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THE TIGER'S EYE

ANGELS IN MUMBAI

A gripping spiritual tale with a memorable real-life setting.

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An American-founded ministry group in India faces a band of terrorists in this Christian thriller sequel.

Andrew Morrison helped start The Call, a Christian movement in the United States. Now that it has gone worldwide, Andrew and his family and friends plan to spend two years in India to aid in developing the Global Calling Ministry. Sadly, not everyone welcomes the Americans’ religious message. A radicalized militia against the West and “any formal religion” launches a devastating terrorist strike at a crowded Global Calling event. Meanwhile, seven guardian angels “protect the chosen”—presumably individuals serving God in any capacity. The angels can’t prevent the terrorist attack but may be able to help when one of the culprits, Sanjay Swaminathan, seems to have a change of heart. Intelligence agencies can use him to take down the faction, which brutally trained him and other recruits at a camp. Sanjay’s role becomes even more important once terrorists kidnap members of the Global Calling, including someone close to Andrew. While the authorities take on militia operatives and angels battle demons, good strives to triumph over evil. As with Delaney’s preceding book, The Shaft (2018), the supernatural facet doesn’t overwhelm the plot. The angels act more like guides; they visit Sanjay, who merely surmises what their nonverbal presence means. This supports a notable theme of divine will; even the angels don’t know God’s plan. As Andrew and his family settle in India, the author vividly describes the country, from the bad (unpleasant smells) to the wonderful (its linguistic diversity and stunning landmarks). Nevertheless, the Morrisons, prominently featured in the series opener, take a back seat this time despite Andrew’s periodically narrating. They contribute little to the suspenseful, action-oriented final act, which focuses on rescuing the abductees. Sanjay is the standout among the cast; he earns sympathy both during his recruitment and after the terrorist attack.

A gripping spiritual tale with a memorable real-life setting.

Pub Date: May 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66-280910-1

Page Count: 362

Publisher: Xulon Press

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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  • New York Times Bestseller

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

FOURTH WING

From the Empyrean series , Vol. 1

Read this for the action-packed plot, not character development or worldbuilding.

On the orders of her mother, a woman goes to dragon-riding school.

Even though her mother is a general in Navarre’s army, 20-year-old Violet Sorrengail was raised by her father to follow his path as a scribe. After his death, though, Violet's mother shocks her by forcing her to enter the elite and deadly dragon rider academy at Basgiath War College. Most students die at the War College: during training sessions, at the hands of their classmates, or by the very dragons they hope to one day be paired with. From Day One, Violet is targeted by her classmates, some because they hate her mother, others because they think she’s too physically frail to succeed. She must survive a daily gauntlet of physical challenges and the deadly attacks of classmates, which she does with the help of secret knowledge handed down by her two older siblings, who'd been students there before her. Violet is at the mercy of the plot rather than being in charge of it, hurtling through one obstacle after another. As a result, the story is action-packed and fast-paced, but Violet is a strange mix of pure competence and total passivity, always managing to come out on the winning side. The book is categorized as romantasy, with Violet pulled between the comforting love she feels from her childhood best friend, Dain Aetos, and the incendiary attraction she feels for family enemy Xaden Riorson. However, the way Dain constantly undermines Violet's abilities and his lack of character development make this an unconvincing storyline. The plots and subplots aren’t well-integrated, with the first half purely focused on Violet’s training, followed by a brief detour for romance, and then a final focus on outside threats.

Read this for the action-packed plot, not character development or worldbuilding.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781649374042

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Red Tower

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2024

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