Monday, August 26, 2013

Double Whammy Book Review

I have two books to tell you about today.  Let's start with Finding Sheba by Heather Moore

When I started reading Finding Sheba it was like Heather Moore had blended her talent with historicals and contemporary all into one book.  We have a story thread of the Queen of Sheba and what's going on in her life after her father dies and she goes on a mission to avenge his death.  I was so fascinated with the way she was portrayed and the theories that were put forward on her life and what could have happened.  The research was impeccable and I really was pulled into wanting to know more about her.

The second storyline was Omar Zagouri, an undercover Israeli agent who hates his boss, misses his ex-girlfriend and has to find the remains of the Queen of Sheba before the antiquities criminal organization does. If he doesn't, the political ramifications could be irreversible and deadly.  I loved how real he felt, how many flaws he had, and the relationship he had with Mia.  So, so good.

The third storyline was Jade the American archaeologist whose professor is murdered, but she still goes on the internship to the Middle East anyway.  She meets up with Lucas, an Egyptologist, who also has his own theories of what happened to the Queen of Sheba.  They criss-cross into several countries trying to unravel the clues and artifacts left behind until they realize their own lives are in danger.  It's definitely a storyline where you don't know who to trust and the reader experiences a whole range of emotions with Jade.

At first I liked one storyline better than another and was tempted to skip ahead to that storyline's parts, but I'm glad I didn't.  There were beats to each story that by about fifty pages in made it impossible to put down. The suspense and the romance in all three stories had me up until one in the morning turning pages just to see what would happen.  And the end did not disappoint.  There was so much emotion wrapped up in all of the stories I felt drained, satisfied, and excited for the next Omar Zagouri adventure to start.  Heather has really raised the bar.  I don't know how she will outdo this book with her next one, but I know she will.  I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves great suspense, with a splash of romance.  And it's almost like you're getting three stories for the price of one, too, so win/win for everyone!

Here's the back copy:

For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon. When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes. Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly.

The second book I want to tell you about today is God Doesn't Write With a Pen by Christi Lynn Pauline . This is a non-fiction book about a Fangamou family from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.  The father, Blema, was a pharmacist and accused of selling medicine to rebels.  He manages to get out of the very dangerous situation alive, but in order to protect his family he can't go home.

This book tells the incredible journey for this husband, wife, and children to be reunited as a family in the face of almost insurmountable odds.  The hardships were so difficult and it is humbling to read how much this family went through to be together.  I felt completely inspired by their journey, their courage and faith while in such horrible circumstances, and all that they went through to be together and come to America. A must-read for anyone who needs a reminder of how blessed we are to live in this country and that even during times of trouble we still can choose to trust in the Lord and know that we are in His care.

Here's the back copy:

Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, is war-torn and chaotic after the election of 1994. The Fangamou family are ripped apart and are forced to flee for their lives, not knowing if they'll ever see each other alive again. This incredible true story recounts the Fangamous' amazing journey of hardships, miracles, reunion, and life-altering experiences to help us recognize the tender mercies in our own lives.


"The story of the Fangamou family is both compelling and inspiring. Christi Pauline has done a great job of capturing the turbulent emotions of this family as they pass through trial after trial with continued trust in the Lord. It is a fascinating and rewarding read." John H. Groberg, emeritus General Authority and author

"Occasionally, from the crisis of conflict and tragedy, heroes emerge. They inspire us with their courage, determination, and faith in the power of love. This story is a testimony of the triumph of the human spirit." John Lund, Ed.D and author

"Christi Pauline has captured the tender emotions of this poignant tale of triumph over tremendous heartache." Greg Olsen, artist


Heather Moore said...

Thanks, Julie! You're one of my esteemed reviewers, and I know if you enjoy the book, then I can breathe a sigh of relief :-)

Debra Erfert said...

I've never read a Heather Moore book that I didn't enjoy. This shall be added to my reading list!