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Showing posts with label DeryaLittle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DeryaLittle. Show all posts

Monday, 31 December 2018

Top Ten Fiction Books 2018

Top Ten Fiction Books of 2018

My total books this year is down a bit from last year, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The year by the numbers:

359 books read
215 received 5/5 stars
35 of those had been read before
137 were non-Fiction
78 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction books of 2018. 

Top Ten Fiction Books of 2018 are:

1. Lives of the Early Christians in Rome Trilogy - Father Michael E. Giesler
  Junia - Marcus - Grain of Wheat
2. West Brothers Books - Theresa Linden
  Battle for His Soul
  Life-Changing Love 
  Roland West Outcast
  Anyone But Him
3. Down Time - Barry Lyga - An I Hunt Killers Prequel
4. Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body - Edited by Erin McCole Cupp and Ellen Gable
5. Thanos Titan Consumed - Barry Lyga - MARVEL's Avengers
6. Outwalkers - Fiona Shaw  
7. Secrets Visible & Invisible - Catholic Teen Books Anthology
8. The Absence of War - Amy Welborn
9. We Are All Jacob's Children: A Tale of Hope, Wisdom, and Faith - Noah benShea
10. Kayan Kronicles - Derya Little 
       Lost
       Found

There were so many great reads this year it was really hard to narrow it down to just 10. 

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Sunday, 30 December 2018

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2018

My total books this year is down a bit from last year, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The year by the numbers:

359 books read
215 received 5/5 stars
35 of those had been read before
137 were non-Fiction
78 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2018 are:

1. Alice Curtayne's Books
2. The booklets by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky:
3. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
4. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
5. Catholic Truth Society Booklets
and more.
6. From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God - Derya Little 
7. The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order - Scott Hahn
8. The Fourth Cup: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper and Christ's Crucifixion - Scott Hahn
9. How to Think Like Aquinas: The Sure Way to Perfect Your Mental Powers - Kevin Vost
10. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Yes there are more than 10 books on the list. But it is 10 groupings of books in some cases. There were so many incredible reads this year it was so hard to narrow it down to just 10.

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Derya Little Author Profile and Interview

Derya Little Author Profile and Interview


Derya Little has published three books. Two fiction and an incredible autobiography; From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God her story is one of academic discovery, and a growing heartfelt faith. She is a Catholic convert, a mother, a wife, a daughter and more. She spent years in academia studying at various universities. Both her fiction and non-fiction writings exhibit the breadth of her knowledge and also her devout faith. She recently took some time from her busy schedule to answer 20 questions for the readers here at Book Reviews and More.  

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

I wanted to write my conversion story, and that was the first time I wrote for fun. Until then everything I wrote was for a class or a degree. I found that writing was actually enjoyable, then I couldn't stop writing. Now, I write almost every day and try to read as much as I can. 

2. Who were some of your biggest supporters and contributors to your early success?

Success is still very early for me :) My husband is undoubtedly my greatest supporter. I don't know I would have written anything, had he not encouraged me.

3. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

I have a Phd, but we decided that it would be best for me to stay at home with the kids. Now, when there is a lull in between diaper changes and lego towers, I write. 

4. What authors influenced your writing style and format for your fiction?

The general concepts come from my faith, but the Chesterton, Lewis and Rowling are the biggest influences in my style. Tolkien, however, is the reason I write fantasy. Chesterton is why I write about my faith.

5. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

Idea. Mull it over for a while. Play with characters or concepts. Jot down important things on a messy notebook. Outline each chapter. Try to write the entire book in a season (four months or so). Leave it alone for a month. Re-read. Cringe. Make changes. Get a brutally honest friend to read it. Take his advice. Proofread. Let go. 

6. If your writing process different when writing nonfiction as compared to writing fiction?

Not really. I think, it all comes down to a reasonable outline where I can work on small pieces instead of getting overwhelmed with the task of finishing an entire book. 

7. What current projects are you working on or are in the back burner in some stage of development?

I've just finished a non-fiction on how New Testament women helped me to become a better wife and a mother. Now, I'm working on MG fiction series exploring St. Thomas' five ways for God's existence.

