I was given a copy of Legacy by the author, through Story Cartel, in exchange for an honest review. This was a great fantasy. I am very sad that I have to now wait for the other books to be written! This story sucks you in right away. Two worlds, one future America, the other a mediaeval bio dome, where the second generation occupants have never witnessed modern technology. The main characters are well rounded, the sarcastic cyperpunk, the old school big brother and his sister that live in the bio dome, and several secondary characters that come into play. There is mystery, romance, quite a bit of humor. I loved it! Mild swearing, no sexual content. Good for ages 14 and up. Did I mention I loved the cover too!
Last book! “The Earth Dwellers” finishes off two series by David Estes: “The Dwellers” and “The Country” sagas. It all comes to and end in this one book with all of your favorite characters, at least the ones who lived through the adventures. I love these books. They are well written, quirky and funny, yet serious and thought provoking at the same time. Dystopian at it’s best. Great for ages 13 and up as there is no swearing (other than some made up words) and no sex. Strong loyalty and morals, lots of action, including violence and fighting. There is some romance, not cheesy or sappy at all. I am sad to see the story end and was thrilled with the free short stories at the end. Great Job! 5 solid stars!(
Psalm 33:11 (NIV), “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
Isaiah 14:24, 27 (ERV), “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
Do you ever feel like you just can’t get with the program? You make plans, set goal, only to have them thwarted again and again. You end up feeling like a failure with a big “L” stamped on your forehead (for loser). Well, you’re not alone! And there is probably a good reason why.
You see our plans are not the same as God’s plans. His are better. Way better. If we could just get a glimpse of a portion of them, they are as many as the sand on the earth, we would be blown away. So He reveals bits and pieces to us and then expects us to obey and walk in faith. Our plans may seem good, but if it doesn’t line up with God’s plans, it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). Have you ever heard the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions?” Or what about this saying originally from Scotland, made famous by the poet Robert Burns, “and the best laid plans of mice and man often go awry.” Both of these sayings are very biblical.
Proverbs 19:21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail.”
It’s pretty simple really. God gets to do whatever He wants. I for one am glad. I would mess it up, and so would you. We don’t see the end from the beginning. God sees the whole timeline. He dwells outside of time. He sees everything, the whole of existence at once. So, I think we can agree, He probably knows what’s best for us. In my opinion, if we could see our lives as a movie, after we pass away, it would be filled with missed opportunities, missed blessings, wrong roads, and wrong choices. (Hopefully, we won’t have to watch that, after all He promises no more sadness and no more tears).
Isaiah 46:8-10 (NIV), “Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
How do we know if a man’s plans line up with God’s? If I can quote another old saying, “the proof is in the pudding.” Puddings were baked, and full of eggs, if the oven was jiggled, or the pan not handled carefully, the pudding would collapse into a pile of mush. The Apostle Paul says it this way, when faced with some complaints about the actions of some people who’s motives were in question, “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39 (NIV).
We should take confidence in the fact that God’s plans are unstoppable. Sure, we can choose not to go His way. But, His ultimate plan for His creations will come to pass. His plan for salvation and redemption will take place. His timeline will come to His expected end. Hebrews calls this confidence our “anchor.”
Hebrews 6:17-20 (God’s Word Translation), “God wouldn’t change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath. God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given. We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the [holy] place behind the curtain where Jesus went before us on our behalf. He has become the chief priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest.”
The beginning of verse 19 in the Amplified Bible says it this way, “[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope]”
That, my friends, should be reassuring. It should also prompt and motivate you to know His plans for you. The Bible and sound teaching will tell us God’s general will for our lives. The Holy Spirit will give us specific instruction. Make sure you make sure that it is the Holy Spirit. God tells us to try the spirits. If what you are hearing doesn’t line up with God’s word it isn’t His Spirit. For example: if you think you hear the Spirit of God telling you not to give to your local church, we know that isn’t God’s plan, for He tells us in several places to bring in our tithes and offerings. It is a command of God. If you aren’t sure, seek godly counsel. Not someone younger, or more immature in the things of the Lord, seek counsel from those who live a committed life, who are in relationship with the Father. With two or three witnesses things are established. The Holy Spirit is one.
So, what will it be?
Your stoppable, changeable, messed up, misinformed plans?
I was given a copy of “The Island Collection Complete” through Story Cartel (http://storycartel.com/about), in exchange for an honest review. I “liked” the story. The writing style was easy to read. The theme runs through all three dystopian books, basically a “book” from each society was misconstrued and taken as Holy writ. I found it humorous that one of the books was a journal of a 10 year old boy who used a Star Wars notebook, and wrote about the “force.” Parts of the book reminded me of “Lord of the Flies,” and parts reminded me a bit of David Estes’ “Dwellers” series. Each book can be read as a stand alone. In fact there are some repeated scenes in books one and two, to keep you informed. If you are reading them back to back, it is a tad repetitive. A good read. I would read more by this author. I don’t recommend for ages younger than 16. There is implied sex between teens and some swearing. Though there isn’t a lot of “real” swearing, most of it is made-up swear words, there is some strong language. I give it 3 stars.
I was given a copy of “Red River” by the author, Kelly Van Hull, in exchange for an honest review. I have to first say that I love YA dystopian. They don’t seem to be quite as dark as adult dystopian, and these books by Kelly do not disappoint. I enjoyed both “Tent City” and this second book as well. I can recommend them for ages Jr. High and up. Good fiction writing, the main characters are teens and Kelly represents them well. The characters are well rounded. The setting is in the Bad Lands. A religious fanatic is in charge of the US and things are going downhill fast. A group of people are trying to stay alive in remote country. There are enough twists in the plot to keep you on your toes. I read this almost straight through. No swearing, the only sexual content is implied, there is fighting. I give it five stars. I loved the series. Red River finishes up (I think), the story line. I am looking forward to what else will be coming from this author
I thought this was the final book! I really liked the first book, Shadow Soldier, I was given a copy by the author. In fact I purchased “Shadow Fall” to get the rest of the story. This one was even better. Military, dystopian, romance, and some real faith in God. This is a Christian fiction written without being “preachy” and the only mention God or faith is just part of the characters who believe. I am now going to have to try and be patient for book number three. It feels like a long read, not sure how many pages it was, but it was worth it. I can recommend to ages 16 and up. There is no swearing, the only sexual content is implied and threatened (rape), there is violence and fighting, so I think not great for younger readers. Good story, good writing and I give Shadow Fall five stars.
I loved this book! Military, dystopian, and some romance. A book for guys or gals. Written without swearing and sexual content (some implied), and some un-cheesy Christian content that does not distract from the story. Post Great War, the controlling government is set up in what used to be the US. One nameless soldier is the key. There is fighting and violence. I can recommend for ages 14 and up. A great read, and a favorite new author. This is the first in a series and I am looking forward to book two! Kept me on my seat! I give it a solid 5 stars.