I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book Crash, Book Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.
Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:
- One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
- Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
- Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
- Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
- Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy
Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!
Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom
“Not my iPod!” yells Jeremy Lapoint as his day plunges to record lows when Sid Lundahl and his crew stomp on the only nice thing he owns, and Jeremy gets in trouble for fighting. With Dad in prison and Mom struggling to scrape by, Jeremy’s life seems hopeless.
Until he has this urge to . . . fly.
One leap and Jeremy soars through the air: with this and his other newfound powers, life is suddenly amazing and wonderful—until—a real-live demon chases him through the school hallways, terrifying him, and making him a freak to his schoolmates. Because Jeremy is the only one who can see the monster, he wonders if being able to fly is worth it.
As Jeremy tries to fight off demons, he is relieved to get help from Asiel, his guardian angel, who wields his sword and fiercely comes to his defense. Asiel explains that Jeremy is a Nephilim—half human and half angel. After his initial shock, Jeremy’s quest to uncover how he got like this sends him to the Higher Humanity Institute where he meets other Nephilim like him along with a slew of friends and enemies —both human and not.
In the midst of his strange and dangerous struggles, Jeremy also receives the peace and love he has always longed for but never knew. When called to lead an angelic battle for the truth, Jeremy must decide whether or not he will cling to the one who can win the war or let his old doubts and fears overtake him.
Fun, danger, friendship, mystery, and faith fill the pages of this exciting book about angels and demons. This is a must-read for kids (and grown-ups) craving adventure with a life-changing message.
“To the Lord of Hosts!”
This book struck me as very similar to Frank Perretti’s Piercing the Darkness only with middle graders instead of adults. Since that is one of my all time favorite books, I was excited to see the appearance of angels and demons in the story.
When Jeremy finally decides to take up the call to arms, his heroism is unquestionable. I also enjoyed the turnabouts of several of the characters, some we think are bad choosing good and vice versa.
There was excellent use of scripture throughout the book without dipping into preachiness, something that is very difficult to do. I particularly enjoyed Jeremy’s thoughts at the very end on what the birth of Christ must have been like.
The fact that Prouse got away with File Number Twelve makes it quite clear the story will continue. I’ve read some books that try to twist the end so that the bad guy gets away, but it’s done in such a way that it turns out laughable. That’s not the case here. We are left hungry for the next story to see if Jeremy and his group of Nephilim will be able to find the woman and retrieve the file.
The story beginning was a bit more abrupt than I prefer. I think I would have enjoyed it better if Jeremy had discovered his new abilities slowly, rather than making the jump from super strength to flying in a single day. In many ways, his first discoveries reminded me of Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spiderman movie, only without as much build up of “normal world” first.
The descriptions of the demons were a bit comical, as opposed to scary like in Perretti’s book, which disappointed me a little.
Also, while I enjoyed Jeremy’s views on the birth of Christ, it felt a tacked on rather than an integral part of the story.
The sudden reappearance of Asiel after he was supposedly killed felt like a cheat, as if the author was afraid to deal with the issue of death. We are told that angels and demons can kill each other, but then Asiel is resurrected. While that does fit into Christian resurrection theology, I don’t feel it was set up very well in the story. Up until the moment Asiel reappears, there’s no mention of possible resurrection.
I believe Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom is a great adventure for middle grade readers and a nice light read for adults.
- Free for Review
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