by Kevin Kaiser

I recently read a short story by Kevin Kaiser, brand manager of Creative Trust and the man behind Ted Dekker.  He is a very creative person and I thought it would be cool to share my thoughts on that short story that he wrote.  It currently goes by the title of The Place and it really seems to be an exploration of the ideas of what a creative person is.  What purposes an artisan has in the world of today and what purpose art has had throughout history.

The main character is not known by name but only by what he does.  He is an artisan himself and he lives on the outskirts of a small village.  He is woken one night by a small boy that wants to show him how to fly, how to be alive and extraordinary. Continue reading “The Place by Kevin Kaiser”

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

Andy Andrews has been getting a lot of reviews from me recently, but it is for a really good reason.  Andrews has a way of writing that cuts to the heart of the story and feeds you the most tender cut of meat, something you really can grow on.  He writes about things that not only are interesting and exciting, but are of spiritual significance.  The Heart Mender is another such book, and is quite possibly the greatest book he has written thus far.

In The Heart Mender Andy writes about a personal discovery that led to learning of some really exciting events that took place in his own backyard…..literally! Continue reading “The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews”

Havah by Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee thrilled me with her last book, Demon: A Memoir and now she enthralls me with her newest book Havah.  This book elegantly tells the tale of a woman we all have heard of but know too little about.  Tosca goes deep into the tale of Eve in this novel and tells the tale that was never told. Continue reading “Havah by Tosca Lee”

Arson by Estevan Vega

Arson by Estevan Vega is a tragic tale of a boy who is called by the name Arson Gable.  Arson has lived his whole life running from people who would judge him for the events of his past, but now those events seem to be catching up with him.  However he isn’t the only one running, everyone seems to be running from their own past.  Arson is always remembering the tragic day that changed his life forever through fire.  That day changed him in more ways than one, he now wields the power of flame from within his very hands.   Continue reading “Arson by Estevan Vega”

The Borrower: A short story by Estevan Vega

The Borrower is a chilling tale as told by the brilliant mind that is Estevan Vega.  He. oh so eloquently speaks of life and of death in such a way that is both eerie and beautiful.  This short story speaks of a man that has lived for several centuries because of a choice he one made to live forever.  It speaks of loss and grief and warns us against the perils of wanting more than we have been granted on this earth.  Estevan creates his tale in such a way that reminds me strongly of many an Edgar Allen Poe story.  The beginning of his tale is a little hectic though and does take a little to get into, but the writing skill is very very prevalent and so I applaud Estevan for this work.  It had me intrigued and really made me think about what was really going on.  I do wish to note that though I was given the book by the author as a part of his new book Arson, this in no way influenced my opinion of his work.  I supremely enjoyed it and I hope you will pick up a copy of Arson if only to flip to the back to read this short story of his, truly brilliant! (Please don’t just flip to the back however as Arson is truly a great read as well, and I will post my review of that later on today! I do hope you enjoy it, I sure did!)

Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker

Immanuel’s Veins is the upcoming fantasy novel by Ted Dekker for a release date of September 7.  I recently was among those lucky enough to receive an Advance Reader Copy of the book from the publisher, and from the moment I opened the package I could rarely put it down!  I hope to give you a small glimpse at this new tale from the pen of Dekker, and I really hope that you enjoy it!  Immanuel’s Veins is truly an amazing tale of love and of grand adventure, but what is it about this book that held me and couldn’t let go?  I couldn’t stop reading about all the action, the intrigue, the blood….  yes the blood, Immanuel’s Veins is ALL about the blood. Continue reading “Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker”

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee’s work, Demon: A Memoir is a story surrounding the character of Clayton, or Clay for short, and his interactions with a demon.  This spirit has a story to tell and Clay needs to hear it.  His career as a book editor may depend on it.  But what does this spirit want to tell Clay?  Everything.

Continue reading “Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee”

Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Ted Dekker’s recent novel, written alongside Erin Healy, is an amazing and powerful novel based on the battle between the good and the evil within us.  It is a trip into the realm of the paranormal and the twists will leave your head spinning.  When I was reading this book there were many times that I had to stop and wrap my head around what had just happened.  Sometimes people gave me funny looks as I kept saying WOW! aloud throughout the book.  It is in this book, simply entitled Burn, that you will fall down a previously unseen rabbit-hole. Continue reading “Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy”

The Noticer

The Noticer by Andy Andrews is a great story, written as an allegory of sorts.  The author begins by telling a bit of his own story, how he came from nothing, and how with a bit of perspective, he grew to become a very successful speaker.  Of course, as is a work of fiction, Andy took the liberty of introducing the person of Jones into his own life story.  It’s just Jones, no mister.

Jones first appears in Andy’s life when he was at his worst, crying underneath a pier. Jones does what he always does and introduces a new perspective on his life to Andy.  He leaves shortly after imparting his wisdom, but not before giving him a few books to read. Biographies of successful people who came from nothing. Andy reads those books, and reads and reads more and more, and it wasn’t long before the things he learns from these people begin to turn his life around. Continue reading “The Noticer”

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is a New York Times bestselling thriller author. Heralded as a “master of suspense” by Library Journal, Dekker has sold millions worldwide, establishing himself as one of the most widely recognized author brands (he is the fourth most popular thriller writer on Facebook and more than 40,000 readers congregate on his website,

The Bride Collector

This book starts off with FBI Special agent Brad Raines standing in a gruesome crime scene. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and this is his latest. Brad uncovers a note left by the killer which leads him to a most unusual place: the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals who are also intellectually gifted. He meets Paradise, a woman who has the extraordinary ability to see the ghosts of the last moments of a person’s life when she touches a dead body. However she is plagued with her own problems. When she was little she witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped with her life. She has been followed by her past, and it is the reason she is in the CWI. Continue reading “The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker”