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Please remember: Radiqx Press is a pseudonym of David Bergsland. This site is just part of his ministry online. There are no fictitious entities like corporations involved in any way.

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Review: Fallen King, The Cirian War Saga Book 1, by Eric Lorenzen

Fallen KingFor swords and sorcery fans, this book is exciting. This is nearly epic fantasy. But it’s very dark, and all about the battles. It’s a spiritual battle between demons and the people they possess against humans and the followers of El known as the Elsworn for control of a large area of the world. It’s named Na Ciria—hence the Cirian War saga. There are many other gods. The dragons have believers known as the dragonsworn. There are five dragons in five colors: red, blue, green, grey, and gold. The bad guys control three of them: red, green and grey. There are many other lesser gods with no power demonstrated.

Spiritually this book is dangerous!

First the bad guys

The really bad guys are called the Embraced. They’ve volunteered for demonic possession because of the power available. However, they are outside the control of human government. They are unknown until they are seen releasing their power.

Some are red priests out of the dragonsworn [maybe]. Some are military traitors. They are depicted fairly accurately according to the spiritual truths we know as Christians. Their power is a bit over the top. They can produce red fire through their hands and throw red lightning bolts and balls of red fire.

The possessed relationship is two persons living in the same body. The demon spirit is definitely dominant, but the human can set limits—a little bit. When the human dies, the demon is kicked back to the outer darkness.

Second, the good guys

They are called the Attul or the Elsworn. They serve a God named El as mentioned, though once He is referred to as El Shaddai. They do not know this god that they serve. But they trust Him and live to serve Him. They have no scripture. All they have are swords which glow white with spiritual power when they are wielded by a believer. To a non-believer, they are just lifeless swords. To one whose faith wavers, the white power fades in and out.

Some questionable parts

THE DEMONIC: These demons can read thoughts. They can control dreadhounds with their minds: these are ravenous dogs who eat human flesh. In fact, some of the demons are shapeshifters and can assume the role of dreadhound—though they can be known by the glowing red eyes.

The demons can also read the minds of humans around them. Traditional doctrine would say this is not possible. Our enemies can inject thoughts into our minds, but they cannot read our minds.

They get their power by killing people and absorbing the life power out of their heart and blood. This is the basis of much satanic ritual, so it’s not far outside reality.

All of is close enough to reality that it has the impact of truth.

THE BELIEVERS: They are lost—running on blind faith and ancient history. In times past [several centuries ago], the Attul defeated the demonic hordes. But in the world today they are either unknown and unseen; or they are feared as strange. True Attul are very rare in the earth. There is an old sanctuary for the Attul, but few know where it is and they have not been heard from for a long time.

There is no savior, no Messiah, no Holy Spirit—no knowable God with whom to have a personal relationship. These believers are delivered out of nowhere for no reason or they defeat the Embraced with their swordwork. The swords obviously have the power to defeat the Embraced, but there are not enough to do any good. There is no way to recognize a true believer except by his or her sword. Prayer is a desperate afterthought. Planning is all done in the flesh or received from Guardians, who might be Attul, but we’re never told.

There is no spiritual equivalent to the demons. An angelic foe would be bad, because angels don’t work that way. But these poor believers have nothing but blind faith. They are very unrealistic.

These tenseness of the warfare comes as the reader learns that no one can really do anything about the demonic rulership

Humans are kind of a joke, though they can be truly heroic. Almost all are Embraced or deeply and nastily sinful. The Attul are not a real threat.

However, the book ends on a note of hope… A non-believer takes a step of faith and wins the day. But there is no precedent for this in the rest of the book. it is presented as basically a religious victory and nothing spiritual.

As mentioned this is a very dangerous book spiritually

Without a mentor or personal spiritual maturity, this book could easily lead someone astray. There is some hope that the next book with be better spiritually.

 

Review: Death Trap, Robot Wars by Sigmund Brouwer

Death TrapFairly good science fiction, but barely Christian

The science fiction is reasonably good teenage fare. It’s an exciting and relatively believable story of life on Mars as compelled by the population explosion. The hero is marvelous—wheelchair-bound.

There are two stories with the same cast and location; and they are both fun. But the solutions are sought and found within the context of a Godless scientific approach. The bad guys are the installed leaders which may be the truth in the world today, but it certainly does not help youth aspire to leadership. The Bible doesn’t think much of rebellion [it's as the sin of witchcraft as told in Samuel] and there is no hint of a Godly, righteous leader in this book.

I enjoyed these stories, but they are small stories: in actual size, in concept, and in impact.

This is not a Christian novel

It was presented as Christian—yet it’s not. There is a baseline mainline belief in God which is presented as an obvious, necessary belief. However, there’s no personal relationship with God or Jesus. In fact, there’s no savior mentioned or hinted at. The concept of the Holy Spirit is completely foreign to this tale.

So, it’s a clean, nice read with hints of religiosity.

Review: Storm Chase by K. M. Carroll Three Stars

Storm ChaseOK! Before I get jumped by everyone who loves this book, let me remind you of the focus of this blog. My purpose is to review the level of Christian content.

An imagination & world building tour de force

This is a unique world with a lot of excitement, danger, heroes, heroines, villains, and all the rest. Oh yes, & magic! Lots of magic. Ms. Carroll has made this world come alive with great characters and all the rest of a polished story—very well done.

So, what’s my problem? It’s yet another Godless universe [multiverse in this case]

The world of the book is amazingly complex and multi-layered. But, it’s Godless. The hero is yet another of those reluctant saviors who are forced by circumstances to save the world—even though they have no idea how to do so. This book doesn’t even have the usual supernatural leading of God’s Spirit to show him and him and her and her how to save the world. They just figure it out, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, and save the multiverse.

Bah! Humbug!

It’s a sad commentary on our culture today that this type of story is told by believers as well as the heathen. Actually, the heathen books are usually more religious than the Christian ones. It makes me want to cry.

 

Review: Afton of Margate Castle by Angela Hunt

Afton of Margate Castle

The description led me to believe this was a fantasy. I guess I didn’t read it closely enough. I was seduced by memories of excellent action/adventure thrillers I read decades ago by Hunt’s hand. It has many elements of a good fantasy, but the story kept being tied down by history.

Hoping for a fantasy, got a historical romance

It is actually a fairly decent fantasy, but the focus is in the Duke’s son and a beautiful girl—who was taken from her mother by the son’s mother as part of the tax owed because the animal they owed as a tax died. It’s mainly set in England after the Norman conquest. Of course, the Crusades are there.

The history killed it for me. I know that history, and I’m looking for somewhere new to get my jaded mind going with unknown customs and rituals—to teach spiritual truths. It was sold to me as a Christian novel. I wouldn’t put it in that category, but it may well fit within the traditional bounds of it. It’s clean, no bad language, some rough violence is hinted at, and the story has some of the vague religiosity of stories from this time period. BUT, I want people’s lives transformed. This was merely a clean read kept interesting only by the ridiculous trials the couple had coupling. The blocks to their union were nearly absurd at some points.

Worse yet, I know how religion is told about that era

There were true believers, but they’ve been largely hidden from history. The result is a story which is severely hampered spiritually. I know there is some historical evidence that Gregorian chants were originally monks singing in tongues in the Dark Ages some centuries earlier. There was a pre-anabaptist thread through Christian history also beginning with the Waldensians around the 12th century. But this particular period of the church and western civilization [11th & 12th century] is a horrible place from which to teach spiritual truth. In this book, it wasn’t. In fact, it was barely religious. The book doesn’t even mention the split between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, for example.

This story is basically non-spiritual

I don’t recommend it.

Review: The Venture Books Trilogy by R.H. Russell

The VentureTrilogyVenture Delving is a wonderful, though quite messed up, hero. This is an unlimited fighting wonder man, but the story has heart, great characters, bigoted noble bad guys, and wonderful relationships.

