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  • 2
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  • 11
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  • The Unexpected Request

  • By: Rebekah A. Morris
  • Narrated by: John Burlinson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Ty Elliot returns to his home after an absence of two years, knowing full well the danger which threatens him each hour he lingers in the old cabin in the mountains. But with his father on his death bed and his younger sister exhausted, Ty knows he must remain for a time at least. When his father makes a strange request and begs his returned son to "find her", Ty promises but is bewildered. Who is he to find?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New Favorite

  • By Angie on 09-25-18

New Favorite

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-25-18

Oh, oh, oh, this book! So, so many heart-eyes! <3<3<3<3<3<3

I know I keep saying each new (to me) book by Rebekah is my favorite, but this one absolutely takes the cake. Okay, yes, still 'so far,' but it's smashed the 4.5 star mark and is demanding a full five. Maybe five and a half. (It's only getting five, for obvious reasons, but don't tell it that.) ;)

Specifics? You want specifics? All the little heart-eyes aren't enough? Okay, fine. Let's start with a plot that pulled me in from page one and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way. Not that the action was (always) that intense, but the lingering mystery, the unanswered questions, the eagerness to reach the end of the quest had me groaning any time I had to put the book down to focus on something else. (Thankfully, I was listening on audiobook, or I'd have been in real trouble.)

And the characters! (Insert all the heart-eyes!) Ty was so gentle and loving and protective under his rough exterior. Sally was a great mix of necessary ruggedness and girlish softness. Carson was such a wonderful friend to both of them. And the minor characters? So fun and diverse and well-differentiated! The German blacksmith and his Mexican frau/senora had me absolutely rolling! So much fun!

The descriptions kept me grounded solidly in the setting without making me want to skip over them. I mean...not that I'm ever tempted to do that. *ahem* Moving on. I never felt pulled out of the story by any words, phrases, or ideas that felt too modern for the time. And believe me, that's a serious compliment! Actually, I can't honestly name any element of this book that I think could be improved.

This was just such a wonderful story! Deep but simple. Gripping but gentle. Real but beautiful. Not only did I laugh out loud multiple times, I actually cried happy/sweet tears--and that's extremely rare for me! I can guarantee I'll be reading it again. (And again. And again. You know the drill. :D)

P.S.-- And lest I forget, the audiobook narrator was wonderful and really kept my attention and interest. Two thumbs up on the performance as well!

Content--some violence, including gunplay, and injuries, but not excessive or overly descriptive; a non-descriptive kiss; a man tries to force a kiss on a girl

  • The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers

  • By: Rebekah A. Morris
  • Narrated by: Tim Lundeen
  • Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

In the midst of the cold, snowy woods, the Graham Quartet stumble across a mystery. It could mean danger, but that doesn't stop Elsa, Matt, Tim and Selena as they try their best to help a stranger who needs them. But what can Siam, Hong Kong, and Vanderbilt have to do with the local furniture factory? And why are so many strangers suddenly appearing and then disappearing in town?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and Exciting Mystery

  • By Angie on 08-14-18

Fun and Exciting Mystery

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Really enjoyed this little mystery. It reminded me a bit of the Boxcar Children series I loved growing up, although with a bit more danger than most of those books had.

I loved the four Graham siblings, the way they worked together, and the way they looked out for and depended on each other. Their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses were balanced and differentiated very well. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat, partly because I was right there with the characters wondering what exactly was going on. It was certainly interesting, although sometimes a little confusing, to have the characters picking up clues that they can't even put together because they don't know what's happening in the first place.

I'll admit I was a little bewildered at their parents' "don't want to know" attitude; it seemed strange that they'd let the kids do pretty much whatever they wanted without even asking what was going on. Also, the kids seemed a bit overeager at times, especially near the end, and just about got themselves in real trouble. Also, I had a hard time figuring out exactly when the story was supposed to be set, which made it hard to picture the characters and the setting.