8. I once heard Madeleine L'Engle state that her characters were real to her and almost an extended part of her family, she said once that at the dinner table she sat up and stated "Meg just finished her PhD." Are your characters real to you, do you ever get glimpses of what they are up to now, or once you finish a book is that it?

I imagine James and Maggie are living happily in Seattle. But I tend to not dwell on them too much, because I need my mind to become a blank slate for new characters. 

9. You recently rebranded and republished your fiction series it went from being the Kayan Kronicles to Two Fallen Worlds. What prompted the change in the series name and rebranding?

Two reasons: I could finally afford a professional proofreader and many readers told me that the titles were too vague. I hope the novels are better for it, but we shall see.

10. If you could only recommend 10 books to a reader looking to be a well rounded and whole person what books would you suggest?

The Everlasting Man by Chesterton
The Screwtape Letter by Lewis
Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
Pride and Prejudice by Austin
Memed, My Hawk by Ya?ar Kemal
The Bible (Some great stories in there:)
Confessions by St. Augustine 
Theology of the Body by St. John Paul II
Diary of Saint Faustina 

11. All of your books are available in electronic formats but with that comes bootleg distribution. What are your impressions of eBooks and the distribution of them through torrents and other illegal means?

I'm conflicted. Part of me thinks "well, at least people are reading," but other -and much bigger- part of me thinks "I worked hard for these books, and I don't want them to be stolen."

12. Some authors monitor torrent sites and have their publishers contact them to remove their content. Do you do so are have someone do so for you?

I don't, but maybe Ignatius Press does.

13. Your book From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path Through the Riddles of God is currently available on Formed.Org for free. 

I don't mind it's available for free. I wrote it to be an encouragement to everyone. It's a ministry for me.

14. Who were some of your favorite authors or books in your youth?

Jules Verne, Tolkien and Dostoyevsky. I read a lot of Ursula Le Guin, too. Also, quite a few Turkish authors like Orhan Pamuk and Yasar Kemal.

15. Who are some of your favorite authors or books now?

I'm enjoying Fr. Schall's and Bishop Sheen's works nowadays. There is always an attempt to read more of St. Thomas, too. The Angelic Doctor is exhaustive. I started reading more Flannery O'Connor. Just recently, I finished A Canticle for Leibowitz. It was an unexpected journey.

16. I once had a university professor state that the true goal of a university education should be to teach one to learn how to think. What would you state should be the goal of higher education and why?

Higher education should help us question and think critically. That freedom of thought should help the individual walk towards God, because all scientific inquiry gives an insight to His creation. Alas, higher education of today has moved far from this ideal.

17. You went to university in more than one country, and a few different schools. What professor had the largest impact on your life and why?

The Buddhist professor who made us read the Grand Inquisitor (no doubt to push us away from religion) contributed to my conversion immensely - unbeknownst to him, of course.

18. Are there any plans for translated editions of your book? 

I hope so, but I haven't heard anything concrete. 

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

Definitely a big book on survival! :)
The Bible
Divine Comedy
Kristin Lavransdatter  by Sigrid Undset
A Canticle for Leibowitz  by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
War and Peace by Tolstoy
Lord of the Rings
Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI
Summa Theologae by St. Thomas Aquinas
Brothers Karamazov

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists particularly those looking to have their art reflect their faith?

Be subtle. Let the reader chew on the ideas you present. Ask questions with your story and let the imagination wander towards the truth.

Derya, thank you for your time. As you can see from her answers, she is a woman of letters. I encourage you to check out both her fiction and her autobiography they are excellent reads. And I hope we see more from her pen soon.
Books by Derya Little:
Non-Fiction:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

Fiction:
First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above


Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:
Lost
Found

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.







