21 Feb 2024

The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater: 2023 Catchup

 Published 10th October 2023, Bethany House
Print, Ebook and Audio

Dual Timeline Historical Fiction

It promises beauty but steals life instead. Will the ghosts of Barlowe Theater entomb them all?

Barlowe Theater stole the life of Greta Mercy's eldest brother during its construction. Now in 1915, the completed theater appears every bit as deadly. When Greta's younger brother goes missing after breaking into the building, Greta engages the assistance of a local police officer to help her unveil the already ghostly secrets of the theater. But when help comes from an unlikely source, Greta decides that to save her family she must uncover the evil that haunts the theater and put its threat to rest.

Decades later, Kit Boyd's best friend vanishes during a ghost walk at the Barlowe Theater, and old stories of mysterious disappearances and ghoulish happenings are revived. Then television ghost-hunting host and skeptic Evan Fisher joins Kit in the quest to identify the truth behind the theater's history. Kit reluctantly agrees to work with him in hopes of finding her missing friend. As the theater's curse unravels Kit's life, she is determined to put an end to the evil that has marked the theater and their hometown for the last century.



 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater delivered everything I enjoy in Jaime Jo Wright’s novels: excitement, thrilling mystery, danger and an exhilarating story with a hint of romance. Some of this author’s novels get very dark in terms of the subjects and material which they touch on, this one doesn’t so much. It does go into attitudes towards the urban poor and disadvantaged and how these can perpetuate the cycle of poverty and crime. 

Although I did enjoy this one, and I would certainly give it a re-read along with some of my other Jaime Jo Wright novels I didn’t feel there was very much new about it. I don’t know, except for the setting in a theatre, there was a lot that reminded me of the author’s previous books. Maybe that’s a good thing, as it gives the reader a sense of familiarity and so we know what to expect, I don’t know.

Also, I found the modern heroine a bit vapid. She’s like a lot of other female protagonists in mystery novels with little to make her stand out.

Thanks to Bethany House for approving my request for this title via Netgalley. This didn’t influence my opinions in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.

Of Love and Treason Jamie Ogle

 Published 23rd January 2024, Tyndale House
Print, Ebook and Audio


Historical Fiction: Ancient Rome

Rome, AD 270. In the wake of the emperor’s marriage ban, rumors swirl that there is one man brave enough to perform wedding ceremonies in secret. A public notarius and leader of an underground church, Valentine believes the emperor’s edict unjust and risks his own life for the sake of his convictions. But as his fame grows, so do fears for his safety.

Iris, the daughter of a Roman jailor, believes regaining her sight will ease the mounting troubles at home. Her last hope rests in searching out Valentine and his church, but the danger of associating with people labeled a threat to the empire is great. Still, as Iris's new friends lead her to faith in God, Iris is drawn to Valentine and they both begin to hope for a future together beyond the treacherous empire.

But when a past debt and a staggering betrayal collide, Valentine, Iris, and everyone they love must fight for their lives . . . and wrestle with trusting a God who can restore sight yet does not always keep His followers from peril.



 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


 Of Love and Treason was a wonderful, heartfelt and encouraging book. Like the author, I wasn't very keen on Valentine's Day, especially as it’s marked these days, and I only vaguely knew the story of St Valentine, whom it was meant to be named after.

By the end, I was left with immense admiration for the man who defied the emperor to do what he thought was right, and kept his faith to the last, despite horrific tortures and death. I don't think I will ever view Valentine’s Day in the same way again.
It is to be noted that there is not much evidence for his existence or life - so this is largely the author's interpretation: but it’s one that fits well into the historical context.

This book both touched and challenged me, which I am inclined to believe, is good in a work of fiction. Especially one which is the author's debut. Can we trust God in the hard times when the ultimate price may be paid and not just when he does what we want? 

Lillian Kelly did a good job with the narration of this book, and with the male as well as female roles.

Thanks to Tyndale House for approving me for this title on Netgalley. This did not influence my review and all opinions expressed are freely given and my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...