Even with those nitpicks though, I did enjoy the story and really loved the characters. Also, the audiobook narrator did a great job of bringing it to life. Looking forward to the next book in the series. :)

Content--people threatened; gunplay; non-detailed mentions of injuries

  • The Graham Quartet and the Mystery of the Day Maid

  • By: Rebekah A. Morris
  • Narrated by: Tim Lundeen
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Arriving on the shore of Lake Michigan for summer vacation, the Graham Quartet senses that something is not quite right. When a slip of the tongue causes an unexpected reaction, Elsa, Matt, Selena, and Tim, jump into a mystery. But what is the connection between a cryptic note, a yellow door, and a boat called the Day Maid? When their friend, Lieutenant Ashwood, disappears, the Quartet feels the pressure of time and must turn to another source for help. Will the four siblings get enough information to unravel the mystery, before the suspects vanish completely?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Second Installment

  • By Angie on 08-14-18

Great Second Installment

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Just as exciting and suspenseful as the first one! I find it very interesting and unusual the way the Graham siblings always manage to help foil the bad guys without any real idea of what's going on. It feels pretty realistic, but it's definitely different from your normal mystery. :D

I enjoyed the way the kids' different personalities still came out in all their teamwork; they never felt like carbon copies of each other. I also appreciated the fact that they seemed a bit more cautious in this one--taking key adults into their confidence and not usually putting themselves right in the way of trouble. But have we learned the dangers of splitting up? I sure have! Poor Matt... ;)

Probably my favorite piece of this one was George, the lighthouse keeper, and his comments on and reactions to the kids' constant coming and going from his lighthouse. XD

Listened to this one on audiobook as well and really enjoyed the narrator again. He did a great job of keeping things exciting without seeming over-the-top or annoying.

Content--some intense action and danger *spoiler*including a car wreck and a gunshot fired toward a group of young people*spoiler*

  • The Light: Tales from a Revolution - New Jersey

  • Tales from a Revolution Series, Book 2
  • By: Lars D. H. Hedbor
  • Narrated by: Shamaan Casey
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

As a Quaker blacksmith, Robert is used to the challenges of fire and iron, but when the American Revolution splinters his own family and threatens his community, he will wrestle with questions of belief and philosophy. He must rely on his inner light to keep his family safe, and lead them to freedom. The Light is Lars Hedbor's standalone novel set in New Jersey from his Tales From a Revolution series, in which he examines the American War of Independence as it unfolded in each of the colonies. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great story by Lars D. H. Hebdor

  • By S.E. on 08-05-18

Very Well-Written But Couldn't Finish

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-25-18

I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to finish this book. The writing was excellent, the characters were believable, the conflict was riveting, but I really, really have a problem with profanity in my reading. Honestly, I gave this book more grace than most because of the historical context, but when I hit the third instance about 3/5 of the way in, I had to put it down.

I really mean it when I say I was very sad not to finish it. The writing was amazing; it felt more like reading a period book than a modern historical fiction, with none of the awkwardness that often comes when modern writers try to emulate an older style. The omniscient POV flowed really well without giving the feeling of head-hopping. The dialogue felt both realistic for the period and natural to the characters, which is a very rare thing for books in this setting--especially with the Quaker speech thrown in. Overall, I was very, very impressed with the writing style.

The characters came across very realistic, and I felt like I understood most of their feelings and conclusions, even when I didn't always agree with them. And while I didn't understand absolutely everyone, those that I didn't understand didn't feel like badly-drawn characters--more like the people you meet in real life and wonder, "What on earth were they thinking?" Some of their motivations might also have become clearer if I'd read all the way to the end.

The setting felt absolutely spot-on and made me consider new aspects of what life would have been like during the Revolution--people still going about their business, sometimes affected by the war and sometimes not. I thought the author captured that balance extremely well. All the complexity with the split in the Quaker church was quite interesting. I've read just a little about Quaker doctrine (some of which I agree with and some of which I don't), but I was a little taken aback at the use of "the inner light" to the complete exclusion of even the name of God. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but it did bother me a little.

If not for the profanities, I'd have given this at least a solid four star rating at the time that I stopped. Please note that the low rating is entirely based on my personal preferences and convictions, not on the quality of the story or the writing. The book is very well done; I just can't in good conscience recommend it.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

  • Through the Tunnel

  • By: Rebekah A. Morris
  • Narrated by: Ruth Elaine
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

"I hate being a foster kid!" Fourteen-year-old Lissa had thought those words dozens if not hundreds of times over the last 12 years. She and her twin brother, Leigh, had been foster kids for as long as they could remember. Lissa was naturally shy, and this life of bouncing around from one foster home to another, of changing schools midterm, and of never having a real place they could call home had left her with feelings of insecurity and doubt. Would they ever have a real home? Why didn't anyone want them?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Book for the Family!