Monday, 30 April 2018

Two Fallen Worlds Found - Derya Little - Kayan Kronicles Book 2

Two Fallen Worlds Found
Kayan Kronicles Book 2
Derya Little
A Seafarer Book
ISBN 
9781987535280
ASIN B07BYWVJ15


It is very seldom that I write two reviews for books in a series back to back. But when I finished book 1, Two Fallen Worlds Lost, I immediately started reading this one. And usually I alternate fiction and non-fiction. So book one was a great read, but book two was incredible! So this was the second book by Derya Little that I read in 4 days. I could not put this book down. In fact I stayed up so late reading last night, I had to go take a quick nape this afternoon at work, I just could not keep my eyes open. And since I am almost 50, I learned a few years ago that sleep was important. And yet last night I kept saying 1 more chapter, 1 more chapter and the next thing I knew the book was done. 

In my review of the first book I stated about this series:  "I immediately thought about the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burrows. Or the Barsoom series as some call it." And I feel that even more so after finishing the series. In this book James's lives have flipped, previously life on Earth was hard, and he could not wait to awaken on Kaya, where things were so much better. Now things on Earth are starting to turn around, and life in Aqui is filled with dangers, peril, and ever higher stakes. 

The description of this novel is:
"A sequel to The Manual Beyond... Now that James and his friends have the elusive Manual, surely it should be a matter of time to take the Ambit down. But neither the puzzling instructions nor their determined ruler is willing to cooperate. As open doors close one after another, is there still a chance to free Aqui? At least, things are looking up on Earth. James' mom is back in their lives. There is a glimmer of hope in the horizon. But, trust is a rare commodity for a homeless teenager. While James and Maggie try to navigate these new found waters, Kaya becomes a place where everyday is riddled with dangers and questions. Is the outcome worthy of the journey?"
James and his friends in Aqui are working with an ever growing team to try and bring down the Ambit. But the Rex has implemented marshal law and is using his knowledge of tactics from earth to put more and more pressure on James and the team. None of them will be left unscarred, some physically and some emotionally. But on Earth James meets with his mother again, and even agrees to meet with his father. Both of his parents are taking responsibility for the pain they caused, the mistakes they made and the time it might take to mend things. There is an incredible moving story about his mother, her alcoholism, and finding herself in a church before a copy of the pieta. Even though it is fiction this section nearly brought me to tears. But in order to bring down the Ambit they must solve another riddle and puzzle, and then once they know what the clues mean, find out how to make it happen. 

I loved the characters in this book, and truly enjoyed the concept of living two lives in two places. And to be honest I am a little sad that the series is completed. But it is an excellent book and series. In fact I can say it is one of the best new authors I have discovered in a few years and I do read a lot of books.

So if you enjoy classic science fiction along the lines of Burroughs, Heinlein, and Herbert, you owe it to yourself to give this series a try. If you just love a good read, you will enjoy these two books. And if you like a good clean story, with some faith based motifs this book has you covered there as well. I think these books would be a great addition to a school curriculum for grads 8-12, bet even with that being said I am nearly 50 and I loved them!

An amazing book in a great series!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Note: This is a new edition of books previously published as The Kayan Kronicles. 

Books by Derya Little:
Non-Fiction:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

Fiction:
First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above


Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:
Lost
Found

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.




Saturday, 28 April 2018

Two Fallen Worlds Lost - Derya Little - Kayan Kronicles Book 1

Two Fallen Worlds Lost
Kayan Kronicles Book 1
Derya Little
A Seafarer Book
ISBN 9781987535280
ASIN 
B07C7D9YV6


This was the first book I have read by Derya Little, but it will not be the last! From the advertised description of this book, I immediately thought about the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burrows. Or the Barsoom series as some call it. The description of this novel is:
"It's hard to be a homeless teenager in Seattle, getting wet in the endless rain, not knowing where the next meal is going to come from -or whether there would be a next meal. 
At least, that isn't James' only world. 
Every night, James Knox of Earth goes to sleep at midnight. Every morning, he wakes up on Kaya, a paradise far beyond our constellations. The end of his Kayan day returns him once again to the streets. 
On Earth, the struggles of homeless life cast a dark shadow. On Kaya, James and his friends find themselves in the middle of an unexpected challenge. 
Is the destination worthy of the journey?"
But in this book James goes transports to a different body, on a different planet, and based on the constellations likely in a different solar system or even different galaxy. Can you imagine living two lives, one as an orphan, the other as a street kid in Seattle. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I got far too little sleep because of this book, and put it down way too late my first night reading it because my alarm was set for work for 5am. I finished the book the next day on the way to school. Now I will warn you that the book ends with a cliff hanger. So be prepared to want to jump into book two, The Ambit Above, right away.

