Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Holy Shmit!

Holy Shmit!, Corey Deitz, Kindle e-book, 2012

This novel is about your average parish priest, who is given a special assignment directly from the Pope.

Father Shmit suffers from Tourette's Syndrome. Naturally, it manifests itself at the most inconvenient times, except when he is conducting an exorcism. Some priests give wonderful and inspiring sermons week after week, and some priests are best at one-on-one contact. Father Shmit's talent is in exorcisms. His methods can charitably be called "unique," but no one can argue with his success rate.

He is called to the Vatican, and meets privately with Pope Benedict. Father Shmit is told that God is being held hostage by Satan, and that his special talents are needed (no, He is not chained to a chair in an abandoned warehouse). Father Shmit travels to the site along with a computer hacker friend (his plan involves God's e-mail address). Do they succeed? Is God freed from captivity?

As you may have guessed, this is a satire on Christianity. Those who take their religion seriously, and feel that Christianity should never be satirized, will probably skip this book. That is a very bad idea, because it also has some really good writing on the nature of God. Is He a cosmic puppeteer, controlling every bit of our lives, or is He more like a bowling alley reset machine, setting up the pins for humanity to knock down? It's normal to ask why a loving God would allow things like 9/11 or African famine to occur. Take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. For every Adolf Hitler, there is a Martin Luther King, Jr. For every Joseph Stalin, there is a Nelson Mandela. Overall, throughout history, things have gone pretty well for humanity. Atheists want their non-belief to be respected by society. Is there some reason why they can't return the favor, and respect those who do believe, especially around Christmas?

A really open mind will help when reading this book. Get past the satire, and the foul language, and this is a thought-provoking, and funny, story that will keep the reader interested. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Lightbridge Legacy: Destiny's Call

The Lightbridge Legacy: Destiny's Call, Elayne James, Mischievous Muse Press, 2011

This is the first of a trilogy (actually one long novel split into three books). This young adult tale is an excellent piece of writing. Ani, an adolescent girl who, troubled by strange dreams and visions, finds herself remembering things that haven't yet happened, is a very believable 12-year-old. Along with all the normal adolescent traumas, she is faced with an unexpected move to New York City where she encounters enemies both natural (school bullies) and supernatural. Add in some Native American spirituality and you've got a story that has plenty of heart and soul. Young people will enjoy this novel; adults will enjoy it too.