The White Rose, Alas, Babylon, and War and Grace

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The White Rose By Glen Cook

About 4/5’s of the way through this book, I grew suddenly tired of it. I don’t think this is the authors fault and I still rated the book pretty high on GoodReads, but the style of book doesn’t lend to strong emotional connections, per se. It’s written in a very military straight forward matter with the lead characters being hardened marines. Also, I was reading several more ’emotional’ books at the time.

But, when I finally jumped back in to finish it, I was rewarded with plenty of feelings of loss and the end of something great.

I loved the more fantastical elements of this book as the Black Company hides in the desert: whales that swim the sky and rocks that move and talk! I loved the pulling together of the villains and heroes. I loved that the Lady had just enough light to left in her to want to do what was right.

Yes, the style is a bit dry, but if you enjoy historical narratives and military history, this style will be comfortable to you. You will be able to bring the emotion to the story. Again, I spent a large part of this story chanting something about Raven being alive or being rescued, and with that, I joined Darling in her love and hate of him which is just brilliant writing.

I will always have a special place in my heart for the Black Company and am glad I got to join their adventures.

Rated R: Violence, War, Adult Situations

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Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

What a fun, politically incorrect book! Granted, I haven’t read many post apocalypse books that actually include the apocalypse, but this book gave me chills. When the bombs fell on The Day, the sense of incomprehensible horror and suddenly being cut off from the world felt real. Pat Frank did an excellent job realistically capturing what would happen to a community of survivors, their needs, and how life would break down. He shows how some of us would deny what had happened, some of us would die off quickly, and some of us would band together and keep going.

This book is a bit hard to qualify. It reminds me of an adventure story, plus a bit of horror, and obviously, parts of it read like historical fiction. Either way, this book is close to, if not, the father of the post-apocalyptic genre and a must read!

This would be a great book to read if you were in the middle of studying the Cold War just to get a sense of what the world feared. It does say in the preface that it is a great adventure book for an 11 year old, but a few adult subjects come up and some fairly violent situations, so I’d probably go for someone just a bit older, like 14.

Rate PG-13: Adult subjects, survival of the fittest, end of the world, loss, death.

 

war-and-grace

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This book was far too short. When I got to the end I just wanted to start it over again. Can you think of better praise? Price bought it for me for Christmas and in just a few weeks I devoured it.

War and Grace covers a handful of men and women who were either saved before, during, or after WW1 or WW2 and how the war and their salvation interacted. From pastors who helped save soldiers and Jews, to the chaplain for the Nazis during the Numberg trials, the book is filled with bravery, courage, and salvation.

Don Stephens is, I believe, and Orthodox Presbyterian. Because of this, he isn’t interested in feel good stories, but in genuine salvation. He is careful with his wording, seeks out true professions of faith, and makes sure a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel is nowhere to be found in the men and women he featured. This made the stories all that more encouraging. They aren’t ‘feel good’ stories, but tales of saints living out their lives. I’ll admit, the Numberg trials story brought me to tears. God saves sinners, some of the greatest sinners, humanly speaking, of all time. Mr. Stephens corresponded with the subjects of the book and their families. He also suggest further reading at the end of each biography making my reading list just get longer.

This book could easily be read aloud to children, used in the classroom, or for personal devotions. I can’t recommend this book enough and I know I’ll be reading it again soon. It would also make great Christmas gifts for any history buff or man in your family . . . or wife too. 🙂

Rated PG: war

 

(If you follow the links above they will take you to Amazon where you can purchase these books which will gives me a small tip. Thank you in advance!)

 

 

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