James Knox lives two very different lives. On earth he is living on the streets of Seattle. He has settled into a weekly routine, with his friend sort of like his little sister, Maggie. They met shortly after her arrived on the streets and have been sticking together ever since. And every night no matter what time he goes to bed on Earth, he falls asleep at midnight and wakes up on Kaya at 7am. One life is hardship, struggle and strife, and the other though challenging work in school, and fields, and in the mines, but overall life is much more comfortable. But Kaya is a gilded cage there I a protective ambit above and around this island country. They are separate from the rest of their world. No one can get in and no one can get out. He lives in a house with other orphans and they start thinking about a way to take down the shield

Soon his life is turned upside down on both worlds. And It looks like James might play a pivotal part in freeing the people of Aqui. And Maggie and his friends from Aqui are both working together to try and solve the puzzle of how to set a people free.

This book was an excellent read. For a first novel it was amazing. I loved the story, the characters, the plot. Teacher monks, people with marks that gave them special abilities. Traveling to another planet while asleep. Reading this took me back to reading a lot of classic science fiction when I was in high school. It reminds me of Burroughs, Heinlein, and Herbert. I only finished book one the morning I wrote this and have already read a third of book two. This is a wonderful read that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!
Note: This is a new edition of books previously published as The Kayan Kronicles.

Books by Derya Little:
Non-Fiction:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

Fiction:
First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above


Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:
Lost
Found

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.





Wednesday, 31 January 2018

From Islam to Christ One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God - Derya Little

From Islam to Christ: 
One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God
Derya Little
Ignatius Press

ISBN 9781621641124
ASIN B0746QXNLV


This was the third book by Derya I have read in the last month. The other two were her fiction series, and as much as I loved those stories. This story is incredible and proves yet again that real life is stranger than fiction. This is a powerful story, and I am very thankful to have read it. This book is an easy read from a reading level, but at parts is very hard to read about what Derya went through on her journey to Christ, and then into Catholicism. For an academic this book is very accessible. In fact, in many ways it reminded me of reading C.S. Lewis's religious writings.

The stories of the people God brought into her life. And the path she traveled to become a person of faith is incredible. I also appreciate her little weavings of her love of fiction into her story as examples. Such as early on she says:
"Most importantly, that Turkish young woman did not want anything to do with God, yet I was filled with gratitude and hope at the sight of a crucifix in a garage. Little by little, I had traveled far, not only physically but also spiritually. Thankfully, as wise Gandalf says in The Lord of the Rings, "Not all who wander are lost.""
Or later when she exclaims:
"I was a new creation, and I could not wait to learn all about my new life. When my journey began, I was a reluctant traveler like Bilbo Baggins, who was jostled and annoyed by uninvited guests in his house. That evening I made the same discovery eventually made by Bilbo-that I was being led on a thrilling, life-changing adventure."
For much like Bilbo her life has been an incredible journey. Both spiritually and physically. She travelled from a culturally Islamic family in Turkey. To England for grad studies, where she became Roman Catholic. And finally, on to the United States to become a wife, a mother and author. She first became a Christian through the influence of evangelical Christians. Later when a friend from those circles became Catholic she decided to study Catholicism to refute his positions. But few people begin their study with the theology of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. Finding it a stretch she returned to Mark Shea's 'By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition' She states:
"To be honest, after reading Shea's book, I was not suddenly convinced of the Catholic Church's authority over all Christians, but I found a giant hole in my arguments against all things Catholic."
And thus, began her study in earnest. She had to convince the staff at a Catholic church in Turkey that she was serious. Her persistence eventually led to a pivotal turning point.

