Falls Like Lightening by Shawn Grady is the latest book I received (free) from Bethany House publishers to review.
Here's a little summary of the novel...
Silas Kent is a smoke jumper with a past. Growing up without a family has had a lasting impact on his life. Now he is a skilled smoke jumper, jumping out of planes to fight fires...without water. It takes patience and skill, and Silas has both. Silas and Elle, a smoke jumper pilot, have a history. When Elle is assigned to pilot Silas' new team, their worlds come together once more. As they head out into a dangerous mission, something isn't right. Sabotage and danger surround them, and when the team has to jump off course and Elle crash lands, will they survive to see what their future may hold? Gotta read to find out! : )
My take...Let me preface my review by saying that I do love a good mystery/suspense/action novel. Back in the day, I loved Mary Higgins Clark and Tom Clancy novels. I must say that my most recent preference is western or some kind of Christian romantic fiction. I really love historicals. I was interested, though, in trying something new with the contemporary "Falls Like Lightening." My initial thoughts are that it was a little distracting for me to deal with the fireman/smoke jumper jargon that I was unfamiliar with. Once I just decided to do the best I could with that, I thought the story had a good level of romance and suspense, although I kind of wanted more. Especially with the romance. I felt like the way Elle and Silas dealt with their past just hit the surface. The suspense/mystery part of the story was also good, and I thought it added a nice twist to the novel. My only critique of that aspect was that the "bad guys" were revealed early on in the story, so there wasn't much mystery there. I think I would've liked to have a little more tension in the story and have one of those...oh, man!...moments where the bad guy is someone I never expected. That would've made it even better, I think. That's sort of how it was with the whole novel. On the whole, it was entertaining, but every aspect needed a little more depth to it...in my opinion.
I know I've mentioned these stories several times, but I must say that I LOVED Lisa T. Bergren's Young Adult medieval series. SO GOOD! I know what you're thinking...young adult? For teenagers? Well, that's kind of what I thought, anyway. As I was reading, not once did I think...this is a teenager book.
In Waterfall (honestly, the titles don't really match the story to me...but anyway), Gabriella (17) and her sister Evangelia (15) are unexpectedly sucked through time by putting their handprints on a wall of an Etruscan tomb. Gabi arrives first, right in the middle of a territorial war between two Italian forces. Thanks to her achaeologist parents, she has all kinds of useful survival skills--sword fighting abilities, knowledge of some languages, and a familiarity with the history of the area. As Gabi is able to find refuge at Castle Forelli (the good guys), she has an instant attraction to one of the Forelli princes, Marcello. Unfortunately, Marcello has been arranged to marry someone else, so Gabi keeps her distance...even though he's "hot". Throughout the story Gabi displays honesty, courage, skill, and so much more. She searches for her sister, fights alongside the Forellis, and helps Marcello's ailing brother. This story is filled with action, romance, and a lot of humor in the form of Gabi's teenage language/perspective. I loved this story so much that I had to buy the next one, Torrent. Gabi and Evangelia return to help Marcello and company fight for freedom. This story is also action packed, with a lot of the same elements as the first book. Except in the second book Gabi and Lia's mother tags along on their trip to the past. I read it really fast. I can't wait to read the third one!
Another Young Adult medieval book is Melanie Dickerson's The Healer's Apprentice. This is a medieval/Christian take on the story of Sleeping Beauty. I thought it was great. Melanie is also coming out with another novel this fall, The Merchant's Daughter. This will be another Young Adult book that is a take on Beauty and the Beast. I can't wait to check it out!
Happy reading, friends!