This is a radical martial arts fantasy

Our hero is a member of the lowest class of society with no rights—a bonded servant. His master had done that for his mother to protect her and her son. His best friend is the Master’s daughter Jade. He’s a gifted fighter with no real hope. This is the story of his coming of age as he becomes the national unlimited champion. Their love is a long complex overstory to his fighting career. On that level, it was an enjoyable book. Venture is absolutely not allowed to have a marriage relationship with his master’s daughter.

The nobility have a strong arrogant scum branch who want to kill Venture because he has moved out of his proper place in society. One of his best friends is a champion fighter who turns out to be truly noble. It has all the pieces for a very intriguing story.

It’s a barely Christian series

It was sold to me as a Christian novel. It’s really not. Venture has a vague faith which somehow sustains him in no known manner. He’s an honorable, noble man but the spiritual content is barely religious—not nearly evangelical. It’s a light enough touch so that the heathen might not even notice it.

So, for me it was a mixed bag. As the hero goes through his troubles, there’s no sense of the Lord helping him, encouraging his efforts, or giving him wisdom. Because of this, there were several times where it dragged a bit—simply because of the stupid decisions made in the flesh by Venture or Jade. On the other hand, it was a positive, uplifting story of love, brotherhood, sacrifice, and the triumph of good.

If you like the martial arts and unlimited fighting, you’ll like this book. For the rest of us, it’s enjoyable, but a mixed bag.

All my Smashwords titles on sale 50% to 75% off for July

It’s Smashwords big Summer/Winter sale!

All my books are on sale! Great Savings!

Look for the code on the individual book page. It will be SSW50 for the 50% off titles, or SSW75 for the 75% off titles.

All books are now from $.99 to $1.50 for the month of July.

Daniel’s Mighty Men

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 198,210. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2013. Category:Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Supposed CIA operative Deborah “Stones” Stoner is angry—again. Tired of her lengthy recovery from a shot received while working black in Jalalabad, she loses her temper and beats three assailants while rescuing an innocent shopper. This draws her into the treasonous support of Senator Daniel Aragón, a presidential candidate. What she falls into completely changes her life.
The Training Place of Mankind: God’s Creation Explained For Normal Folk

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.25 USD. Words: 26,390. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2013. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Biblical Studies / History & Culture
End the confusion! God’s people have been sold a bill of goods. If you think about it at all, evolution could not be true. If this young earth is really billions of years old, then God is a liar. This book tells the tale of God’s creation lovingly, by a man who only recently came to his senses. Join David on a trip through the 7,000 years of creation. Rejoice in what He has done for us!
A Christian Self Publishing Guide To Sell Books & Ebooks Online

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 12,350. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2013. Category:Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Reference
What do I need to do to get my book to sell? What David gives you are guidelines to determine what type of author you are, what kind of readership you have or will have, and what you are actually selling. In addition, as a bible teacher with forty years experience, he gives solid spiritual advice about how to deal with your calling and your vision from the Lord.
How to Teach Prophecy

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $.99 USD. Words: 21,200. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2012. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Biblical Studies / Prophecy
Prophecy is compelling to many, but understood by few. On top of that there is a lot of speculation. This book gives you the tools, knowledge, and attitude with which to teach this extremely important area of scripture. It is important that you do not lead your students or audience astray, yet it is equally important that you let them know, in no uncertain terms, that The King is coming soon!
The Righteous Perish!

