Monday, August 22, 2011

Runaway by Brian K. Perry

I held the book in my hands. The front cover was an intriguing picture from inside a cave. Little did I know at the time why the author had chosen this image as the cover, or what the cave represented.

Runaway is Brian K. Perry's debut novel; a mixture between the genres of supernatural thriller, spiritual warfare and young adult. It's about a boy named Jay Williams, who was wrongfully arrested at a young age and sent to numerous group homes until he could be released at age 18. His latest group home was called the Carter County Home for Boys, but after just a couple days after unbearable treatment, Jay decided to runaway.

Evidence was found about the approximate time that Jay disappeared that pointed a serial killer being in the area. The FBI quickly suspected that Jay may have been kidnapped by this serial killer, and would soon turn up dead if they didn't act fast.

At the same time, an old, blind woman named Denise Kindred started having dreams where she can see, apparently sent to her by angels of God. These dreams told her all about the investigation and more, and before long she contacted the FBI to tell what she had seen.

Runaway is quite an original book. It's full of plenty of action and suspense. The characters are easy to bond with, and you often feel sad when things happen to them. The novel kept me up at night, and not only from me reading late. Some parts were certainly creepy.

It started out not being that well written. It was very interesting and I liked it, but frankly, I was disappointed with the writing quality. Thankfully, though, as the story progressed, the writing got a lot better, and by the end I absolutely loved the book. It was even left open for a sequel.

Runaway is full of great ideas and secrets, and even included some hidden Easter eggs for the readers to find. I generally have a grudge against "preachy" novels, as then less people want to read them, but some preachy books are just really good, and I would consider this to be one of them.

It could really use a proofread, and a partial rewrite is in development, but once the new version is out, I would recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a follower of Christ.

On a side note, I met the author, Brian K. Perry, at an event (the event of my life) in Nashville, TN about a week ago, and that is how this book came to be in my possession.

Reuben Horst

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Giveaway: The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker

Last night I got back from the event of my life: a writers' conference. Though, as New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker pointed out, it wasn't a conference, it was an experiment. Just like writing. I can truthfully say that it has changed my life, which I can't say for anything else I ever experienced.

While I was there I got to meet some of the coolest people in the entire world. There were only a hundred attendees, about a tenth of whom I knew already, and I made many new friends as well. When I got home, I was so excited that I decided to do what I've considered doing for a long while: hold a book giveaway on my blog.

Book Giveaway: The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker

How to enter:
-Follow my blog using your Google account to get +1 entry
-Post an appropriate comment on my review of The Priest's Graveyard to get +1 entry
-Share this giveaway on Facebook to get +1 entry
-Share this giveaway on Twitter to get +1 entry

Also, post a comment on this giveaway with evidence of your entries, along with your name and email so I have a way to contact you if you win. I promise I will not send any spam or other crap to your email. I'm not that much of a moron.

The giveaway will end on September 3, 2011, and soon after one winner will be chosen at random, though your amount of entries will have influence, to receive a signed copy of The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker.

So now, go and enter!

Reuben Horst

Friday, August 5, 2011

Is the background flashing?

Try to figure it out. Is my blog background flashing or not? The eyes can play terrible tricks, so what do you think? Flashing or not?

Reuben Horst

Update: I viewed my blog on the computer that my brother uses, and it doesn't look like it's flashing. If it doesn't, then just change your resolution or something, heheh.

Update Again: I viewed my blog on multiple other computers, and it seems to only flash on mine. What a complete disappointment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"Nicely written. It was simple and it worked well. There was a lot of emotion, which felt natural and understandable."
-The Engineer, via Budding Writers


This is a short story I wrote several months ago in honor of my grandfather. Someone once told me that while my grandpa enjoys my writing—he's a frequent reader of my blog—he doesn't always like the "violence" that is in my stories. I was a little surprised by this, as I didn't really consider my stories to be "violent", but I understood what they meant and started trying to think of a story I could write that wouldn't have any fighting or guns or... well... anything that could be violent.

The result was Memory. Though the word is not, I don't believe, in the short story, it is a fitting title. And besides, I couldn't think of a better one. There's a line in the story that you may be confused about (I won't say which one I'm referring to, in case you don't notice it), but it was intentional, not a mistake.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks—they're pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, ley lines grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

Well, I should've known this would be a unique book as soon as I saw that the description used the term, "the stuff of legend." There is no way anyone in their right mind would use a term like that in their book description. Okay, maybe they would, because they would need to be in their right mind if they were to write a book as... interesting as The Skin Map was.

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead is the story of three people. Or should I say, it is three stories, each with their own character, and only connected in subtle ways. One story follows Kit Livingstone, a very confused man who is not in his own world. The second story follows Wilhelmina Klug, a very confused woman who is not in her own world. Kit and Mina were very close at one time, but then were separated into different worlds and lost. The third story follows Arthur Flinders-Petrie, the man who created the legendary "skin map", and who also died a long time ago.

The Skin Map isn't a bad book, it's just filled to the rim with plot holes. It's obviously a British novel, as a lot of it takes place in London, and it has British spelling rather than American. It is one of those books that starts each chapter name with, "In which...," which is very annoying, in my opinion. Not only is it not necessary, but it sometimes gives away spoilers.

The book was long and, to tell the truth, boring at many parts. Through the entirety it felt as if the whole, long book was only leading up to where the story actually began. This was confirmed, as it seemed like the story just finally began in the last few chapters. Too bad for me, I need to wait until the second book comes out (The Bone House, coming in September) to see what the story actually turns into.

In short, the book was long, boring, and hard to get through. It was filled with plot holes, but every once in a while there were some really cool parts. The very end was good, but that was because the entire rest of the book simply led up to it. Three storylines, later turning into four, all started merging at the end... but then, you know, the book ended. It wasn't all that well written, either.

Would I recommend this book? Well, I can't tell you that until I've read the sequel. The Skin Map leads up to it in a way that I doubt someone who started the series with the second book would understand. So if The Bone House is good, then yes, I would recommend The Skin Map.

The Skin Map was publicly released on September 1, 2010, but was re-released for paperback on May 31, 2011.
This book was sent to me for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

For any of my readers who are Facebook friends with me, I wrote a document talking about some of the major plot holes in The Skin Map. If I knew how to change the settings so that everyone, not only Facebook friends, could read it, I would. The document can be found here.

Reuben Horst