Sunday, August 28, 2016

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #2 (of 5) by Mike Johnson (Writer), Ryan Parrot (Writer), Derek Charm (Artist)

4 of 5 stars  ****

I receive my first printing, blocked edition of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #2 (of 5)I refrain from reading it until today. The comic book is easily read in a matter of minutes. I am careful to open and handle the beautifully illustrated edition to preserve its excellent condition. 

The second book in this series finds Uhuru breaking Starfleet rules with James T. Kirk to access files, suspiciously kept from the public, concerning an old mission in a quadrant of space where a faint distress signal can still be heard. In the meantime, most cadets are celebrating the successes Starfleet is enjoying in an Intergalactic Competition. T'laan, a Vulcan in the academy, defers the party for plans that chart the best course of action in the upcoming scavenger hunt.

#3 arrives today. The plot continues as I seek to procure books #4 and #5 to complete the story. I realize that I need #1 in this series if I intend to save these issues as a complete set. I read #1 on my PC kindle.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #1 (of 5) by Mike Johnson, Ryan Parrot, Derek Charm (Illustrator)

4 of 5 stars  ****

The first of five beautifully illustrated comic books about Starfleet Academy in the Star Trek series. This quick, easy read story sets the stage for a multi-species academy of cadets who interact in games that shape their character and expertise in their specialties. A young female Vulcan has a decision to make after the games, stay with Starfleet or return to her people to assist in rebuilding her Vulcan species.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Crossing (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author), Titus Welliver (Narrator)

5 of 5 stars  *****

A thrilling detective, court room mystery that is such a pleasant diversion from non-fiction, biographies, and biblical studies. I find it rejuvenating to interject fiction and audible book renditions on my course of wonder and entertainment. The Crossing, by Michael Connelly, holds my attention so that I listen to it every moment available. 

This audiobook allows me to follow a retired LAPD detective who decides to tie up noticeable loose ends in a murder case that is an apparent open-and-shut case for the Prosecution. Harry Bosch becomes a Private Investigator for the young Defense Attorney, Mickey Haller, representing the framed victim held in jail. The history between detective and lawyer is a twist in the story because Harry is forced to retire and uses Mickey to sue the department. The bad blood relations with the LAPD makes Harry's investigation much more interesting as he calls upon his skill and experience to exact the truth from an already investigated crime scene.

Michael Connelly, the author, showcases his knowledge of police work and courtroom proceedings in this stirring story. His characters are well developed with emotional frailties and practiced perseverance. The Crossing is book number 20 in a series of Harry Bosch tales, an indication of Connelly's prolific writing habit. 

This book is my first Michael Connelly experience. I know that it will not be my last.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots by David Fisher

5 of 5 stars  *****

How many times can one read similar historical accounts of the same events and be entertained. Well, the answer is an unlimited number of times as long as there is great research penned by great writers. In Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots, one can add great editing and storytelling to that list. 

The author of the companion book to the television series, narrated by Bill O'Reilly, is David Fisher. The editor is Bill O'Reilly. Reading is as effortless and compelling as the series is entertaining and educational. The book offers more information, as books usually do, but the most pertinent new information is still played out on television by a cast of excellent actors attired in costumes appropriate for the American colonies in late 1700. The book also illustrates so beautifully renditions of the hero portraits by celebrated artists as well as maps and sketches used during the Revolutionary War for strategies and espionage. 

One can read about the escapades of the American patriots, English loyalists, British commanders, and foreign ally contributors to America's fight for freedom and liberty in a wide assortment of History books. Different information adds to or debunks legends , or at least makes them suspect, while it piques the hungry mind for truth in these matters. Superb writing makes the return to the familiar events a pleasure to revisit as the research of one group validates others. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots fits into this category of excellence as an historical account that educates, validates, entertains, and inspires readers to the truth about the people and circumstances in the birth of freedom and liberty in the United States of America.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Explore the Bible: Summer 2016: 1 Samuel by Eric Geiger (Editor)

5 of 5 stars  *****

Even though the study of 1 Samuel is full of great men and great deeds, the theme of this study reveals God's greatness. The last judge, Samuel, anoints a king, Saul, for the clamoring Israelites who want a king to fight their battles for them like all other nations. Samuel warns the people what God tells him about a king taking their best crops and goods and dividing them among his close subjects but the people are stubborn and get their desire. 

The story of David's life unfolds fraught with the best and worst qualities of man. The writings tell as great a story as can be told with the giant, Goliath, the politics of power in a palace full of princes, and the beauty of women; all trying to follow the rules and laws of man while ignoring, too often, the laws of God. God sheds His grace on those who sin but genuinely repent no matter how often this scenario occurs; David. God delivers His wrath on those who act pious but are proud and self-centered in their hearts; Saul.

This book is discussed weekly in a classroom setting known as a Lifegroup, a Bible study group. The questions about the events in 1 Samuel raise more questions about people today and their practice of faith in God. Similarities are sobering and a consensus is obvious how necessary reading God's word, applying His lessons, and maintaining open communication with Him is. In His greatness, God forgives and rewards those who love Him so much as to repent when they stray from His will.

The Testing of Your Faith by Bruce H. Wilkinson

4 of 5 stars  ****

This book is part of a study about faith that also involves weekly videos and discussions after their viewing. The group with whom I participate in this endeavor is a Christian Men's Ministry. The growth in understanding Biblical scriptures and their application is the value of taking such a class. 

The author and teacher on the video, Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, conveys God's message in a clear and powerful style that resonates deeply. Passages which are known and read previously become new and fresh with the input given by all participants. I come away with a serenity, although short-lived, that only exists in the peace of God. When that peace goes awry, I am aware of my unwelcome change, even though I cannot comprehend why. One of the lessons that help me cope with my fluctuating states of being is accepting that everything that happens happens for my good as long as I do not turn away from God because of His testing.