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 112,410. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2012. Category:Fiction » Christian » Futuristic
The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart: and devout, merciful people are taken away, no one understanding that the righteous are taken away from the evil to come [Isaiah 57:1] Here begins a tale of wonder as the plans of the Lord are revealed to a church which had not considered the wisdom and complexity of God’s love for us.
How to Teach the Bible

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 10,280. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2012. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Biblical Studies / Bible Study Guides
Often men and women get involved in teaching a Bible study without any real guidance on how to do it. It is a serious skill and a dangerous path if you are not called. However, even if you are not specifically called, the Lord can protect and enable you to do it as it should be done by a true Christian. This little booklet shares tips and techniques learned in over 38 years of teaching the Bible
What’s Next? This Is Training For New believers: Pearls For Lambs and Sheep; Not For Swine

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $.99 USD. Words: 18,150. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
In this day and age, it is common for a person to meet the Lord Jesus and not have anyone to tell them what that means in practical terms. This book is designed to give you the basics you’ll need to walk the Christian life—even in dangerous places and critical times.
The Narrow Gate

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 15,010. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Personal Growth
In these days of the Modern church, many do not know enough to make it to heaven. Jesus said, “To know me is Eternal Life”. This books will examine the issues around knowing Jesus, finding the tight gate, and following the narrow way. The good news is that religion is not the answer. The person of Jesus is the only way to the Father. Sorry that’s not politically correct.
Godly Leadership & Power

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 36,990. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2011. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity
This is an intensive, inline, verse by verse bible study and commentary on I & II Timothy. It can be simply read for personal spiritual growth, used as a study guide for bible study, or as a workbook for a group study. This book will help you get serious in your faith and show you some of the inner thoughts and motivations of the apostle Paul and his number one student and spiritual son, Timothy.
InDesign On-Demand: Low Budget Publishing Digitally

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 35,600. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Category:Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Desktop publishing
Help for authors & teachers publishing in the new millennium The focus of this book is very sharp. It is designed for people who are designing books and booklets with very limited capital and few personnel resources. It is a sharing of techniques for the new wave of author/pastor/teacher/designers who need to get their work published digitally & online: printed, ePUB, Kindle, Smashwords, & more.
Knowing Jesus as His Bride

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 19,990. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2011. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity
One of the things stolen from God by the serpent with Adam and Eve’s sin was the warm, satisfying daily walks and talks in the garden. Robert Morris suggests, this had to be an incredibly sad blow to God. Jesus came back to restore communication. This book presents powerful arguments & practical advice on coming to know Jesus as a bride comes to know her husband. What a glorious thing this is!
Learning to walk in freedom: a verse-by-verse study of Galatians

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 21,220. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2011. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity
Only verse by verse bible study can provide you with the solid foundation you need as a believer in Jesus. Learning to walk in freedom is the second completed book in a series of intensive, cutting edge, Bible study workbooks for individual young adults and adults looking for serious discipleship, or groups of any age looking to get serious about the Lord.
Finding the Power to Believe: a study in Philippians

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 14,120. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2010. Category:Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity
This is the first in a series of Bible studies for the new believer, young Christian getting serious, or group looking to get serious about the Lord. The study assumes that scripture is inspired by God and that it can teach us how to live a powerful, victorious life in Jesus. Everything is referenced and the core meaning of the scriptures is revealed. Have a wonderful time exploring Philippians.
Tapping Into Christian Power Daily

By David Bergsland
Sale Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 14,230. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2010. Category:Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
This is not meant to be nice, polite, feel-good teaching to tickle your ears. This is meant to slap you upside the head, get your attention, and let you know how much power is available for you to use in your daily walk with Jesus. Walking in the Spirit is radical Christianity— allowing the presence of God to infuse your life.

Review: Champion In The Darkness by Tyrean Martinson

Champion In The DarknessChristian epic fantasy is possible.

This is a small, but truly enjoyable, Christian, epic fantasy. The characters are interesting: both good and evil. The warfare is strongly and well done. Parts are very sad. Much is gloriously joyful. The relationships are well-drawn and real. It edifies to watch believers deal with horrible trial and come out better for it. I refuse to spoil it.

The world built is a little thin. I do enjoy details about the new world in which I am living. But the story is good, clean fun.

