Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Entertain yourself

Song Stuck on the Brain: Holy Water by Big and Rich. Anyone see their Cross Country special on CMT with John Anderson? Great performance.

Book Review:

I finished The Watchers by Mark Andrew Olsen last night. It was featured on the CFBA blogtour recently. I was so behind on my reading schedule, that I couldn't give a complete review at the time. I promise that the slowness in my reading had everything to do with my schedule and nothing to do with the quality of the book.

The Watchers is what I'd call speculative fiction with a hefty dose of spiritual warfare. It's kind of a 'what if' kind of book. Abby Sherman is a typical California surfer girl that loves God and likes to blog. When she posts a strange and lifelike dream about the prophetess Anna on her MyCorner webpage, she starts a dangerous and fast paced journey that she would never have expected. Suddenly, a spiritual gift is awakened within her. She can see the spirit world as clearly as the one she lives in. Both demons and angels surround her, battling for the domain that is earth. Abby, her life in danger, begins a mission set before her by Jesus himself. To seek out the answer to the strange gift and heal the breach between herself and the sisters she's discovering that carry the gift also. Known as the Watchers, they are a line of defense in the spiritual battle that surrounds us everyday. But Abby also has to stay alive, and the Brotherhood of the Scythe, long sworn enemies of the watchers, have sworn to kill her and all her sisters too.

Like Frank Peretti, Mark uses the spirit world of Demons and Angels to round out his cast. They may not be main characters, but they're real, not just vague impressions and that lends credit to Abby's visions, keeping her from just sounding like a loony. His story is action packed, emotional, and well researched. Although the Watchers and the Brotherhood are fictional, the globe trotting locales and detailed information behind the military maneuvering is quite real. The spiritual side of the story is relevant and exciting, but not overtly preachy or heavy handed. The action part is evenly balanced with the growing relationships between the characters. Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy and Salvation is evident in the action of the relationships.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was so very different than the Hadassah books he wrote with Tommy Tenney, but not a disappointment. It was a great read, very entertaining and yet thought provoking at the same time. And that is a very good thing for a book to be.

Movie Reviews:

Have you seen either the Illusionist or the Prestige yet? If not - go rent them now. I was really surprised when they both released to see what appeared to be two very similar movies released at the same time. However, other than the similar historical era and the fact magicians are involved, the movies are very different. And both are fantastic.

The Illusionist is a romance. The photography is ethereal at times and there are moments you feel that you've slipped into a sepia tinted world when in reality the images are perfectly clear and in full color. It's just this feeling that somehow the cameras have managed to go back a hundred years plus, just to capture this story.

Ed Norton and Jessica Biel are fantastic and Rufus Sewell is the perfect villain. You're drawn into the story and their lives so completely that the twist at the end proves a complete surprise. The ultimate illusion is ending you didn't see coming.

The Prestige is a drama with a good dose of mystery woven flawlessly throughout the plot. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are perfect as rival magicians vying to be the best in their field. What started as friendship quickly turns sour as their lifelong feud brings sorrow to both their lives. When the ultimate trick is created by Bale's character, Jackman's discovers just how far he's willing to go to out perform his nemesis. The twists in the plot are tightly wound and on par with some of the best in plot twists in cinematic history. Despite it's lack of a horror movie theme, I'd even go as far as to say the plot could stand sided by side with the Sixth Sense.

The movies are so very different in plot and story, but not so different in greatness. I highly recommend both films.

Now, go entertain yourself!
A.

*Don't forget to enter to win an autographed copy of Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson. Click the book cover at the top of the side bar to email your entry.

*This contest is only open to US or Canadian residents. Thanks!

1 comment:

the BookWyrm said...

Oooh, I loved The Illusionist! It had such a neat feel to it. Ethereal is a perfect description.

I followed the CSFF Blog Tour over here, so I guess I'll have to go exploring a bit more. Cheers!

~Nicole