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House of Wolves by Lisa House of Wolves by Lisa
I have been waiting a year, an agonizingly long year, for the follow-up to last summer’s debut novel from Matt Bronleewe, Illuminated. With it’s fast-paced, thrill-a-minute, mystery-infused, action-packed...
Merciless by SQuire Merciless by SQuire
"Relentless" was a thrilling beginning, "Fearless" was an amazing middle, and now "Merciless" ends the Dominion Trilogy with a powerful bang! From the moment a dark and sinister being called Oblivion,...
Albertine by Brooke Albertine by Brooke
"Albertine", by Brooke Fraser, is an incredibly well crafted album, sung by an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. At times her sound resembles Nichole Nordeman, sometimes Sarah McLachlin, and still...

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Step aside Indiana Jones, there’s a new adventurer in town. | Posted August-16-2008
I have been waiting a year, an agonizingly long year, for the follow-up to last summer’s debut novel from Matt Bronleewe, Illuminated. With it’s fast-paced, thrill-a-minute, mystery-infused, action-packed plot and a cast of characters who literally seemed to jump off the pages, I was enthralled immediately - thus the long and agonizing wait for Bronleewe to bring us the next installment in this series.

Well, House of Wolves is here, and if there was ever a concern that this second novel might not be able to live up to the first, page 1 resoundingly silenced that worry. From the first paragraph of the prologue set in AD 1181 Germany, the recount of Henry the Lion’s meeting with the Black Vehm, the secret society that will play a pivotal role in this tale, I was captivated and hooked.

August Adams, the principal character of the series, an unlikely adventurer and unwitting hero, becomes entangled in the schemes of the Black Vehm as they seek to find an ancient prize - one so powerful that Hitler himself searched for it half a century ago with the knowledge that possessing it would shift the world’s balance of power in his favor.

Bronleewe shows marked growth as a novelist, proven by his ability to create a truly complex yet enthralling plot while also continuing to develop further the characters that we grew to know and love in Illuminated. There are also new additions to the cast of characters who, through surprising twists and unexpected turns, add to the mystery of just who exactly is on who’s side in this wild ride of intrigue.

Bronleewe has truly outdone himself here, setting himself up as a master of the literary adventure/mystery thriller. August Adams is the new Indiana Jones... and I cannot wait to delve into whatever treasure-hunting, clandestine-revealing, secrecy-unraveling, clock-beating predicament he finds himself in next summer in, The Deadly Hours. The countdown has begun....

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Robin Parrish takes us on one final wild journey! | Posted July-06-2008
"Relentless" was a thrilling beginning, "Fearless" was an amazing middle, and now "Merciless" ends the Dominion Trilogy with a powerful bang!
From the moment a dark and sinister being called Oblivion, formerly known as Grant Borrows, climbs out of the darkness, this book delivers page after page of non-stop action that packs a wallop at every turn.
The world is turned upside down by the ruthless power of Oblivion, and all mankind hurtles toward one terrible end, unless Grant’s friends and Loci cohorts can stop something that seems to have been destined for eons. But are they powerless, even with all their super-human capabilities, to do so against Oblivion‘s merciless wrath?
On the journey to the end each chapter delivers more twists and turns, slowly unraveling the many mysteries of how and why and when this battle all began. Many of the answers are shocking, as is the way the final battle plays out. One moment there is hope that the character’s we’ve come to root for will prevail, and the next we’re sucker-punched and the rug is pulled out from under us and we’re left wondering yet again how it will end.
Robin Parrish has crafted a nail-biting finale, a masterfully written conclusion to this ground-breaking series, that does not disappoi... except in the fact that it means the end to the Dominion Trilogy. But as they say, "all good things must come to an end".
So, one more time, fellow readers, hold tight on this last wild journey to a shocking and exhilarating final destination!

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Truly Talented. | Posted June-03-2008
"Albertine", by Brooke Fraser, is an incredibly well crafted album, sung by an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. At times her sound resembles Nichole Nordeman, sometimes Sarah McLachlin, and still at other times a bit like Sara Groves - which is nothing to balk at. All three of those ladies have an immense talent for writing thought-provoking songs and then delivering them in a way that always leaves me hitting the repeat button - and now, so too does Brooke. Her sound is a wonderful combo of alternative/folk/adult contemporary, and is artistic yet fully accessible at the same time.
I thought I had only just recently heard of her, but then realized I was already a fan from her songs, "Lead Me to the Cross" and "None But Jesus", which were penned for the Hillsong team. Surprise, surprise - just goes to show I should read the liner notes more often. :-)
The standout tracks for me on this album are, "Shadowfeet", "Deciphering Me", "Albertine", "C.S. Lewis Song" and "Hymn".
I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves artists who seamlessly blend art and faith, and do so with heart!
P.S. - Check out her very cool video to "Shadowfeet" at; http://www.myspace.com/brookefraser

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More to Jon Than Meets the Switchfoot Eye | Posted May-31-2008
WOW! Okay, so I knew Jon Foreman was talented as the lead singer of Switchfoot... I knew he had a great voice... I knew he could rock it out... I knew he was a skilled songwriter... but I did not know he could create such great solo material as to make me (almost) forget about Switchfoot! Who knew he could mellow out like this and give us two season's worth of contemplative folk music.
These two EP's (Fall and Winter) are instant classics, in my humble opinion.
"The Cure for Pain", "Equally Skilled" and "My Love Goes Free" are the standouts from Fall, while "Learning How to Die", "Behind Your Eyes" and "I Am Still Running" are my faves from Winter.
The only down-side to these two EP's is that they end. It is such a shame when you get to the last notes of the last song and the music fades to black. All I can say is thank God there are two more seasons.... I'm so looking forward to Spring and Summer!

