Mini Reviews

Heaven's Prey

Kidnapping. Torment. Torture. And yes, forgiveness.

Janet Sketchley’s first novel is not for the faint of heart.

Heaven’s Prey is powerful, intense, and gripping. This is definitely not a whitewashed happily-ever-after story.

The author aims straight for the reader’s emotions. Sadness. Empathy. Admiration. Disbelief. Anxiety. Fear. All with a pinprick of hope.

Though I am not as courageous as the protagonist, Janet did an excellent job of transporting me into Ruth’s skin. I was right there with her. She challenged me to become a better person, a braver person.

The characters and the situation are three-dimensional and believable. It was all “very real.”

Even with a cathartic ending, the author  acknowledges that some things this side of heaven cannot be tied up with a pretty bow.

I will be on the look out for Janet’s next novel.

Perilous Waters

“A smile whispered over his lips.”

“Tumbling into her compassionate gaze  . . .”

“He tasted like sunshine and joy and forever.”

I dog-eared pages in Sandra Orchard’s Perilous Waters so I wouldn’t forget the phrases I loved – like those above. (And this is a first.)

“So, what’s the story actually about?” you ask.

What happens when you mix an Alaskan cruise and a mystery about art theft?

Art. Adventure. Attacks.

Family. Falsehood. Fear.

Suspicion. Secrets. Set-ups.

Can Jen trust her uncle? Her sister? Sam, the man she’s falling for?

Perilous Waters would make a great summer read while you’re relaxing on the beach. It might not, however, be your best choice if you’re going on a cruise and have an active imagination.


What Lies Within

Kyla had it all.

Or did she?

In her novel What Lies Within, author Karen Ball explores one young woman’s journey to discovering what really matters in life.

It has been said that life isn’t worth living until we find something worth dying for.

The protagonist comes face to face with this truth in Book 3 of the Family Honor Series. (As the author notes, you don’t have to read the other two books before reading this one.)

I admire Kyla’s tenacity and Rafe’s commitment, but my favourite character is Fredrik Tischler. I would love to sit down with him and discuss matters of faith. I can hear him say, “I’m Jewish. I’m in a temple. I should do something else?” (This is one of his first lines in the book.)

Each character is unique and well-developed. They are real people.

The story has many twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the end. I love that.

I would very much like to read more of Karen’s books.

I am 100 percent certain I will never get to the end of my To Be Read list, but that’s okay.

What’s on your summer reading list?

7 thoughts on “Mini Reviews

  1. Thanks for including my novel in such excellent company, Stephanie. I agree with you, Sandra Orchard includes some beautiful phrases, just enough to add to the experience without distracting from the story. And I’ve read a couple of Karen Ball’s books and enjoyed them.

    Reaching the end of our to-read lists? Nope. We’re always adding more books. The highlight of my summer list will be Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy novel, Words of Radiance. But before I can indulge, I have a few other books I need to read for review.

    Happy reading!

    1. You earned your place in that company, my friend. You really did.

      My son left behind several Brandon Sanderson books when he moved across the Pond. I did begin Elantris and liked it, but they just take such an investment of time. Maybe I should take that speed reading course I’ve debated about. 🙂

      1. They do take a significant time investment, and there may not be enough relationship depth for you. The Mistborn series has some, and the books are short-ish for fantasy. I haven’t read Elantris.

        I can’t believe I forgot the other book I’m looking forward to this summer (largely because we don’t have a copy yet): Louise Penny’s new Inspector Gamache novel, The Long Way Home. If you aren’t put off by profanity, you would love this series but must read it in order. Gamache is one of my fictional heroes, and the characters’ inter-relations are key.

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