In the Shadow of Lightning

I HATE discovering a good book when the series isn’t complete. I finished In the Shadow of Lightning: Glass Immortals, Book 1 by Brian McClellan, and was disappointed to learn that I have to wait for the next book in the series to be published. Oh well. Patience is a virtue…or so they tell me.

This story is a good mix of fantasy and intrigue. Like many fantasy books, this story switches between different characters’ story lines. Most of the time, I find that annoying because just as I’m starting to get attached to the characters, it changes perspective. (It also doesn’t help that I usually only like a few of the characters the story lines follow). However, In the Shadow of Lightning was the first book where:

1) I liked all the characters the different plots followed.

2) I didn’t find the transition from character to character disruptive.

I highly recommend this book. It is clean as far as adult fantasies go. I would say PG-13 rating. Some profanity (shit, damn), and a few mild innuendos.

Good story, and GREAT narrator!

Children of the Fox

Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands is the first book in his newest series – Thieves of Shadow. A group of young thieves is tasked with stealing a magical item from a very powerful weaver (mage). Many teams have tried; all have failed. Can these children pull of the impossible? And can they do it on such a tight deadline?

Having really enjoyed The Blackthorn Key Series by Kevin Sands, I was hoping to have the same experience with Children of the Fox. However, that was not the case. I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it. The story itself is well written, and if you are listening to the audio, the narrator is great. The story is interesting enough that I finished it, but not so interesting that I will finish the series. There was just something about it I didn’t like. Part of it was the lack of humor and camaraderie between the characters. The Blackthorn Key had both humor and a great friendship between the characters; Children of the Fox lacked that. Also, the story itself was kind of strange and didn’t draw me in. For starters, I couldn’t quite identify the setting of the story. It reminded me of a historical time-period interspersed with some science fiction (mention of airships) and very heavy on the fantasy/magical aspect. I was also thrown off by the role of their gods – Fox and Bear – in the story as well.

Anyway, this story wasn’t for me, but it is a well written story for those who are interested in trying it.    

Good Clean Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery

All Jane wants is to finish Bible school and become a missionary. To pay her way through school, she cleans houses. Unfortunately, while cleaning, she discovers the body of one of her clients. Jane does her best to juggle school, romance, and a murder investigation all while being faithful to her Christian beliefs.

Good Clean Murder by Traci Tyne Hilton is the first book in The Plain Jane Mysteries. Classified as a “Cozy Christian Collection,” this book is free of profanity and sex. Jane’s inner dialogue can be a bit preachy at times, but overall, the book is enjoyable. If you are tired of the sex and profanity found in many modern-day books (which is why I decided to read this) you will find this book a breath of fresh air.

Victim & Villain

Inclusive Leisure Services by John Dattilo stereotypes “people of privilege”, lumping those who meet their definition of “privileged” into one ignorant, insensitive, selfish group of people who seek to oppress and harm others because we are incapable of caring about anyone other than ourselves. People of privilege, according to this book, are “oblivious to life experiences and living conditions of other people” and “fail to recognize their shared humanity.” (Dattilo, 2017, p. 6)

This is counter-productive to the book’s goal of fostering a sense of inclusion and does not take into account that those of us who are “privileged” and “advantaged” use our privilege and advantages to help others whether financially or through community advocacy and volunteer efforts. Just because someone is privileged does not mean they are “interested in continuing [the] existing [oppressive] systems.” (Dattilo, 2017, p. 8)

When “privilege” has such a negative connotation, to apply this definition to broad categories of individuals simply because they are white, wealthy, or otherwise “privileged” is not only offensive, but counter-productive to fostering inclusion. Negative over-generalizations about any population only furthers the divide between people, fostering a “them” vs. “us”; “privileged” vs “oppressed”; “advantaged” vs “disadvantaged”; “victim” vs “villain” mentality. How can we hope to foster inclusion when we are repeatedly being categorized as operating on opposing sides?