Category Archives: 2015 Book Reviews

Book Review 75: The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll

wooden sea

I’ve spent the last month of 2015 reading three novels by Jonathan Carroll. The Wooden Sea is the third of the Carroll novels I’ve read. You can look at the reviews of the other two Carroll novels: White Apples and Glass Soup here.  I will admit after reading these novels that Jonathan Carroll has joined my must read author list. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these works and they have shown me how far the boundaries of fantasy fiction can extend.

The Wooden Sea is the story of small town police chief, Frannie McCabe of Crane’s View, New York.  Chief McCabe has a three-legged dog that drops dead in front of him and the event takes him on a life-altering ride throughout the novel unveiling the true meaning of love and sacrifice.

I could not help but think of this passage of scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. {1 Corinthians 13:1-8 The Message Bible}

The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthians in that passage of New Testament Scripture what the true meaning of love is in 1st century Greek Culture. It seems to me by happenstance that Carroll has woven the same theme in the Wooden Sea (as well as White Apples & Glass Soup). The Wooden Sea would never be mistaken for a Christian novel, but there is spiritual resonance along with touches of the surrealistic and fantastic interwoven together making it a surprising novel with emotion and depth.

The only issue I had with the novel was the ending.  The abrupt ending of the novel left me wanting more time with Chief McCabe and his wife, Magda.  However, this novel was my favorite of the Carroll novels and I will give it my highest recommendation as one of my best reads of 2015.

 

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Book Review 72: A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

How would you feel as a reader about the direction of a series when the author introduces a brand new character? This is the question that Kristine Kathryn Rusch presents in the third book of the Anniversary Day Saga of the Retrieval Artist Series.  I have read and review the nine previous books in the… Continue Reading

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Book Review 71: Blowback by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Blowback is Book 2 of the Anniversary Day Saga by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  This novel continues into the exploration of the Moon’s Anniversary Day attacks that happened in Book 1 of the saga.  As a result of the attacks, Moon’s Chief Security Officer Noelle DeRicci is trying to hold the remaining vestiges of the government… Continue Reading

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Book Review 70: For Love or Money by Susan Kaye Quinn

“Writing challenges me to discover who I am. Publishing challenges me to remember it.” “You have to work like crazy, be smart, somehow invest every particle of emotion into the book itself, but then fling it out in the world and be ruthlessly pragmatic about how to sell it.” Those two quotes (of many that… Continue Reading

Book Review 69: Anniversary Day by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I’m coming up on seventy posted reviews for this website and I’ve written many other reviews on various book social websites like Goodreads, Booklikes, and such. I have noticed there are some books you read and review because of their importance to the literary culture.  There are some books you read and review and that… Continue Reading

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Book Review 68: Tower of Glass by Robert Silverberg

I’m continuing my summer reading of Robert Silverberg novels from the most prolific period of his career, 1967-1976.  I reviewed A Time of Changes previously and now it’s time for Tower of Glass. Simeon Krug, inventor and entrepreneur, is obsessed in getting a tower of glass built toward a star where he can communicate with outer… Continue Reading

Book Review 67: A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg

What is the strength or conviction of someone’s beliefs unless they are tested by temptation? The Nebula Award winning novel A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg attempts to answer the aforementioned question.  Prince Kinnall from the planet Velada Borthan tells his story as a memoir about how he became tempted by a substance brought… Continue Reading

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