Rise of the Light Bringer

Authors: Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker

Series: And They Found Dragons #3

Publisher: Scripturo

Release Date: November 9, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The final book in the Dragons series goes back to “Old School, Dekker” for me. Still a great read but nothing spectacular.

Jack is fighting to make Earth safe for the rest of his family and crew to come home but finds problems at every turn. The Red dragons are trying to convince him they are the only way to survive while the Silvers try to show him love is the way. All he has been taught growing up will be put to the test in order to save humanity.

Anyone who has ever read anything by Ted Dekker, especially his early works will recognize a lot of the writing in this final story in this series as “classic Dekker.” I call it that because it is nothing new, it is a different character and setting but a lot of the very same imagery as found in his other books. There is a lot of great Christian content in showing that love wins out in the end over fear and if we will look to “Yeshua,” for love and not let the fear of all that is going on in the world take us over we will flourish. At this point in the story I got a little tired of Jack and his wishy-washy attitude. He needed to make up his mind on what he believed and let the story flow in that way, which would have made me as a reader a lot happier with how it played out.

I got this series for my son, and I look forward to the discussions we can have after he reads these. It is appropriate for readers age 9 and up but I believe adults will also enjoy this series as well.

Journey to the Silver Towers

Authors: Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker

Series: And They Found Dragons #2

Publisher: Scripturo

Release Date: November 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The second book in the And They Found Dragons series picks up where the first left off and continues the adventure readers will enjoy.

After landing on Earth as some of the sole survivors after a nuclear war, Jack now searches for a way to take down the dragons after most of his team died upon arriving. The more Jack explores, the more he discovers things are not as they seem with the dragons and the other humans he finds after arriving on Earth. Those on Earth have been bowing down to the Red dragons and following all they command, especially the take down of the Silver dragons. Jack quickly learns that the Silver dragons are not bad but are the key to helping make Earth safe for everyone to live once again. Now he must convince the others who are blind to the love the Silvers give before it is too late.

This is the second book in the And They Found Dragons series and readers will enjoy the continuation of the adventure. This book looked more like classic ‘Dekker” writing for me. The first started out a little different but this one looked more like the writings of Ted Dekker that I have read for many, many years. Even though this is written by both he and his daughter, I really only see his writing style here. Jack is a great main character and readers will enjoy going on the adventure with him. This is probably my favorite book in the series. The content is just right for young readers, but older readers will get a lot out of this as well with the imagery throughout. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and one I look forward to my son reading and being able to discuss with him.

The Boy Who Fell From the Stars

Authors: Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker

Series: And They Found Dragons #1

Publisher: Scripturo

Release Date: November 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The start of the new Dekker series is full of mystery, drama and dragons! What more could readers ask for?

In the near, distant future most of humanity has nearly been wiped out by nuclear war and only a little over 100 souls are able to survive by escaping on a shuttle named Arc. While they have been away from Earth, the nuclear devastation brings forth more unexpected problems, Dragons. Any teams that have been sent aren’t able to live because of reactions to the dragons, until they find out kids are not as susceptible to the toxins from the dragons. One child, Jack, is immune to the toxins and he is not fit to go on the mission with the other kids chosen to travel to earth and slay the dragons. When one of the other kids falls ill, Jack is the only choice to help complete the mission to make it safe for all of humanity to return to Earth.

The first book in the new series by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker will set readers off on an adventure that is out of this world. With characters that young readers will be able to relate to and a story that has adventure, fantasy and much more, readers young and old will enjoy. I have been a Dekker fan for a long time and bought this for my son for Christmas. I wanted to read them before him so we could discuss the stories afterwards and am glad I did, I enjoyed the story and can’t wait to see what happens next. Jack is a great lead character, but I have to say Sammy is my favorite so far. The first book ends with just enough of a tease to keep me aching to start the next immediately. This looks to be a great new series for young readers to enjoy.

Hart of Noel

Author: Chautona Havig

Series: A Heartstrings Novella

Publisher: Independent

Release Date: October 4, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Just like the previous in the series, this is a fun, fast read that was full of all the feels for me. Loved the setting, characters, and story so much! I foresee myself reading this one over and over again!

Josh Hart wants nothing more than to see his little bookstore succeed. If you looked out the front window of his store, you would think sales would be great with a full parking lot. Unfortunately, the cars are there to get into the bakery across the street and enjoy all the goodness baked by Honey Potts. Josh and Honey clash over the parking spots when Josh asks if she will park her own large SUV somewhere else so that people can actually see his store. Milton Coleridge comes to town with his parrotlet, Atticus and quickly sees that Josh is in desperate need of his help if he is going to keep his bookstore afloat.

Hart of Noel was everything I was hoping it was going to be: fun, entertaining, and just right to sit down and lose myself in fiction for a few hours.  Chautona Havig has a way with crafting characters that are easy to all in love with and want to see them succeed. Her stories are quick and well written with characters that readers can relate to and feel themselves in the story. This story was perfect, especially for the holiday season and I am thankful to have had this to read and take myself out of the world and lose myself in fiction for a few hours. Josh was flustered from the start and with good reason, the start of his relationship with Holly was rough but it led to a way for them to work through it and find a good relationship that could lead to something. I recommend this book to those looking for a fun holiday read and with great characters and an even better storyline.

Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime

Author: Julie Lavender

Publisher: Z Kids

Release Date: January 11, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The perfect Bible story book for young kids that I love to see my young son reading on his own.

After a long day, kids need a way to wind down and a book with inspiring children’s Bible stories is just the right book to help with that. This is a wonderful collection of the first stories kids will learn about from the bible. Parents can sit down with their kids and pick a key biblical figure and go over their adventures together with illustrations that will capture kids’ attention and be a great conversation starter.