  • By Todd Johnson on 02-22-18

So Sweet

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Oh, this book was so, so sweet! <3

I think one of my favorite things about this story was how very realistic it felt. The way Lissa's emotions swung and swirled between hope and dread, excitement and confusion felt so spot-on and true to life. I usually have a hard time with books where characters have conflicting or back-and-forth emotions, but in this case, it endeared Lissa to me all the more. Her emotions never felt arbitrary or contrived for the sake of plot or conflict; instead, they felt like the very real struggles of a girl trying to adapt to change and longing but fearing to cling to something true and constant. I haven't had firsthand experience with the foster care system, but I know people who have, and I thought the timelines and other similar details were much more realistically portrayed than in a number of other books. Along with lending an air of realism, the foster care angle really helped to drive quite a bit of Lissa's internal conflict, not just in her past but in her present and future, which I really enjoyed.

Leigh was such a wonderful brother--so protective and loving while still being a regular boy. I would really have loved to get a few more scenes from his perspective, since I was intrigued every time we got a glimpse of his thoughts and attitudes. On the outside, he was much stronger than Lissa, but on the inside, he struggled with a lot of the same doubts and insecurities. Overall, he definitely fascinated me!

And of course the family--they were all so sweet, but not without the inevitable temperament clashes or slightly-overwhelming presence. Again, it felt so realistic, and even though I would probably have fit into this particular home without any trouble, I immediately sympathized with shy, quiet Lissa trying to figure out where she belonged in all the noise and bustle.

The spiritual thread felt very natural and not in any way forced. I actually thought the story was ending about eight chapters before it actually did, but I'm so glad it kept going after what would have been an obvious place to stop. And honestly, it added once again to the realism of the story. But I love the fact that with all the realism, the tone is one of love and hope and belonging. "He places the lonely in families" is one of my favorite Scripture quotes, and I loved seeing it included here. <3

My only real complaint was that the story ended pretty abruptly, and I would have at least liked to see Lissa's reaction to the final conversation. I also had a bit of a hard time keeping Leigh and Lissa in my mind as 14, but I think that may have had more to do with the audiobook narration than the writing. (Not criticising the narration as a whole, which was very good; I just felt like the voices used for the twins made them sound a bit younger than they were meant to be.)

4.5 stars, and one of my favorites from Rebekah Morris so far!

  • Tangle

  • The Quest for Truth, Book 4
  • By: Brock Eastman
  • Narrated by: LC Kane
  • Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

The Wikk kids have been separated on their quest to find humanity's home planet. Reunited with his parents, Mason makes new friends and clashes with old enemies on board the sinister Ubel ship, the Black Ranger. Meanwhile, Oliver, Tiffany, and Austin race to rescue their friend Ashley from a toxic moon and find themselves in more trouble than they'd bargained for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Fast-Paced Ride!

  • By Angie on 06-20-18

Another Fast-Paced Ride!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-18

And the action and intensity just keeps rising! This book moves at just about lightning speed, and things are less predictable than ever! Chases, escapes--or is it near-escapes?, discoveries, revelations, separations, reunitings, and the list goes on...

Take my word, you cannot skip around in this book! Who will end up where with which allies, which enemies, and which pieces of the puzzle is up in the air more than a ping-pong ball. We're drawing close to the end of the quest, but there's still so much to happen, and with plot twists thrown in left and right, the path is never as easy as originally planned. Was there actually an original plan? Because the action is so non-stop that there's barely time to study any of the clues. But I love the fact that they wind back around and pop up in random places after you'd all but forgotten them.

The spiritual theme has definitely come to the forefront, and in this book, it does get tied solidly to a name for the all-important book (the Bible) and a name for the person the kids know as Rescuer (Jesus). There are strong messages of sharing your faith and of loving and sacrificing for your enemies. And speaking of enemies, I actually found myself having compassion and even hope for a few people who had previously only been rotten adversaries and tormentors. I don't know how far those cracks will be developed in the final book, but it's interesting to see how my attitude has changed in just this volume.

