Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’


I’ve not been a book reviewer long (a little over a month) and all ready I’ve gotten a bit of a rep as a “hard-nosed” one. That was something that I wasn’t expecting.  I mean I am a bit of a marshmallow/people pleaser. I want people to like me. As a writer I understand the time, and struggle that goes into a story. I expected to be one of the reviewers that were giving four and five-star reviews all the time. In fact, when I first applied for the position at The Christian Manifesto my editor asked me to do a “negative” review so they could see that I was capable of writing one.  I  surprised  when I wrote it, at how ardent I became as I pointed out flaws and disappointments in the work.   Looking back, I can see hints of what I am experiencing now; disappointment in a book feels like betrayal.

Maybe that’s at the heart of it, the reader  part of me feels betrayed when a book doesn’t live up to its hype or promise.

Even if this is the truth, I don’t want to hurt or damage the authors who have produced less than what was promised. I also don’t want people spending their hard-earned money and valuable time on a read that isn’t going to satisfy them.  What I need to do, is find a good balance between sharing my opinion of a book, and respecting the investment of time and talent the author has put into the work.

So, how do I do that?  I’m looking at you Millard, and you Kaleb and  you  Noah.  All of you who run blogs for book reviews and have reviewed for several years (or at least longer than I have been reviewing books) give me some tips and tricks. They are greatly appreciated.


Sharon Hinck’s  Sword of Lyric Series is one of the most unusual fantasy trilogies I have ever read.
Why? Well the main protagonist in The Restorer, Susan is an unlikely one. She’s a suburban  Mom with limited experience dealing with bad guys other than snarky home repair men and the occasional back-biting  fellow soccer mother. But when she’s taken to another time and place, and the terrible danger is revealed, Susan doesn’t cower in a corner waiting  for her knight in shining armor. She takes the armor herself, and goes out to meet the enemy.

In The Restorer’s Son you’ll get to meet one of my all time favorite characters, Kieran.  He’s a supporting character in the first book, an outcast with a surly (understandably so) personality who has every reason to abandon the people that he’s been press-ganged into serving.  He is probably the most vocal reluctant hero I’ve ever read.  Kieran questions everything and everyone, from The One, to his role as Restorer, to several interesting people he stumbles across in the length and breadth of the tale.  Sardonic and wry, Kieran carries the  narration of second book in the series with the same masterful strokes that Susan carried the first. You don’t have to read The Restorer first as Kieran’s story will stand on its own, but Susan and his meeting made me grin and that can only be found, in The Restorer. 

I had the privilege of meeting Sharon, and talking with her in person, about the Restorer several years ago at the Fantastic Four Fiction Tour. She is as warm and genuine as her writing and has a heart large enough to hide a sun inside.  I jumped up and down when I learned that Marcher Lord had picked up the series. The Restorer Expanded Edition, and The Restorer’s Son Expanded Edition  have been released in print and e-book format. Trust  me when I tell you, you’ll want to read them again and again. They are destined to become classics. Don’t worry, The Restorer’s Journey Expanded Edition  will release soon. Until then, start on the first two in the series, and check out the interview below with Sharon Hinck.

The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition

Book two in the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric series, The Restorer’s Son won a Carol Award for speculative fiction.

Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake. All signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them and threatens their son. A target of assassins and more political intrigue, false leads and near misses beset their path, which leads them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.

Cast out by those he trusts, the new reluctant Restorer prefers to cross swords with the One rather than submit to His will. Pursued by his calling, he journeys to Sidian, where he finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.

This new expanded edition of The Restorer’s Son includes an in-depth devotion guide for readers who want to dig into the spiritual themes of the book, bonus scenes providing glimpses of the story through a variety of characters, and fun extras including links to songs and recipes.

INTERVIEW:

What was it like developing new material for this new edition?

Books are like children. I treasure each of them in different ways, and among the novels I’ve written, I try not to have favorites. However, I confess that The Restorer’s Son has an extra special place in my heart. Because of that, it was fun to revisit the characters and world of this story. Kieran’s attitudes were loosely inspired by a verse in Judges where Gideon is told God will use him to save his people. Gideon’s response is basically, “If God is for us, why have all these bad things happened to us?” It’s a question many can relate to, and part of the reason that Kieran is such a beloved character.

The new devotion guide gives readers an opportunity to dig deeper into the Biblical inspirations that helped inform the book, as well as find personal application. About forty pages of new content, including bonus scenes and a new song composed for the book, make this edition a new experience.

How did you decide where to put in bonus elements?

Working with the publisher, we decided it was important to keep the flow of the story intact and free from distractions. So the book is designed with a large back-of-the-book section that can be used either after finishing the story, or during the reading of the main story. Small symbols and page numbers at the end of chapters direct readers to bonus scenes, and QR symbols in the margin invite readers to explore audio files, or recipes, or rules for playing Perish – all without interrupting the story.

It was important to me that people would feel that it was worth the investment to own The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition, even if they had a copy of the original edition, so we packed this book with lots of added value.

Besides an entertaining read, what do you hope people experience in The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition?

 

My hope is that readers will catch glimpses of the way the One speaks to each of us in the language we understand, and that we can go to Him with our difficult questions. For those who are walking very painful roads, I hope the story will help them feel acknowledged. The journey is hard, heroic, and sometimes frightening. But we are never alone.

Where can people find the book?

www.sharonhinck.com

http://sharonswriting.blogspot.com/

To order The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition:

http://urlcut.me/aM3

 

Kindle version:

http://urlcut.me/aM2

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Sharon writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include contemporary fiction such as The Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series which includes The Restorer’s Son–Expanded Edition. She’s been a Christy finalist and won three Carol awards.

Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves interacting with visitors at her website and blog: sharonhinck.com