You will enjoy this book! I have toned this down a little from my Amazon review. I’m a bit gushy because I just finished several Christian fantasies where I felt emotionally battered by the time I finished the book. This one has some rough parts [as does life], but true friendships and loving relationships carry the day and make this one so much better.

Review: Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas

ToxicThis is a good book and a compelling read, but very dark.

In this day and age, many will like it or even love it. The other reviews prove this out.

But I found yet another unrelenting tale of darkness and horror redeemed by the Lord barely in time—in spite of the so-called good guys. It was like the Lord was determined to do good even though the good guys seemed to be fighting Him tooth and nail. Yes, I’m tired of the constant and relentless danger, trials, and evil. Yes, evil is defeated eventually, but what a rough ride!

I think I gave this a decent rating, but maybe it deserves a 3.5 because I felt so beat up emotionally at the end of it. Plus, the three hero/heroines were all very childish and distinctly unlikeable. I wanted to take those kids over my knee and spank them—or worse.

It’s hard to like a book with nasty good guys

By definition, good guys aren’t nasty. They may start out that way, but they grow and change. In a Christian book, the assumption is that they gradually allow the Lord to transform them. In Toxic, that eventually happens, to a small degree—but it was far too late and too little for my taste. It wasn’t uplifting, but barely enough to allow the Lord to do what He was going to do with or without them.

I didn’t find the bad guy particularly evil either. He was almost comic in his badness. He was so over the top it was hard to take him seriously. My guess is that I didn’t see him with any humanity. But that’s common in stories like this and I’m just not sure why it didn’t work for me here.

In spite of all my kvetching, it is a good, well-written book. Many of the younger set will like it a lot. Given the popularity of ridiculousness like vampires, zombies and the like, I should be more kind as I didn’t find their presence overwheming. Well, not really [I just blocked it out]. There are a whole lot of zombie-like people. I can understand the good reviews. But I just didn’t enjoy it.

Spiritually, it was stretched to the limit

It was obviously written by a Christian, but the world just didn’t feel redeemed. Whatever the heck that means!

I feel I need to apologize for such a negative review [even though I gave it 4 stars]. I guess something in it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Review: The StormMaster Prophecy by Steven Ford

The StormMaster ProphecyFour days later, and I can barely remember it. I recall that the hero is a librarian. I liked him—sorta. The StormMaster is a strange villain. He seemed vaguely powerless during the book—just nasty for no reason other than he was like that.

I fully expected to love this book. It had all the pieces. I guess it’s because the hero really is a nobody with little revealed character. It’s hard to get excited about a hero like that.

Full of nasty, unbelievable critters

The story is full of demonic beings which could simply be dismissed in the name of my Lord & Redeemer. No real threat. Most of the book is dark, horrible, and without much hope. Yet I have put it in that place in my mind for decent, fun reads. What does all of that mean? For a book with lots of spiritual power (healings and more) it’s just a 3.5 star book. It could have been so much more realistic.

Numbingly omnipresent tension is not a story

It’s close to reader abuse. Constant crisis becomes monotonous, hopeless, and you don’t get much of a chance to identify with the good guys. Many books today have no release, no good times. Constant tension does not make a good story. I suspect that’s why this one missed the mark for me.

Review: The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson

The Door Within by BatsonOf course, to start with I don’t like the concept of parallel worlds. I see no scriptural basis for such a thing, at all. However, Narnia works and the Door Within does also.

It’s a relatively simple epic fantasy.

The world built is not really very compelling. The characters are fairly well done, but the interactions often seem preprogrammed outside the story (or something like that). It’s just not convincing. I was always outside as a spectator. Bad? No. Great? No. It was an acceptable read and clearly Christian in back of it all.

The spiritual reality in the book?

Quite confusing in hindsight. As I was reading it all made sense (with several discernment warnings of inaccuracies), but I was not edified—I was left with a feeling of lack.

It had portions which were nearly full gospel and many portions which seemed Old Testament. I’m sure many will love it. It leaves enough room open so that the heathen will not be too offended.