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Category: Celeste’s Reviews

Year One (Chronicles of the One, #1)

Year One (Chronicles of the One, #1)

Year One by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You had me scared there for a while, Nora, but you came through. Just in a way that was different from what I was expecting.

Have you ever picked up a book by an author you love and when you start reading it you keep having to remind yourself that said author wrote it? That was what I struggled with at the beginning of this book. Yes, the writing style I had come to love was still undoubtedly present. There’s just something about Nora’s prose that always resonates with me. As I’ve stated in previous reviews of her work, Nora’s novel’s are like a bubble bath for my brain; they’re what I turn to when I’m stressed or sick or just in the mood for comfort.

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Leverage in Death (In Death, #47)

Leverage in Death (In Death, #47)

Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

There is something about Nora’s writing, both as herself and as J.D. Robb, that hooks me from the first sentence and doesn’t let me go until I’ve read the final chapter. So it’s no surprise that Leverage in Death worked incredibly well for me and broke my first ever (and hopefully last!) reading slump. While I’ve picked up some great books in the past month, nothing grabbed me enough to entice me further into its pages. I should’ve known that Nora would prove to be the cure to my dilemma.

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Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle, #2)

Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle, #2)

Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rise of the Mystics truly elevates Dekker’s body of work, somehow both shattering and fulfilling the core of his Circle series. The issues that I had with The 49th Mystic, namely that the dialogue often felt stilted and that certain elements of Rachelle’s journey seemed too convenient, weren’t present here. I don’t know if there was a legitimate change or if I had just been reading starker prose than normal, but Dekker’s actual writing style seemed greatly improved, as well. There was a flow to his prose that has been missing for a while, and the plot seemed to flow more naturally instead of feeling forced to take a certain path. I also really appreciated that this book picked up exactly where the first book ended, and that Dekker provided a quick recap of important events from The 49th Mystic at the beginning. Both of these decisions show a thoughtfulness in regards to the reader that authors sometimes overlook, and I respect authors when they take the time to include things like recaps and casts of characters and glossaries.

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The 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle, #1)

The 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle, #1)

The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ted Dekker will always have a very special place in my heart. His stories have inspired me and shaped my faith since I was a teenager, and I’ll always be grateful to them for the way they revealed truth to me in new and vibrant ways. His books will always have a shelf in my house. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear that Dekker was returning to the world of the Circle, the series that impacted my faith more than anything else outside of the Bible I’ve ever read.

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The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s no place like home. As long as that home isn’t trying to eat you.

This book proved true the idea that, sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction. I had no earthly idea before last week that this was (billed as) a nonfiction book. Seriously?! I’ve always had this fascination with the macabre and the unexplained, so I would’ve read this book long ago had I known that it wasn’t entirely fictional. (Yes, I’m aware that the book has since been proven to be only loosely based on the truth, but it’s way more fun to pretend that it’s true while reading it!) I think there’s a reason the fictional horror genre is so successful and draws so many readers and viewers; horror speaks to the fear we have of the unknown and the unexplainable. We like the thrill of watching or reading worst case scenarios while knowing that we are safe from them.

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Night Shift

Night Shift

Night Shift by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Night Shift is exactly what I have always expected to find in Stephen King’s work, but which I have only experienced sporadically in his novels; it was genuinely scary. Short story collections are generally pretty hit or miss for me. Even those I’ve enjoyed aren’t usually overwhelmingly successful, giving me a handful of stories sprinkled liberally with mediocre tales. Not so here. I honestly enjoyed every single story in this collection.

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Supraphysica

Supraphysica

Supraphysica by Drew Boudreaux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Christian fantasy and science fiction tend to be very hit or miss for me. While I try my best to support the genres because I really want to see them grow, some the novels tend to feel unoriginal and poorly written. I have read many works of Christian speculative fiction that left me frustrated and underwhelmed. In my opinion, Christian art of any kind, be in fiction or music or visual media, should hold itself to a higher standard than its secular counterparts in order to more powerfully proclaim the message Christians are sent out into the world to share. There are indeed novelists and poets and musicians that hold themselves to said standard, but this is far from the norm.

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The Dark Half

The Dark Half

The Dark Half by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There will be light spoilers in this review, but I tried to keep them on par with what would be revealed by the synopsis of the book. There was simply no way for me to review this while keeping every detail concealed.

King crafted something both horrifying and utterly fascinating from his frustration over the loss of Richard Bachman. For those who aren’t familiar with Bachman, he was King’s pseudonym, under which he wrote Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and The Running Man before accidentally outing himself in his fifth publication, Thinner.

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The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished this book over a week ago. Why haven’t you reviewed it and moved on already, you may ask? Well, I have this compulsive thing about reviewing a book immediately, so I’ve just been totally ignoring the fact that I completed it. This delay is partly due to the fact that I’ve been insanely busy and too tired to read more than a handful of pages a day, much less having time to properly formulate a response to what I’ve read. But the other cause for the delay is that mediocre books are the hardest to review. And as much as I’ve been loving King the past few years and have enjoyed binge-reading his work every October, that’s what this book was for me: mediocre.

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Needful Things

Needful Things

Needful Things by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention, please!
Come in close where everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell, it isn’t gonna cost a dime!
(And if you believe that,
we’re gonna get along just fine.)”

Are you a seasonal reader? I sure am. Winter is for classics and childhood favorites and romances. Spring is for fiction that builds my faith and fantasies that build intricate worlds in my mind. Summer is for rereads when I’m feeling lazy and new-to-me realms of fantasy when I’m not. But autumn is without a doubt the season that dictates my reading the most. For the past few years, October has been for horror in general and Stephen King in particular. This year, I kicked my King-a-Thon off a little early. And I’m happy to report that I started it off with a bang.

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