Later she says:
"I would love to hop into TARDIS and travel back in time to have a chat with my twenty-year-old self, telling her that in seventeen years she would be Catholic, married to an American, raising four children, and writing on the side. She would not believe it. She would more readily believe in a time machine and an alien race with two hearts than in the version of herself that I have become."
And I wonder how many of us would like the chance to go back and tell our younger selves something. And she concludes the book with these words:
"It occurs to me that little by little, I traveled far.It occurs to me that God is forever faithful.It occurs to me that I was lost, but now I am found."
Now this story is not all sunshine and roses. Derya came from a very dysfunctional family. Her parents were divorced at a time and place where that was not the norm. Her mother checked out, and her father focused his time, attention and money on his new wife. She experienced years of rejection and rebellion in her own life, and those choices had consequences. Some that would bother her for years. But God proved to be with her always guiding and leading her.

This book is a powerful read, but it is not all rainbows and candy. I found that my own faith was inspired and encouraged by Derya's story. And my prayers for my own children has redoubled. I highly recommend you give this book a try. And if you love a good fiction story check out her Kayan Kronicles!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Derya Little:
Non-Fiction:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

Fiction:
First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above


Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:
Lost
Found

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.








Friday, 19 January 2018

The Ambit Above - Derya Little - Kayan Kronicles Book 2

The Ambit Above
Kayan Kronicles Book 2
Derya Little
A Seafarer Book
ISBN 9781535192835

ASIN B01N8T6YIF


It is very seldom that I write two reviews for books in a series back to back. But when I finished book 1, The Manual Beyond, I immediately started reading this one. And usually I alternate fiction and non-fiction. So book one was a great read, but book two was incredible! So this was the second book by Derya Little that I read in 4 days. I could not put this book down. In fact I stayed up so late reading last night, I had to go take a quick nape this afternoon at work, I just could not keep my eyes open. And since I am almost 50, I learned a few years ago that sleep was important. And yet last night I kept saying 1 more chapter, 1 more chapter and the next thing I knew the book was done. 

In my review of the first book I stated about this series:  "I immediately thought about the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burrows. Or the Barsoom series as some call it." And I feel that even more so after finishing the series. In this book James's lives have flipped, previously life on Earth was hard, and he could not wait to awaken on Kaya, where things were so much better. Now things on Earth are starting to turn around, and life in Aqui is filled with dangers, peril, and ever higher stakes. 

The description of this novel is:
"A sequel to The Manual Beyond... Now that James and his friends have the elusive Manual, surely it should be a matter of time to take the Ambit down. But neither the puzzling instructions nor their determined ruler is willing to cooperate. As open doors close one after another, is there still a chance to free Aqui? At least, things are looking up on Earth. James' mom is back in their lives. There is a glimmer of hope in the horizon. But, trust is a rare commodity for a homeless teenager. While James and Maggie try to navigate these new found waters, Kaya becomes a place where everyday is riddled with dangers and questions. Is the outcome worthy of the journey?"
James and his friends in Aqui are working with an ever growing team to try and bring down the Ambit. But the Rex has implemented marshal law and is using his knowledge of tactics from earth to put more and more pressure on James and the team. None of them will be left unscarred, some physically and some emotionally. But on Earth James meets with his mother again, and even agrees to meet with his father. Both of his parents are taking responsibility for the pain they caused, the mistakes they made and the time it might take to mend things. There is an incredible moving story about his mother, her alcoholism, and finding herself in a church before a copy of the pieta. Even though it is fiction this section nearly brought me to tears. But in order to bring down the Ambit they must solve another riddle and puzzle, and then once they know what the clues mean, find out how to make it happen. 

I loved the characters in this book, and truly enjoyed the concept of living two lives in two places. And to be honest I am a little sad that the series is completed. But it is an excellent book and series. In fact I can say it is one of the best new authors I have discovered in a few years and I do read a lot of books.

So if you enjoy classic science fiction along the lines of Burroughs, Heinlein, and Herbert, you owe it to yourself to give this series a try. If you just love a good read, you will enjoy these two books. And if you like a good clean story, with some faith based motifs this book has you covered there as well. I think these books would be a great addition to a school curriculum for grads 8-12, bet even with that being said I am nearly 50 and I loved them!

An amazing book in a great series!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!
Note: This series has been republished in a new edition as Two Fallen Worlds.


Books by Derya Little:
Non-Fiction:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

Fiction:
First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above


Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:
Lost
Found

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.