NEWS: More 5* reviews for award-winning Catholic fantasy JUDGING ANGELS

JUDGING ANGELS FRONT COVER REV

Unveiling a world of meaning! Readers of sci-fi admire the authors who create worlds within the covers of their books. Mr. Capps has done something more, something that offers his readers a glimpse into the classical Christian vision of reality. He invites us into a story that is startling and different. The reader who perseveres finds a narrative that is action-packed and strange, and which discloses a profoundly meaningful world — ours. Our human life.

We meet the Able family at a point in their life together. There is love, commitment frayed by their history, difficult circumstances and obstacles. A strange turn of events leads to a bizarre adventure they are immersed in without fully understanding. It tests commitment, loyalty, love and faith.

They respond differently, bewildered. The reader often shares the bewilderment. Sometimes they trust each other; sometimes they turn away. Running through the story like a golden thread is the ancient wisdom that the law of God is not merely a set of precepts mandated from on high, arbitrary as a set of traffic laws, but rather something like the laws of medicine, telling us how we are made and what we ought to do about it for our own good — a fundamental truth that our society has forgotten.

And the world they stumble through is OUR world, “charged with the glory of God,” in which there are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamed of by our philosophies. Stumbling through it they make mistakes and commit sins, and look back with regret at things they should have done better, and try to repair things, often in a misguided way. One reads with empathy…how would I have done?

It is a parable about life. It is also a fine, wild story. As a Priest, I find myself hoping that it finds many readers especially among young parents setting out on the journey of family life.

What you see is…what you don’t get! In more weird ways than one, this book will stick with me forever because of the way the author weaves character, possibility and impossibility. And if any reading can touch (or smack) my conscience, I particularly hold it dear. This one does it. I did get lost a couple of times because I didn’t comprehend sci-fi or whatever, but ugh! I took my good time reading this because I didn’t want it to end.

Five Stars!! Loved it. Waiting for the next book.

This is one of those novels I will always remember and that made me the richer for having read it. Thank you, Tim Capps, you touched my soul.

(Source: Amazon)

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NEWS: More 5* reviews for award-winning Catholic fantasy JUDGING ANGELS

REVIEWS: Another 5* for Judging Angels

Nude Angel

This book is quite a ride! In reading “Judging Angels,” one finds not so much a suspense/mystery novel as — well, spiritual suspense, I suppose. If science fiction can include beings on other planets, then spiritual suspense can include beings in other planes. There’s more than a touch of “The Twilight Zone” in the deliberate–but never slow–pulling aside of the veil, but there’s none of the preachiness that sometimes came with the show. It’s never heavy-handed and the characters are far more realistic in their individual struggles with their faith than are usually portrayed. There’s a distinct lack of religious tropes — there’s no fanatic, no absolute-denier-turned-convert, no almost-became-a-priest — none of the somewhat cartoonish types seen in most books with ostensibly Catholic characters. There is one small, non-religious trope — a kid has talents that are unexpected and helps save the day. It’s a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent story with very little in the way of overused dialogue or plot lines.

What there IS a lot of is well-developed characters and action that follows naturally from their flaws and strengths, both emotional and spiritual. The reactions moving the action along feel authentic, with the characters struggling (sometimes not so much) to rise above their psychological and spiritual injuries.

I can’t remember being so caught up by a story in a long time. The book moves fast; as other reviewers have said, it’s a page-turner. I had committed to reading it during my morning and afternoon train commute, but I broke down and read it over the weekend. The main character, George Able, catches the reader’s attention right off and does not let go. And it isn’t just George; in physics, there is a phenomenon known as the Venturi Effect, in which a fluid is compressed into a narrow space (a tube) and must speed up in order to relieve the pressure. Once the liquid speeds up enough, the pressure drops and forms a vacuum. Each character that comes into George’s life speeds things up that much more in a sort of literary Venturi Effect resulting from the increase in suspense regarding each one’s role and even identity. As in the Venturi Effect, the only way to relieve the pressure (i.e., suspense) is to read faster; and then the reader is caught in the vacuum. But what a ride!

(Source: Amazon)

REVIEWS: Another 5* for Judging Angels

5* REVIEWS for the thriller Judging Angels

Nude Angel

Awesome read! Loved it. Fresh writing, the style flows well, can’t wait for the next one. Especially like the spiritual aspect of this story.

An action-packed thriller with plenty of food for thought! With its devilish twists and turns, a suicidal lawyer and his explosive family, redheads and thugs, “Judging Angels” keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. But the action is dictated by George Able – hero or anti-hero? – whose many quandaries lead him to any number of flawed decisions, sowing destruction along the way. Tim Capps’ writing is humorous and profound. Temptation, suicide, adultery, pride, murder and mayhem follow on each other’s heels in a deeply moral, but never moralizing story. Plenty of violence and sin, but no vulgarity or complacency towards them… There’s even an instance of life-giving love where you would least expect it. It’s a book that’s hard to put down, once you accept to put narrow-minded rationality aside. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

(Source: Amazon)

5* REVIEWS for the thriller Judging Angels

5* reviews for Life’s Complicated: Pray Simply

LIFE'S COMPLICATED front cover

Fantastic book of powerful, relatable prayers organized into four ‘Pray Simply’ sections. A must-have book for everyday prayers.

Useful for home groups or pastoral visits. A really accessible and refreshing approach to prayer. Useful for visits as a way to start discussing and praying about some difficult everyday issues.

Five stars! The prayers in this book offer inspirational thoughts and can be used for personal, meetings and worship groups.

(Source: Amazon UK).

5* reviews for Life’s Complicated: Pray Simply

5* REVIEW: From the Heart – A Journey of Love

FROMTHEHEART

Wonderful journey into the potential and power of poetry. I will be the first to admit that I did not get poetry until I read this book. I now understand poetry as a way to transport you to another world, to travel the world without leaving to go anywhere. This book has so many poems that you would think you had enough poetry for a lifetime. Each poem takes you to another world filled with mystery in which what is left out is just as important as what is there. My two favorites are Thank You, which is a poem for soldiers or veterans who are serving or have served their country. This one almost brought tears of thankfulness, both for the poem being written and for the joy of serving my country. My second was Capri for this is the first poem that actually brought to me what poetry is meant to be – a vehicle of imagination and dreams, to transport you to another part of the planet filled with God’s beauty. Cannot wait to go there. Finally, there are many poems that speak of forgiveness and sorrow, and seeking heaven. All the poems are infused with a subtle love of God and neighbor and family, and also what happens when you betray those high ideals of God, family, and your neighbors for selfish reasons. I recommend this book as a wonderful journey into the potential and power of poetry. Hopefully, it will kindle your love of this fine art form that thanks to this book, I am now beginning to appreciate.

(Source: Amazon.com)

5* REVIEW: From the Heart – A Journey of Love

5* review for The Beast, the Prophets and the Victory

the-beast-front-cover

Marie Ann Dean hits a home run with this wonderful book. It immediately draws you into the action. Despite having a very busy job with long hours, I found that this book kept me reading late into the night. I enjoyed reading Ms. Dean’s previous work, but I found this volume more to my liking. Ms. Dean excels at the use of imagery and you genuinely care about the various characters. Most of the characters from this book were found in Ms. Dean’s first book; however, you don’t have to read these books in order to enjoy The Beast. The influence of Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World is clear, but I think this story is unique. The Beast and Anti-Christ are similar to, but not exactly the same as, Monsignor Benson’s. The ending is explosive and amazing.