I love the addition of Ashley and some of Obbin's siblings to the team. Obbin himself has gotten a little reckless for his own good, but it's great to see the way Austin's settled down and become a valued and trusted asset to the mission. The guy/warrior thing with Austin and Oliver near the end--so cute and perfectly boyish at the same time! (As in, boys would kill me for calling it cute. :D)

Now I'm back to waiting for the release of Hope--sometime this year, I think? It can't get here fast enough for me!!!

Most of the audio quality was great, but there was one instance of overlapping audio and one planet name where the narrator switched back and forth between pronunciations. Not saying that I know how to pronounce these planet names, but it's at least nice to have them consistent. ;)

  • Unleash

  • The Quest for Truth, Book 3
  • By: Brock Eastman
  • Narrated by: LC Kane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10

The Wikk kids quest has unleashed their potential for adventure. Now working as a team, they face the greatest dangers yet: a plundered planet, lies and betrayal, and terrible lizards....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Each Book Keeps Getting Better!

  • By J. Ruis on 03-16-18

Best Installment Yet

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-18

Whew! This is probably my favorite of the series so far (by the very narrowest of margins)! It's funny; Oliver is still my favorite character, but one of the best parts of this book is the way that Tiffany and the twins step up and take more responsibility. The tension and excitement kicks up several notches as well, as enemies, threats, and clues for the quest are added left and right!

How can I talk about this without massive spoilers? It's impossible! Who gets captured by whom, who escapes which captor(s), where and how they find the next pieces in the puzzle--it's all critical and way too good to spoil for anyone who hasn't yet read the book. And a chase by genetically-engineered mutant dinosaurs (which isn't a spoiler since it's on the cover)? At the risk of sounding way too much like a preteen boy--awesome!!!!

There's almost never a breathing space in this book, but we do manage to squeeze in enough conversation to finally clarify the spiritual realities behind their quest, which makes the whole thing more than worthwhile. And I love the fact that this isn't some mystical, fantasy picture-of-Christianity religion; even though the names used may be unconventional, the Truth is exactly the same as it's been throughout the ages.

There are so many questions that I still want answers for, but because of the way the story keeps looping back and explaining so many earlier details, I'm trusting that I'll get them by the end of Hope. But after reading this again, it is so hard to wait!

Just a note--the quality of the recording was a bit less in places in this one than the previous volumes; I noticed several instances of a wrong character name being given in dialogue, and one chapter had a repeated bit of audio several times where there should have been section breaks.

  • Risk

  • Quest for Truth, Book 2
  • By: Brock D. Eastman
  • Narrated by: LC Kane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

Flying to coordinates unknown, the Wikk kids land the Phoenix on planet Evad and descend into an ancient jungle. Revealed is a highly intelligent civilization, whose inhabitants have now vanished, leaving behind astonishing technology! High stakes lead the Wikk kids on a dizzying ride from the pinnacle of a ziggurat into an endless underwater labyrinth. Dive into adventure, as the twins face a deadly showdown with the evil Ubel!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Ride with Great Characters

  • By Angie on 06-09-18

Exciting Ride with Great Characters

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-18

So, this book was my introduction to the Quest for Truth series--my library had them shelved in alphabetical order, and I didn't think to check the series numbering--and it's still probably my second favorite in the series so far. (Also, there's just about a hair-breadth difference between any two of them when trying to choose my favorite.)

The aspect that makes this book in particular stand out for me is the power struggle between Oliver and Austin. Seriously, if you substituted my living room for an abandoned jungle planet, this could be me and certain brothers who shall remain nameless. ;) In fact, that's probably the part of this story that pulled me in more than anything, given that I was coming in partway through the adventure and had very little idea what was happening. But even though I still heartily sympathize with Oliver at almost every point, the author does a great job of balancing the argument and showing different perspectives and motivations in a sympathetic way. That's not to say that certain characters don't grow and change and admit they were wrong (bonus points!), but none of them are ever totally unlikable, even when they're frustrating.

The adventure and danger kicks up a notch in this book (or maybe my perspective is a bit skewed because I already knew the outcome going into the first book--I really don't recommend reading them out of order). Dangerous journeys, threatening creatures, chases by soldiers--it's quite a ride! On the spiritual side, the truth of the quest is beginning to be revealed; there's not much concrete understanding yet, but the symbolism is strong.

