Sunday, May 18

The Martian by Andy Weir

After months of travel, Mark Watney became one of the first people to set foot on Mars. However, the mission ends prematurely after a major storm blows towards the astronauts’ camp. On their way to back to their shuttle, the storm catches up to them, blowing Watney from the rover. Believing he’s dead, the rest of the crew escapes, leaving Watney’s body behind.

But Watney didn’t die…at least not yet.

Stranded on the surface, he is forced to pull together the remaining resources to find a way to survive. He is forced to use the left over equipment much longer than it was originally intended. Each day brings a new struggle as he attempts to find a way to contact Earth. Though he hopes for a rescue, he also knows there are a million things that could go wrong. If everything fails, Watney will be the first person to die on Mars.

Saturday, May 17

The Extravagent Fool by Kevin Adams

The year 2008 was just the beginning for Kevin. At the start he had a successful business and had investments scattered across the board. He was living the dream.

All of this began to fall away, and it 2009 nearly everything was torn away from him. He found himself staring forward, with no idea what the future would bring. He and his family were struggling to just pay groceries and the electric bill. It was in these circumstances that Kevin decided that he just needed to let go of how he had viewed the world before, and begin trusting in God. Though the journey was not easy, he committed to it every step of way. His family and friends sometimes thought he was a fool, but he realized that the way he was living before was truly the foolish way.

The Advocate by Randy Singer

Raised in ancient Rome, Theophilus studies to become an advocate (read: lawyer). Studying the works of revered philosophers, he is passionate and knowledgeable. One of his first positions is as an assessore (a sort of adviser) to Pontius Pilate. It is Theophilus who whispers to Pilate, “Offer to release Barabbas” when Jesus is brought is brought before them. Theophilus believes in justice, and in the years that follow he proves himself as a capable advocate, standing up to likes of Caligula. His biggest test will be to stand before Nero and defend a man named Paul. While Theophilus be able to prevent the execution of a man he knows to be innocent?

Randy Singer is best known for his legal thrillers, though with the exception of The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ, they all were set in modern times. With The Advocate, Singer seeks to bring the world of Rome to the readers, weaving in cultural details, biblical events, and the legal setting of the time. The cases that Theophilus experiences are far different from the American court rooms we are used to reading about.

Saturday, May 10

Persecuted by Robin Parrish

After being framed for murder, popular evangelist John Luther is on the run. Even worse, he is being tracked by a mysterious assassin who will not hesitate to kill anyone who gets in the way. But what led to Luther’s current condition? He refused to support a proposed piece of legislation which could eventually lead to religious persecution across the country. Now, not only must he survive, he must also stop this bill from becoming law.

Persecuted is a fast paced novel, based on the movie of the same name which comes out later this year. I can’t speak to the accuracy in which it follows the film, as I have not seen it, but Persecuted came off as being written cinematically. At times this was great, as it helped set up the scene, and could give a better understanding of the action going on. Other times it seemed distracting as Parrish would draw our attention that was likely referenced in the screenplay, but not meant to be focused on, such as strange details given about the type of handset someone is using for the phone.