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A Mighty Fortress (Hymns of the West Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Note: the author has improved so much since writing of this book, and I really have enjoyed her more recent works.
It started out pretty well, but towards the middle it dragged on and on. Also, when dealing with the dual story lines of Joshua/Ruth and Jed, it skipped all over the place. One moment we'd be a month ahead, the next we'd be two months behind, the next we'd be a year ago, and so on.
There were quite a few characters towards the end, but I easily kept them separated in my head. I didn't really like Ruth (I found her to be a bit of a Mary Sue) or Joshua (same). They both seemed judgmental to me.
I did like Jed, who was presumably the antagonist. I looked forward to seeing what happened next to him. He made me want to write a Western. I don't know why, but I just find the outlaws and sheriffs and such of the old west to be fascinating. Probably too much John Wayne ...
The description was pretty good. I really do want to visit Montana someday. I didn't really see anything missing in this aspect. The dialogue was sometimes a little too modern.
This book probably needs a little more editing. The worst problem was probably the head-hopping. I never knew whose head we were in, which was confusing.
I normally love reading Christian fiction ... but in this book, I found the Christian content a little bit preachy. It was hard to get through the paragraphs of Bible that seemed put in at random. Almost everyone in this book was a Christian or became a Christian (usually remarkably easily), which I didn't find very realistic.
However, the overall theme of redemption and forgiveness was a good one - despite my not liking the portrayal of it - and I did appreciate that.
Violence: robbing, outlawing, and even several murders. Never detailed, always treated as (very) wrong.
Sexual: Jed supposedly raped a girl at one point. It all happened off-screen and was dealt with pretty tastefully.
Not my favorite book. I didn't really like it and wouldn't recommend it. However, later works by the author were much better.
~Kellyn Roth, @reveriesreviews.wordpress.com
** The story is interesting enough that you want to know what is going to happen
** There is a strong Christian theme throughout.
** Some things are accurate: quoting KJV, dresses, outlaws, small town talk, etc.
** The bad guy isn't just evil, you get to see he is what he is because of a rough past and consistent wrong choices.
** There is a lot of time jumping at first... jumping time and jumping between characters. It can be somewhat confusing at times. One has to really pay attention. And later on in the book, years fly by in a couple chapters. This made me not be able to identify with the characters as well because so much time had passed so quickly, I wasn't sure what they were like any more.
** I enjoy Scripture, but these kids were quoting a ton. So much so that you kinda got distracted from the story.
** The emotions seemed shallow and forced, the conversions shallow and too fast for reality.
** Things that were opened in the beginning were not all wrapped up in the end, so one left the book with questions.
** The characters considered letting the bad guy off the hook (and the girl he raped did do so), just because they felt it was Christian forgiveness to do so. Thankfully, there were others involved. Forgiveness does NOT mean that you don't bring justice to evil. This really bothered me.
** There were a lot of Christian phrases in there that are modern, and didn't fit with the time period.
All-in-all, the story was interesting, but felt forced and superficially religious. I would not recommend it unless you wanted to know how NOT to write a Christian book.
But, this is Faith's first book, I believe. I am sure with practice she will improve. Maybe in another five or ten years I'll read another of her books and find it splendid.