What I loved most about this was how easy it was to read with my son and know he was understanding and enjoying what we were talking about. It can be hard to get kids excited about reading the bible, but when they see the beautiful pictures and start reading the story that is written in a way they can understand it, this is a good way to get them engaged. Each story is broken down and short enough that the reader won’t lose interest. I love the end of each section that offers steps for settling down for the day, something that can be hard for kids and using these tips can really help. I recommend this book to everyone with small kids wanting a great addition to their nighttime routine that will not only help them settle for the day and feel good about the material their kids are seeing before closing their eyes for the night.

The Final Judgement

Authors: Ted Dekker & Kara Dekker

Series: Dream Traveler’s Quest #4

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The final book in the series wraps things up nicely and gives readers a great finish to a fun series!

Theo and the gang must work harder than ever to defeat the evil around them in this world and “Other Earth,” before time run outs. All that they have worked for comes down to this and the lessons they learned about life, love and what it all means.

Fans of Ted Dekker will love this series and how it all concludes. Theo and his friends are great characters for young readers to follow and root for as they battle the forces of good and evil and learn about life and so many other great lessons. I gave this series to my son for Christmas a few years ago and just now got around to reading them all myself. I have been a Dekker fan for many years and love how things connect back to his other books. I can’t wait for my son to read the rest of his collection and tie it all together. I recommend this series for young readers that are looking for great books that will keep them excited about reading and learning.

The Garden and the Serpent

Authors: Ted Dekker & Kara Dekker

Series: Dream Traveler’s Quest #3

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The third installment in The Dream Traveler’s Quest is a must read as the stakes are higher than ever and evil is determined to win!

Theo has achieved the first to Seals of Truth and now must figure out what his next quest will be and how he is going to accomplish it with the help of his school friend that is blind. Once they get to “Other Earth,” Denny has his eyesight restored and can use his other senses that are heightened from years of being blind and together they work to find the third Seal of Truth.

This third book got a little darker but not so much that it was inappropriate for younger readers. Theo is learning lots of valuable lessons about life but also about love and how much God loves us even when we can’t see it. The way Theo and Denny worked together was a great lesson for kids. These books are a great start to the Dekker universe as they get older and can read more advanced books. I recommend these to young readers looking for adventure and fun reads.

The Curse of the Shadowman

Authors: Ted Dekker & Kara Dekker

Series: Dream Traveler’s Quest #2

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The second book in Dekker’s children’s book picks up right where the first one left off and is full of fun and adventure for all ages.

Theo Dunnery is back in his world after finding the first Seal of Truth. In order to return to “Other Earth,” as he calls it, he is going to have to bring someone with him to find the next Seal of Truth.

Full of the same adventure, action, and perfect storyline for young readers to grab their attention and help them fall in love with reading. I loved the progression of these books and how Theo had to rely on others to help him in both worlds showing him that no matter how alone he felt he was never truly alone. This will be a fun book for young readers to get started in the world of Ted Dekker’s writing, so many fun moments that kids and adults can enjoy.

Into the Book of Light

Authors: Ted Dekker & Kara Dekker

Series: Dream Traveler’s Quest #1

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The first book in The Dream Traveler’s Quest sets up the world any fan of Dekker’s work will know and love. A great series for young readers.

Young Theo Dunnery tries to follow his dad’s advice about staying invisible to avoid the bullies as much as he can. As he is trying to avoid Asher, the one boy out to get him, he hides in the library and stumbles upon a book that takes him to another world. In this new world, he must complete a quest to find the Five Seals of Truth to conquer his fears. He is helped along the way to discover he is the true son of Elyon.

The first book in this new series for kids will be very familiar for anyone who has read The Circle Series by Ted Dekker. I have come to the conclusion that if there is a way for him to write a book and tie it back to the Circle Series in some form, he is going to do it. This was a fun story with lots of action and adventure to keep the attention of young readers. I liked the length of the books, just right for young readers to read and not be overwhelmed by a large book with a lot of content they aren’t ready for yet. Tackling the issues of bullying in school can be a difficult subject and using Theo’s bullying coupled with the other world he escapes into as a way to overcome the obstacles is a good story for kids but one to keep in mind that it is fiction. This isn’t going to work for dealing with bullies in real life. Some of the lessons in the book were not handled the way I, as a parent, would handle them but they did move well with the story and kids will enjoy the action and adventure. I recommend this to young readers that are starting out looking for some adventure but not a story that is too difficult for them.

I’ll Start Again Monday

Author: Lysa Terkeurst

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: January 4, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So much more than a book on eating healthy, readers will find great advice for not only healthy eating, but also a better overall way to live.

Eating healthy is never something that sounds fun but can sometimes leave you feeling worse for wear. Lysa TerKeurst delivers a wonderful new look at how eating healthy isn’t just about the food we put in our bodies. If we continue the cycle of losing weight and gaining it back, eventually we will see it’s not just about the food, the issue goes much deeper. I can think of many times I have craved foods that were not good for me, especially when I was trying to avoid them. Once I had them, I found out the craving didn’t always go away and I never fully felt satisfied.

I’ll admit, I’m not the target audience for this but was able to gain a lot of insightful information and came away after reading it feeling lighter and more satisfied than I had in a long time. It’s not just about the food, that is the main point driven home in this book; if we will look at the deeper meaning of our cravings and look to a higher power to help provide the sustenance we need, our lives will be fuller than we could have hoped for.

I recommend this book for everyone looking for something to fill the spaces they keep trying to use food for and see that God created us to crave Him instead of all the processed things that will never leave us satisfied.