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Customer Reviews: 2
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Helpful Votes: 33

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Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island
Price: $16.84
66 used & new from $12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great co-op game by a company with excellent customer service, February 4, 2014
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This review is from: Forbidden Island (Toy)
Bought this game on a recommendation from the guys at Penny-Arcade, and I wasn't disappointed. My wife doesn't like when we play games against each other, so cooperative games are right up our alley. We played it 7 times within the first 2 days of owning it, in fact. It's easy to understand after a playthrough or 2, and is even accessible by children, I'd say. It is difficult however, but the group nature of the game makes for great team-building and problem-solving. This game is fun even with 2 people.

The piece quality is excellent, and the art is very charming. I actually found that one of the game pieces was drastically misprinted, so that the letters were cut off on the bottom. Seemed like a simple print machine error. So I emailed Gamewright customer service and received a response almost immediately. They apologized and sent me a replacement piece within a few weeks (it was holiday season), no questions asked. I can't say enough about this company, they made a great game and obviously care about their customers.

The Influence (Supernatural Thriller)
The Influence (Supernatural Thriller)
Price: $3.99

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great on Theology, Mediocre on Writing, February 19, 2011
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Matt Slick is one of the greatest Christian apologists of our day. That being said, he's not a novelist. I'll first tackle the "cons", and then the "pros".

I give this book a 3 for writing, and a perfect 5 for theology, averaging to a decent 4. As a film and writing student, I'm going to be extra harsh when judging this story. It's clear that Matt is an amateur when it comes to storytelling, jumping in and out of third-person limited narration to give the book a sometimes emotionally jarring attitude. The characters are flat at times, with little uniqueness about them. While this keeps the characters believable, it doesn't give them much appeal. The angels and demons are by far the most interesting part of the story. The dialogue seems lame and contrived at times, with character blatantly stating their feelings and lacking the subtly of real human interaction. I guess I see a bit of Matt in each character, rather than seeing the character as an individual. This could be result of the fact that I spend so much time on his website and listening to his radio show. The story travels along and holds your interest well-enough, though it is predictable at times and lacks nuance or suspense. When someone has a prophecy about what's going to happen at the end, it's hard to take the character's confusion seriously. This goes back to the awkward third-person limited narration that fades in and out of the characters' minds. There was some interesting symbolism and parallelism going on with the butterfly imagery, but I would have liked to see more of that. Even so, the main character blatantly recognizes the symbolism and points it out to the reader, which I find to be intellectually insulting. These types of things are generally meant to be added spice for the astute reader, not obvious symbolism put in there to impress everyone.

That being said, Matt Slick's theology is spot on, and inspires a victorious "yes!" every time the main character understands a new philosophical truth. I never doubted Matt's ability to articulate the Christian faith in a concise, satisfying, and Biblical way. Though his characters ask only the "typical" questions, this is what makes the book a great buy for a skeptical friend who loves sci-fi or action stories. Though this is true, I can see many of my friends getting to the Jesus stuff at the end and promptly putting the book down. No matter, we can't water down the Gospel of Christ. I suppose my concern is that if you didn't know any better, you might not know it was a work of Christian fiction until at least halfway through, as the angel answering the questions is quite vague the entire time. I fear my non-believing friends might feel tricked, if they didn't already know it was Christian. I'll also say this: although it did seem contrived and cheesy at times, it didn't stop me from reading it every night. It's something that is hard to put down, especially as a Christian. You're just wondering to yourself, "When is this guy going to GET IT, already?" Also, Matt doesn't just go into hard biblical truth, but also adds a ton of bloody violence that is sure to satisfy anybody with appropriate levels of testosterone. Angels and demons tearing each other's wings off? Can't beat that. Which brings me to another point: This book would make a fantastic film, in the hands of a proper screen-writer. It would not work without the proper script. There are simply lines and scenes in this book which would not help the story in the medium of film.

To conclude my review, I'll say this: The ending is what makes this book. Though I personally saw it coming from a mile away, it doesn't make it any less awesome or satisfying. Matt Slick may not be a world-class novel writer, but he's a top-notch theologian and I would trust any of his literature in the hands of my non-Christian friends without batting an eyelash. This man knows his Bible. If you're a theologian who doesn't tend to read a lot of fiction, give this a try. It will satisfy your intellectual and emotional sides simultaneously, although at times in an unpolished way. With a little practice and critique, Matt could be a fantastic novelist. I would rather sacrifice the writing in favor of sound doctrine any day, anyway.

Definitely will be reading the sequel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2013 7:32 PM PDT

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