The story is very plausible and is rooted in a clear understanding of Catholic doctrine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and knowledge of current events. The use of symbolism such as the compass and the emerald from The Jeweler’s Polish is masterfully executed. I especially liked the story about the Chinese (People’s Liberation Army) deserters. If there would be another sequel or spin off, I would like to read more about these PLA characters. (From Dalian to Calgary with Christ…) I think the ending was better than Monsignor Benson’s version of end times. If I had any criticism of this book is that I wish it was longer! This book could also use a better cover. Maybe when it is reprinted it will come with a different cover and illustrations. It is a very fast read and will keep you up at night, thinking and praying. This book would make an awesome graphic novel or Anime-type film. In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and up. There is violence (obviously) with this book, but it is not graphic. I generally wind up sharing my favorite books with my friends…this one will travel far.

(Source: Amazon)

5* review for The Beast, the Prophets and the Victory

4* and 5* reviews for Sonnets From the Spirit

Sonnets from the Spirit FRONT COVER

Thought provoking read from new poet. This short volume of work from a young poet, using a sonnet to illustrate religious and iconic figures could be off putting, but Christopher Villiers has used his own words to convey the historic and deeply human experiences of biblical characters. Each sonnet is also illustrated by pictures of classical art. This assists the reader to focus and personally reflex. This is a wonderful collection and example from this new poet. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

Food for the mind and the heart. It may be helpful to think of these sonnets as prayers that rhyme. The meticulously crafted first person narratives, each one containing a volta that depicts the narrator’s mind coming to a fresh realisation of the nature of divinity, show God’s power at work in the world in a variety of settings. Whether the subject of the sonnet is a saint, a sinner, or simply a flawed person whose relationship with God requires improvement, slowly feeling their way towards enlightenment using the handholds of rhyme and metre, they will eventually realise — perhaps too late — that they are part of a pattern more wide, deep, and beautiful than they can comprehend entirely. The elegant form of the sonnet, a staple of poetry for hundreds of years, is therefore used as a microcosm of the divine reason or Logos in which all this book’s readers live and move and have their being.

The author is gifted with a rare intelligence, tempered with understanding and piety, which he uses to enter the heads of a heterogeneous range of Biblical figures. Although their corporeal forms became dust millennia ago, their spirits continue not only in whichever extra-mundane afterlife they now inhabit, but also in the pages of this slender yet deeply intriguing volume.

A moving way to experience and meditate on the Scriptures. This is an impressive and ambitious collection of poems from a young theologian and poet. Starting with Adam and Eve, and ending with the coronation of Mary in heaven, the collection spans the story of redemption, with each poem offering a glimpse through the eyes of one of the biblical characters in each key event. The poems work well as individual meditations, but it is also fruitful to read them all in one go – you are led through the whole grand story, but in a personal and grounded way with events, emotions, and theological messages crystallised in the perspective of each individual person. The poems encourage the reader to identify with the person speaking and to imagine themselves in the speaker’s place in a way reminiscent of Ignatian spirituality. I personally found the New Testament poems to be particularly evocative: my favourites included Redemption (the moment where Mary Magdalene anoints the feet of Christ) and Samaritan Woman.

(Source: Amazon.co.uk)

4* and 5* reviews for Sonnets From the Spirit

5* review for Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters

This book itself is a true blessing, written by a passionate soul, Larisa Dmitrieva Micallef, Ph.D., who touches upon the most sacred topic with such an eloquence and utter delicacy that couldn’t leave one not feeling spiritually enlightened upon reading. From the very first page, we as readers are met with the divine wisdom of each letter of Church-Slavonic alphabet. The Church-Slavonic language is the soul of the people and the traces of it left imprints on language, culture, and literature altogether, evoking most powerful and sincere feelings. What is treasured about this book is that it reveals the Church-Slavonic language as a means that opens and deepens our connection to the God.

By reading Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters we are going through the holy journey on which we become closer with our Holy Father and it, itself, is a true gift. With so much love in my heart, I would like to thank Larisa Olegovna Dmitrieva Micallef for giving us such a blessing in the form of this divine book.

(Source: Amazon.co.uk)

5* review for Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters