From Darkness Won and Psycho

From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson

I enjoyed this series more than I have any other so called “Christian” speculative fiction. The characters grew, were interesting, and everything wrapped up into a nice happy ending. Things weren’t happy-go-lucky for all the good guys and the bad guys were pretty evil.
I have just a few complaints:
1) The lack of major deaths of anyone we really cared about left me feeling bored with the last book. I never really felt like anyone was in danger. And when one person did die, it was convenient not heartbreaking. The author had no problem putting her characters in dangerous situations and even wounding her main character, but after multiple battles with no death, I was no longer engaged emotionally.
2) Lead Female was less annoying than book two but still very annoying. She constantly disobeyed orders, even in the middle of a battle, and out shown all males present . . . right. Her escapades were crazier than the hero’s most of the time. I found her decisions to be unrealistic and made me want to bob her over the head half the time.
Overall, I enjoyed the first book a lot, and the other two are okay. I enjoyed the story enough to finish it and be engaged through the whole thing. I would recommend it for any teen to read, especially if they enjoy fantasy.

Psycho by Robert Bloch

I read this book in about two hours a few days after watching the movie. One way or the other the ending is going to be spoiled…so pick your poison: Movie or Book.

The book was a quick read, and for its genre, pretty clean. It doesn’t go into a lot of the gore or sexuality present in most “serial killer” type thrillers. While it is gory and does deal with some sexuality, they are mentioned but not soaked in. This would be a good book for a “newbie” in the serial killer criminology world because it would let you get your toes wet without dumping you in the deep end. As far as my own research goes, this is a nice, cleaned up version of the real Ed Gein case. It leaves out much that they found in his house of horrors, but still uses him as a basic template for Norman Bates.

The book is creepy, interesting, has a good ending and isn’t overly sexualized or gory though those things are present. The book, or the movie, would be a good start before, say, jumping in with Silence of the Lambs to see if this is a genre that interests you.

If you’re looking for something with more details about how the Detectives deal with serial Killers, the actually psychology of serial killers from the law enforcement side, this book won’t be as interesting. It is a very “layman’s” version.
Still fun and creepy.


Peter and the Starcatchers and By Darkness Hid


By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

This book really surprised me.  Typically, when you say something is “Christian Fantasy” I expect a sever lack of creativity,  poor storytelling, and unconvincing and convenient conversions.  To my great joy,  this book was creative,  had a great story,  a little grit, and great fantasy.  I will admit to a few times struggling to keep up with the characters but it didn’t stop me from reading.  I will also admit to finding the girl Sparrow a bit unconvincing at the end. I felt like my chain was being a bit yanked by her. But, I was still very invested in all the characters. I wasn’t bored by the politics. I’m intrigued by the world and the hero is a real hero. Well done. I can’t wait to start book two!
Parental Warning: a few adult issues meaning she deals with such things as evil kings trying to take a mistress and the reality of being a girl dressed like a boy and needing to use the bathroom. Nothing inappropriate happens but they are dealt with…meaning I think most teens would be fine with this book. It’s clean, just honest. A nice combination.


Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry
This brilliant, silly, moving, clever retelling of the story of Peter Pan needs to move to the top of your reading list. I laughed. I cried.
This is the story of how Peter became Peter Pan, Hook became Hook, the Lost Boys became the Lost Boys, and Tinker Bell Tinker Bell. I have always been slightly inamoured by the fairy tale of Peter Pan and this version only makes me love it more.
My only warning is that reading it can cause a strong case of adventure longing and possible excessive use of imagination. The audio version is delightful. This is a story that anyone of any age can enjoy and would be perfect for family reading time. I can’t suggest this story strongly enough. It was perfectly wonderful.