The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke

The Golden Vial book cover

Near death from a mysterious illness, Hyam is vulnerable and weak. Queen Shona is determined to offer aid and travels to Hyam in an attempt to save him. Shona encounters Dally, a gifted orphaned servant girl with secretive abilities. When evil descends and darkness grows stronger, Dally braves her fears and steps forward to assist, hoping she can save the world before it is too late.

I enjoyed the first two novels and was looking forward to this third installment. Readers definitely need to read this series in order. I thought this book was a good continuation but felt more rushed than the other books in the series, sacrificing the development of the characters in the process and causing me to feel like I missed out on some important details, especially regarding Dally. However, this does not detract from the creativity once again of the plot and the interesting twists and turns of the story. I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to lovers of fantasy fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

The Heart_s Appeal book cover

Julia Bernay is determined to become a doctor and will stop at nothing to forge ahead in this profession only recently opened to women. When she suddenly saves the life of a man of a train, she feels confirmation of her life’s calling. But soon she realizes that the man she saved is none other than Michael Stephenson, the lawyer charged with closing down the medical school Julia wishes to attend. As Julia and Michael spend more time together, they begin to find themselves entangled in a debate that may set the course of history.

I was excited to read this novel, as the history and time period was intriguing to me. The book contains interesting perspectives during a critical movement in history for women. Sometimes I felt like the feminist tone of the book overshadowed the story. I also have to admit that I did not like the main character, Julia. She was always in the right place at the right time with the right answers that seemed unrealistic and definitely out of the normal realm of knowledge for someone who had not yet attended medical school. I actually liked the backstory of Edith more than I liked the main story and wished that she had more of a central place in the story. Nonetheless, there were other enjoyable parts, and I also liked the mention of George Muller, one of my favorite historical missionaries. The writing was well done and I think for the right audience, it would be a good fit.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

If I Live book cover.jpg

Casey Cox is still on the run, changing names and hairstyles every few days to stay off the radar and escape the law. She is grateful for the limited connection with private investigator Dylan Roberts, who believes that she is innocent and is determined to discover the conspiracy behind the murder of Casey’s friend Brent. Only the other cops on the case are dirty and now it appears that the District Attorney may also be involved. As Dylan and Casey race against the clock to gather evidence, the enemy starts to close in fast, creating a deadly game that may cost them everything.

I have been eagerly anticipating this novel since I read the second book last year and after receiving it, I read the entire story in one sitting. This series is phenomenal! I was hooked yet again from page one and could not put the book down. The twists and turns were surprising and created an explosive finish to an exciting series. I definitely recommend that you read the series in order although that should be no difficulty as the first two books are equally thrilling. I am also impressed with the author’s ability to seamlessly weave in a Christian message and theme throughout the chaos of the action. I most highly recommend this book and this whole series!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Zondervan Publishing in exchange for an honest review.