Tag Archives: action & adventure

faith against the wolves

Book Review: Faith Against the Wolves, by Jonathan Chateau

faith against the wolves cover

I picked up a free Audible code for Jonathan Chateau‘s Faith Against the Wolves somewhere around the internet. Though it doesn’t seem to be available for purchase anymore.

about the book

A professional transporter of supernatural goods has his faith tested when given a chest that contains something allegedly touched by God.

Meet Travis Rail, a professional transporter of supernatural goods. Aside from his martial arts proficiency, skill behind the wheel and solid track record of deliveries, what makes him qualified to do what he does is that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural claims of his clients – which keeps him objective, honest and detached.

Or so he thought.

When his latest client has him transport a chest containing something allegedly touched by Jesus, his world gets turned upside down. Not twenty minutes into the delivery the Rift show up – an underground cult hell-bent on collecting all of the treasures of God. However, it turns out that not only were they after the chest, they were after Travis as well.

“Who exactly are the Rift? Why do they want him dead? And is what he’s transporting truly of Jesus?”

In his quest for answers, Travis is reluctantly thrust into another delivery, transporting yet another one of God’s treasures. And the closer he gets to completing this delivery, the more he learns that what he’s delivering might just be bigger than the package itself.

my review

When I started this, the first thing I heard was, “This is Faith Against the Wolves, a supernatural thriller.” It’s quite insistent about being a SUPERNATURAL thriller, insistent enough to put it in the tile of the Audible tract. Which is all well and good, except that it isn’t just a supernatural thriller. It’s a Christian thriller, maybe a Christian supernatural thriller or supernatural Christian thriller, but that Christian really can’t be left out and maintain honesty. I’ve read plenty of books that use religious material as plot fodder and plenty more that have subtle (and not so subtle) religious themes. This is neither of those. This is a flat out religious book. I would go so far as to call it a homily on prayer even. I mean, an angel (among others) comes to Earth to lecture the main character on how to properly pray, for goodness sake.

And I have no problem with it Christian stories generally. But I’m not a fan of proselytizing on the best day and I’m really not a fan of the sneak attack. If an author wants to write religious fiction, fine, but be honest about what it is!

Outside of my annoyance about it not being honest with it’s sub-genre, I thought it was an OK read (listen). An awful lot of it consists of Travis getting beat up and I might quibble with the oh-so-cliched use of a woman using her sexuality as a weapon as a villain. But it has a story that moves along nicely and I appreciate that, for religious fiction, it at least acknowledged Christianity’s bloody past. Chris Rice did a fine job with the narration, though I noticed a few grammatical mistakes. Hard to tell who those fall on though, the author or narrator, but there you have it.

All in all, I’d call this a fine, but not outstanding read for me, personally. Your mileage may vary.

Year of the Demon

Book Review of Year of the Demon (Fated Blades, #2), by Steve Bein

Year of the DemonI borrowed Steve Bein‘s Year of the Demon from my local library. I have thousands of books on my Kindle and I still can’t help going out and finding more.

Description from Goodreads:
Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro has been promoted to Japan’s elite Narcotics unit—and with this promotion comes a new partner, a new case, and new danger. The underboss of a powerful yakuza crime syndicate has put a price on her head, and he’ll lift the bounty only if she retrieves an ancient iron demon mask that was stolen from him in a daring raid. However, Mariko has no idea of the tumultuous past carried within the mask—or of its deadly link with the famed Inazuma blade she wields.

The secret of this mask originated hundreds of years before Mariko was born, and over time the mask’s power has evolved to bend its owner toward destruction, stopping at nothing to obtain Inazuma steel. Mariko’s fallen sensei knew much of the mask’s hypnotic power and of its mysterious link to a murderous cult. Now Mariko must use his notes to find the mask before the cult can bring Tokyo to its knees—and before the underboss decides her time is up….

This is a hard one for me to rate because I didn’t read the first (Daughter of the Sword) and I don’t know how many of my complaints are the result of that. For example, I knew Mariko carried over from book one, but until I finished this book and glanced at some other reviews, I didn’t realize one of the historical characters does too. Certainly, I followed and enjoyed it, but my largest issue was that I didn’t feel like the three plot lines converged in any way, such that I felt like I’d read three partial stories instead on one cohesive whole.

Sure, they all involved the sword and mask, but that’s the only connection and surely in the 500 or so years between the events, other people held them too. So, why these particular stories? Kaida’s arc seemed especially anchorless. Would this have been different if I’d read book one? Maybe. But since the two books are apparently in the same style, jumping between the past and present, I’m thinking not. I just might have more faith that the plot lines will connect in some future book.

I very much liked the characters. There is some parallels between Mariko and Daigoro’s situations and the difficulty of doing the honorable thing. I liked that sex was dealt with very matter-of-factly. The writing is lovely, though a bit repetitive, with some editing mistakes (most notably, I think in some of the dates, as they made no sense). Despite being set in Japan, having a few Japanese words thrown in here and there and people bowing, the narration and dialogue didn’t sound particularly Japanese. This was especially notable in the historical dialogue. I liked it and its obvious the author did a ton of research, but it felt very American.

All in all, I suppose I liked but didn’t love this book. But I feel like I really aught to have.

What I’m drinking: Tea of Life Black Chai. I’ve been drinking it plain, not milky, which is my preference. But I find chai from a tea bag is never strong enough to make a nice milky version.