An energetic and unusual take on a familiar angels-versus-demons plot.

THE ANGELS' GALAXIES

Debut author Noor offers a high-fantasy epic with Judeo-Christian trappings.

There are various orders of angels in the universe, including Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Thrones, Dominions, and Seraphim, among others, and each are headquartered in a specific galaxy; the Principalities are in the Andromeda Galaxy, for instance. The Dark Kingdom, ruled over by King Saty and inhabited by demons and jinn, exists in the dark spaces between galaxies—and on Earth, among humans. Young Princess Jennifer, the only daughter of King Jason of the Virtues, is a headstrong, compassionate warrior-in-training who loves her celestial home in the Comet Galaxy. One day, she encounters a small crowd of Dark Kingdom jinn attacking a young angel. She intervenes, and after the danger is dispatched, she realizes that the angel is “cute”; he’s Prince Justin of the Powers, and he and Jennifer immediately embark on adventures together, spurred by upheaval in the Dark Kingdom. It turns out that Prince Kaly and Princess Sally have grown impatient with the complacent attitude of their father, King Saty, toward the angel galaxies, which they seek to conquer. In the ensuing fast-paced narrative, Noor shows considerable skill at building dramatic tension and delivering effective action sequences, while also ably developing the story’s young leads. Readers coming to this tale expecting familiar angels from the Christian mythos, though, will need to adapt quickly, as Princess Jennifer and her cohorts sleep, dream, bleed, and bicker like average young adults. The hybridization of Christian material with standard fantasy concepts, such as warring kingdoms and military orders, is enthusiastic, if scattershot; Noor’s angels do intercede in human affairs, but they’re much more concerned with warfare and romance in a manner that calls to mind fantasy author Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

An energetic and unusual take on a familiar angels-versus-demons plot.

Pub Date: March 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2266-6

Page Count: 294

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2018

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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