A Review On “Hangman’s Curse”

Hangman’s Curse by Frank Peretti

First off, I’d like to give a disclaimer: I am a little too old for this book, so I have found faults with it that age appropriate readers probably  wouldn’t notice. Also, being a writer, I am highly critical of style as well as content, and make notes to myself the entire time I read most anything, which makes me a little nit picky. That being said, let’s get to the review.

The whole idea behind the series is that there is a private organization, called the Veritas Project, which investigates bizarre crime scenes with the object of finding the truth using a Christ-centered perspective. The thing about this that I found rather hard to swallow is that it reports back to the President, without actually being federal. The individual cases are even discussed on the phone with him before the group takes them. I can’t really imagine any of our recent Presidents, even the “Christian” ones, supporting something outside of their federal control, let alone taking the time for private phone calls with them. I think Peretti would have been just as well off making it a completely private organization.

I also felt that it came off a little preachy in the beginning, when the goals and methods of the organization were being explained, and in the end, when things were being wrapped up. I have nothing against explaining Christianity in fiction, but I do have something against dumping all of one’s beliefs, or a character’s beliefs, into one conversation, no matter what those beliefs are. It’s too much explaining. Even in a conversation full of tension, it can still be dry and boring, and, well, preachy.

A very minor thing that bothered me was the one main character, a girl named Elisha, is straight out described as “attractive.” I have no problem with good looking characters, but I want to be shown that they’re attractive, not told. Paired with a perfect Christian personality, it just made her seem less real, like an ideal. Tell me she has blond hair, tell me she has a sweet smile, but don’t tell me she’s “attractive.” It just feels lazy to me. Anyway, that’s more of a pet peeve than anything else.

Those are the only things I have to say against the book, however. It was intense, interesting, had well thought out and diverse characters, kept up the suspense, and had you double-guessing till the very end. The danger was real and frightening, the stakes were high. I think this book is perfect for eighth through tenth graders, though be forewarned: it does deal with occult stuff. There’s nothing terribly detailed, but it is there; if your kids are in school, however, I doubt any of it will shock them. If your kids are homeschooled, you might want to make sure they know what a Ouija board is first, as, chances are, they’ve never seen one. I first heard on them when I was in sixth grade, but I’m pretty sure my brother, who is in seventh, doesn’t know about them. I guess I’ll have to ask him when I’m done with this.

So, my conclusion is, four stars for Hangman’s Curse. I still like the Cooper Kids series, by the same author, and for just a slightly younger audience, better though.

A Review On “The Invisible Heart”

The Invisible Heart by Russell Roberts

The subtitle of this book puzzled me: “An Economic Romance”. Economics and romance, huh? Sounds odd. But it wasn’t, it was wonderful. Things I’d wondered about for a long time, or things I ran across in my other books, finally made sense. To see economic theory take the shape of a man, to have him tell you what he thinks in the form of a conversation with someone who isn’t quite convinced, was amazing. Plus, it was a good story. I could forget I was learning about economics because I was so wrapped up in the story. The romance wasn’t that strong. In fact, for most of the book, Laura thinks Sam is a weirdo. It’s still ends up being very sweet, but it isn’t so much that your highschool-aged son will hate you for making him read it. You can just ask my Mom how much I loved it. It seems like the whole time I was reading it, every conversation turned into me warmly relating what I’d figured out, thanks to Sam. Even though I finished the book over a month ago, parts of it will come back to me when I’m confronted with economics in real life. All I can say is, thanks Roberts!!

Third Term Books

Here they are, a little later than planned:

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Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

The Godless Constitution by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore

Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? by Richard J. Maybury (an “Uncle Eric” book)

Basic American Government by Clarence B. Carson

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Emma by Jane Austen

The Best Loved Poems of the American People selected by Hazel Felleman

Now, I didn’t read all of these the whole term. Some of them i finished only a few weeks in, others I started halfway through. But they were all on my schedule at one time or another during my third term. I finished the last of them this week. I am officially done. I hardly know what to do with myself.

Reviews coming next week.

graduation

My greatest apologies on my long absence. Sometimes a girl’s gotta take a break. I’ve got some awesome news, though…

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I’ve graduated! I still have some books to finish up though… only two now. And I realize that I haven’t posted my third term list, so that will be coming shortly.

And if anyone has any advice on how to translate the allegory in Till We Have Faces, I’d appreciate your help! I think I’ll have to look up some reviews or something…

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I’m not dead. Look for the list next week.

Ciao for now!

New Theme!

So who likes my new theme? I think this is the third one for this blog; I get bored quickly. I’ve actually been thinking that the old one was too dark for a while now… and with this one, I can change the header image as much as I like, so maybe I won’t get bored quite so quickly?

I finally did finish Inheritance, so stay tuned for a review!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a painting I did in my pastel and acrylics class yesterday. We’ve been doing pastels all semester  so I was glad to finally use some paint!

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They’re oranges, if you can’t tell. When I got it home I decided that at least the background oranges look like half finished flowers. But we were working with pallet knives, so it was very loose. Plus I’ve never used acrylics or pallet knifes before…

Third term is starting off well… I’ll show you all my books soon. I only just got one of them yesterday.

Hope everyone is having a good week! For now, adios, amigos!