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Fantastic Soundtrack! | Posted May-31-2008
I have to admit I'm a huge fan of movie soundtracks and scores! They're a wonderful way to continue to enjoy a great movie even long after the credits have rolled and you're already awaiting the next big block-buster.
This is the case with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian soundtrack. Harry Gregson-Williams (also known for his music in Spy Game, the Shrek movies, Kingdom of Heaven, and of course The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) has composed some unbelievably moving music on this score and has captured every important moment of the movie with just the right amount of texture. From the first song "Prince Caspian Flies" to the last "The Door in the Air", you feel like you are once again reliving the movie frame by frame. This is not to say, however, that you cannot enjoy the soundtrack if you haven't yet seen the movie - it is beautiful on it's own.
The four vocal songs at the end of the album are each a fitting addition to the score as well. "The Call" by Regina Spektor and "A Dance 'Round the Memory Tree" by Oren Lavie are both hauntingly simple and moving songs. "Lucy", which is not actually in the movie, is a fitting conclusion to the soundtrack sung by Hanne Hukkelberg in her easy, almost throwback-to-a-simpler-era voice.
It is Switchfoot's "This Is Home" though that is the standout. The lyrics are beautifully melancholy and wonderfully hopeful at the same time. Jon Foreman sings the song with such feeling and emotion, it almost makes you want to cry... if you are one easily moved to tears. :-)
I highly recommend this album to everyone, whether or not you've seen the movie, or whether or not you're into soundtracks. Simply put, it's just a great CD - period!

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Go Canada! | Posted May-29-2008
Being a Canadian, I might be a bit biased towards this group and their music. Setting that bias aside, however, I still have to say that Article One's latest CD, "Colors and Sounds" is an even stronger offering than their last, and their sound has evolved considerably. It has now grown into something that leans more towards the alternative side of rock than the pop side - a refreshing move that helps distinguish them from the pack more so than their first outing with InPop did.
I fully recommend it!
Go Canada!
http://www.myspace.com/ARTICLEONEMUSIC

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Perhaps the best so far from Bebo! | Posted May-24-2008
I do not think there is another artist I like more than Bebo... and this album proves why. Though he hasn't strayed from his folksy beginnings rooted in acoustic guitar, Bebo showcases a surprisingly adept reinvention towards pop on this album. There's an energy to this album, even in the middle of slower songs that hasn't always been there, or was at least hiding somewhere just beneath the more prominent rootsiness of his previous works..
From the very first note to the last notes of the closing song, this CD is chalk full of winning songs and lyrics. The standouts for me, which are hard to pick because I truly think they are all amazing, are the so-sing-along-able "Into the Day", the soaring "I Will Lift My Eyes" and the hauntingly beautiful "My Eyes Have Seen Holy" with the achingly simple yet profound lyrics, Mercy, sweep over me / Let Your tears wash me clean / Majesty, be merciful with me / For my eyes have seen Holy.
This album is truly one of his best, if not "the" best so far!

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Robin Parrish does it again! | Posted May-24-2008
"Relentless", the first book in the series was amazing, but "Fearless" takes it to a whole other level! It is AMAZING!
From the prologue that begins two months after the last book ended, to the ultimate cliff-hanger on the last page, this novel takes you on an even more winding, exhilarating, mind-blowing and emotional roller-coaster-ride than the first. The cast of characters whom we grew to know and love in the first book are now traversing the globe seeking to save the world with the super-human powers they've been given, while searching to answer the dark secrets about where the powers came from and who controls them. And no one is safe. Strap on your seat-belts, readers, cause you're in for one thrilling full-throttle ride!!

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Robin Parrish is da bomb! | Posted May-24-2008
This is SUCH an unbelievably awesome first novel in the "Dominion Trilogy"! If you rolled together the TV show Heroes and the X-men comics/movies, then through in a metric whackload more of suspense and intrigue, you still wouldn't nearly have the premise that Robin Parrish's mind came up with for this novel - seriously! The cast of characters are fascinating, and each page of each chapter reels you in as you discover with the characters a deeper and darker force of ancient conspiracy. It is a genuine can't-put-it-down page-turner until the very end!

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Best so far!! | Posted May-23-2008
Seriously, Roots, is Shawn McDonald's best so far! It's the acoustic / folk / pop / alt we've come to love from him - just upped 100 notches or so. The singer/songwriter has truly found his nitch, apparently, and has fashioned an album that creatively combines simple with artistic. Lyrically the songs are more deeply grounded scripturally than his previous efforts, often pondering or meditating the wisdom of Psalms or Proverbs. "Captivated", "Light" and Hallelujah" are, for me, the most stand-out and memorable tracks, as well as "Winter". On this album, it's as if someone took the Shawn McDonald we've known up until now, thrown in a little Shane & Shane, Damien Rice and Jon Foreman (solo - sans Switchfoot), shaken it altogether... and the final result is an album that defines Shawn and his muisc perfectly! Seriously, the best yet!

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