Monday, May 23, 2016

I love this review of Pacifists' War

Pacifists’ War (Shatterworld Trilogy, Book 3) by Lelia Rose Foreman
A while back I reviewed Shatterworld (Shatterworld Trilogy, Book 1). It was a wonderful “Pilgrim” space story with excellent world-building, amazing aliens, and a smart heroine named Rejoice.
Pacifists’ War picks up years later. Rejoice is married, has children, still looks to the stars, and still loves the hexacrabs. But life is about to change when a new group of colonist arrive with opposing views on all of life. Let the conflict begin!
The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the realism mixed so firmly and beautifully in with the science fiction. Hexacrabs are just the beginning of all the strange and dangerous life surrounding the colonists. But it’s the real life marriage problems, health issues, damaged relationships, broken trust, sin, and very real humanity that sucks you into this story and keeps you reading, reading to find out if all that is broken can be redeemed. There were many times when I felt emotionally drained by the book because the relationship issues were so realistically portrayed. And, trying not to spoil, the ending was the refreshing hope you longed for through the whole book, even if great darkness had to be traversed to reach it. Foreman doesn’t use epic battles or huge mountains to create valleys of shadow, she uses interpersonal conflict on a faraway planet. Well done.
The other thing I loved about this series was the way it’s written. Rejoice was a child in Book 1, and Book 1 was written in that voice for that audience. As Rejoice grows, so does the depth and maturity of the story culminating in a very adult book in Pacifists’ War. This gives the reader a real sense of time and development of the characters. Parents may tell young children who loved Shatterworld that they have to wait to finish the trilogy, but if you’re a more mature reader, it can provide a safe setting to discuss many different topics ranging from marriage issues, parenting, rationalism, faith, Scripture’s authority, pacifism, death, homosexuality, and so much more. All of this is touched on in Pacifists’ War, providing excellent opportunities for some lively discussions if you feel your older kids are up for it. This also makes this the kind of story that can be read again as the reader grows themselves. You will see it with fresh eyes as you experience more of life.
This is a great book and a great trilogy!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fussing about

So I'm proofing the paperback copies of the Shatterworld trilogy and finding things to correct that are really minor, finding sentences I would like to reword but firmly telling myself good enough is good enough. No matter how many times I read it I will find things to change. It's time to stop fidgeting with the text and Move On to the next thing.
And then I find a big mistake. So I'm thinking, change the word doc, change to PDF and replace old PDF, reupload to Createspace, oh, and contact the guy that made the mobis for me for Amazon ebook and find out what he will charge to repair those, and then 'fix' the ebook copies.
I had planned to leave the ebook copies alone because people don't seem to mind the occasional typo, but, nope, I gotta fix them, too. And then I'll move on to the next thing.
Yes, eventually I need to say "Who cares?" when a minor typo is found, as all books have them and I will be no sainted exception. But I'm not there yet.
Lesson to me: Proof the print version BEFORE I upload the e version. I catch mistakes on paper I simply cannot see on the screen.
So, time to fuss with stuff.
And then I'm MOVING ON.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gratifying review

This trilogy has Shatterworld, Circumnavigation of Shatterworldand Pacifists’ War

Don’t let the enigmatic nature of the covers or the 12 year old heroine in the first book deter you. These are seriously good novels. The basic plot is an old one: a group of persecuted Christians escapes Earth and flees to a remote barren, seemingly uninhabited planet.
In the first book of the series, Rejoice is a 12 year old genius who saves the planet. In the second, she’s a teenager sharing in a missionary journey around the planet. In the third, she’s married and back to saving the planet again [well, sorta].
Rating the book as a whole

This is serious, powerful Christian fiction

I don’t want to spoil this for you at all, so I’ll be purposely vague.

The world-building

It is wonderful! This is one of the best planet and colony culture descriptions I’ve read in a while. It’s not geologically or scientifically in depth, yet it’s quite believable for a former scientist, like myself. While it doesn’t match the more comfortable, traditional scifi worlds found in Ben Patterson’s galaxy, it is shared in satisfying depth. It is understandable, the suspension of dis-belief was easy, and the aliens are spectacularly enjoyable. The colony culture is irritating, realistic, and compelling. The alien culture is one of the most detailed alien ways of thinking and interacting I’ve seen in a while. It is immensely fun.
In books 2 and 3, the additional alien cultures and the animal life are amazing. Through it all, the spiritual growth of the characters [as Rejoice grows up] and spiritual issues of the colonists and the aliens are realistic and compelling.
In the third book, the invaders provide a strong jolt of reality orientation to the entire world. I don’t want to say it is fun. But, it is realistic, believable, and often emotionally disturbing. The trials and joys of the colony mission are presented in an authentic manner, as far as I know. They deeply touched me, in any regard.

Spiritually, this is clear redemptive fiction

Redemptive Shatterworld Award Redemptive-CircumShatter Redemptive-PacifistsWar
Yes, I gave all three of them individually, and as a series, Reality Calling’s Redemptive Fiction awards. The evangelical roots are showing. In my mind, these are novels for believing readers. I’m not sure non-believers will have the stomach for the blatantly Christian stance of the books. However, I am certainly praying that they do.
These are the stories of missionaries to a very foreign culture. They are realistically drawn, spiritually mature, and very complex. Many times during the reading of the books, I was made quite uncomfortable by the very realistic emotional reactions to the events of the books. But then, I’m not an emotional guy. I definitely assert that these spiritual growth struggles have the ring of Truth.
These are very good books!
Lelia, who I do not know, gave me both beta reader versions and final review copies in exchange for a hoped-for review. I am really glad I had the opportunity.