2 New Christian Fiction Novels

If I Run

By Terri Blackstock                 Genre: Christian Fiction – Crime
Reviewed by Meg                            4/5 stars

If I RunTerri Blackstock’s latest series of crime/thriller fiction commences with If I Run, the story of Casey Cox and her quest to prove her innocence. Going against a corrupt police force and being pursued by a former Iraqi vet-turned-investigator, Casey becomes the second person in her family to go on the run from those trying to “bring her to justice” for a crime she didn’t commit. However, Casey’s journey away brings her in contact with a woman of faith and a family still grieving over the disappearance of their daughter; and Casey faces the agonizing decision to escape easily and continue running or stay and help those around her. Blackstock, a former Harlequin romance novelist-turned-Christian Fiction writer (after a “spiritual awakening”) is a seasoned storyteller – and If I Run grabbed me from the start and maintained a great pace to it throughout. However, the well-developed characters I love finding in good books didn’t surface as I’d hoped. And I think that’s because of my biggest bone to pick with this book, which is … 

… it’s only the first in a trilogy that has yet to be published!! The unforgivable sin, in my book. (People, if you’re going to write a series, please don’t publish until you are all done. I just can’t stand it.) I know, this is not the way the publishing industry works. Writers like Blackstock rarely ever just write a NOVEL on its own (don’t even get me started on Brandon Sanderson). I’m assuming that Casey’s character will develop more throughout the trilogy. And yes, there are definitely loose ends left at the end of the story – you’ve been warned. So, since this is my review I’m docking a star for that and for having to wait who knows how long to satisfy my story thirst. 

But in summary, Blackstock has produced an enjoyable, fast-paced thriller that crime-story lovers will enjoy; and those wanting to avoid graphic violence, sex scenes, and offensive language will appreciate a book free from these elements.

Purchase If I Run here.

Land of Silence

By Tessa Afshar                      Genre: Biblical Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Meg                            5/5 stars

Land of SilenceI’m rather wary of most Christian historical fiction  – particularly those that involve young women with wind-tossed hair longing for (and always finding) the flawed but progressively perfect man that is God’s answer to their heart’s cry. It’s not that I’m not romantic, but that plot device is starting to feel mildly overused. Where it really bothers me is when it shows up in Biblical historical fiction. However, WORLD Magazine gave a review on Tessa Afshar’s latest novel, dealing with the Bible’s brief instance on the woman with the issue of blood.

What intrigued me more were Afshar’s credentials: she’s a middle-eastern woman with an MDiv from Yale University. And most people making it through an Ivy League school have learned how to write at least somewhat decently. As expected, this is not your typical Christian fiction. Tessa Afshar writes WELL. I really, really loved this back-story into a very small miracle-instance recorded more than once in the Gospels. She indicates in her postlogue that this miracle is the only instance related where Christ calls someone “Daughter” – and that is the foundation for the plot including all of the conflict and build-up. Afshar reveals great depth of knowledge and insight into the Jewish culture and historical context, etc. A few parts were maybe slightly predictable by the end, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book.

Purchase Land of Silence here.

 

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