Four Novels

August 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Books and Movies | Leave a comment

During my recent vacations, I took time for some pleasure reading.  Here are four novels I’ve read in recent weeks.

King Solomon’s Mines, H. Rider Haggard   This old-time classic was a childhood favorite of author N.D. Wilson (see my review of his 100 Cupboards) and the original inspiration for Indiana Jones.  Like the Jones movies, it was a fun fantasy adventure for a lazy campout.  I passed it on to my daughter to enjoy next.  However, it takes a few chapters to get into the author’s style.

Adam, Ted Dekker   Since a relative, who’s read all of Dekker’s books, recommended this as his favorite, I had high expectations, but I was disappointed.  Not that the book was bad, but it didn’t measure up to my favorites from Ted Dekker.  It wasn’t the page-turning excitement I found in Three; in fact, there were a few occasions I set it aside for a day.  And it wasn’t the fast paced fun of Blink.  This story of an FBI criminal psychologist tracking down a serial killer was interesting, but the means used to catch him were more in line with superficial fantasy than serious fiction.  (I expected Solomon’s Mines to be exagerated silliness, but I didn’t expect Adam to be that as well)  There was a totally unexpected plot twist at the end which greatly improved my overall impression of the book.

A Line in the Sand, Al and Joanna Lacy   This is the first Lacy book I’ve read, though they’ve written dozens.  I found it in the library and picked it up for the most recent camp trip, because the story revolved around the Texas-Mexico War and the Alamo, events I’ve found interesting since seeing the old Disney Davy Crockett movie years ago.  The story was fun and entertaining, and I’m engaged and curious just enough to read the second in the series, if I can find it.  However, the story was somewhat “Pollyannish.”  All the main characters were happy and wonderful Christians; even in the midst of trouble, life was good; all with whom the main characters shared Christ became believers; the struggles were trivial in light of their perfect faith.  In other words, life in the book was just too perfect to be real.

The Great Train Robbery, Michael Crichton   This was probably the best of the novels I read.  Crichton uses a famous event to stage his story, and writes as though he were giving a well-researched report on it.  However, it is entirely fiction.   The book was both absorbing and very creative, as has been every Crichton book I’ve read.  This one also had some surprises at the end to make it more interesting.

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