Take a deep breath when you finish this one; you'll need it going into Unleash!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Taken

  • Quest for Truth, Book 1
  • By: Brock Eastman
  • Narrated by: LC Kane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21

Suit up! Jump into hyper flight with the four Wikk kids! Forced into a high stakes hunt for their missing parents by the sinister Cpt. Vedrik, the siblings' only hope is their parents' Archeos e-journal. Can Tiffany decipher the clues within it? As time runs out, it's all up to Oliver and his Federation training to fly the Phoenix and protect his crew.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun beginning to a science fiction series

  • By Kira on 05-15-17

Great Start to an Awesome Series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I just love this series so much!!! <3

This isn't anywhere close to the first time I've read them (although it's the first time I've listened to the audiobooks), but up until now, I haven't given them a proper review, which I will remedy now. Strike that--there probably won't be anything proper about this review, judging from the fact that all my words seem to have been replaced by hearts and smiley faces.

Just--this series, you guys! I almost didn't pull it off the library shelf; I accidentally started in the middle of the series; I had a hard time getting into the style for the first couple of chapters. Seriously, my relationship with these books should have been doomed from the start. But I absolutely <u>love</u> them!!!

First off--good Christian sci-fi. Let me say that again. Good. Christian. Sci-fi. I never knew such a thing existed until I found this series. (This was before I also discovered the Firmament books, but I digress...) This book is probably the lightest of the series on the Christian themes, just because it's the very beginning of the quest, and there aren't nearly enough pieces to start putting together yet. But trust me, it's laying the groundwork, and there are amazing things to come.

Second--the plot. Talk about keeping you on the edge of your seat! Every time the scene switches, I cheer and groan at the same time, because yes, I want to get back to the other characters! but no, I have to know what happens here, too! Not to mention--spaceships. And spaceship chases. And a galactic quest to rescue kidnapped parents from a sinister and mysterious group of soldiers while discovering clues to a buried history... Does it get any more epic? I mean seriously?

Third--the characters. I mean, first--the characters. I mean, I've put them third, but they should be first. It was the characters that first drew me in to this story, and they engrossed me so completely that I actually forgot I had ever had trouble with the style. (Trust me, this is huge; I have <u>never</u> had a book do that before this series.) The characters are diverse and unique, not perfect by any means, but completely relatable. And the sibling relationships--I seriously feel like someone must have had spy cameras planted in my house growing up. That's honestly how real they seem. I identify so much with Oliver, which is strange considering that I'm not anything close to a seventeen-year-old boy. But I have definitely been in the older-sibling-trying-to-make-important-decisions-while-your-siblings-are-debating-your-leadership role! And this book just absolutely nails it!

So here's my overall reaction to this series. Read the library's copies just about to death. Bought my own. Am now buying the audiobooks. Don't regret it for a single minute. :D

Highly recommended!

  • Truthful Test: An Oliver Wikk Adventure

  • The Quest for Truth
  • By: Brock Eastman
  • Narrated by: LC Kane
  • Length: 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Hundreds of years in the future, humans have spread out across the universe, discovering and settling new worlds. But along the way, they have forgotten their origin. Why has the past been forgotten? What clues could help uncover the mystery of mankind's beginnings? And why does the quest become dangerous? The adventure unfolds in Brock Eastman's Quest for Truth series, as archaeologists Elliot and Laura Wikk are mysteriously kidnapped in the midst of their search for mankind's origins.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • trustful test

  • By Slim on 04-06-16

Great Prequel!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-18

Love the whole series to death, and this is a perfect prequel--entirely consistent with the main series, but doesn't depend on it for resolution. It's such a good story in its own right, too! Half ethical conflict, half action-adventure--even after multiple readings, I still can't make myself remember that the simulation is just a simulation when I'm in the middle of it. (For the record, that's not a spoiler; the story starts with Oliver entering the simulator, which makes the fact that it doesn't feel like a simulation all the more amazing.) The whole setting and feel of the story also remind me of some old sci-fi kids' radio dramas that I've listened to and enjoyed.

Highly recommended for Quest of Truth fans, but it's a great standalone story for those who haven't read the main series as well!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful