Nov 26, 2009

Powers, by John B. Olson

I received an Advance Copy of "Powers" by John B. Olson and was intrigued. While the publisher is a Christian one, the book seemed to be something of an urban fantasy. Also, it was a sequel to an earlier novel, "Shade".

As I began to read, I found the words and phrases to be disjointed and poetic, almost as if I was watching something unfold before me which was blurred and somewhat incomprehensible. Clearly, this was meant by the author as a literary tool to keep you guessing and to put yourself into his hands for the "ride" and just see what happens.

Set in bayou bogs and forests with mysticism and ancient beliefs, urban centers with smoothly wealthy villains, and even including military/police conspiracy as well, it was somewhat jumbled. This too, seems to be a literary tool, making the setting contribute to the epic feel of the book.

The main character, Jazz, is a man who has power which he is only beginning to experience as blackouts and frightening situations which begin to happen. The "Mulo", the dark side, is already aware of him and has plans for him. He is befriended by several people near the beginning, one of whom seems to be along for the thrill ride of Jazz's current life, and others who claim to know what is going on with him. They claim to be alike, part of an ancient group of special people called the "Standing" which fights against this evil "Mulo".

Never knowing who to trust and how to interpret what is happening to him, Jazz is barely kept from death numerous times. It was this which began to weaken the book. Facing an impossible situation so many times and coming out alive began to get old.

Another main character, Mari (Mariutza), has much training from her grandfather, another of the "Standing", but no knowledge of its history or current situation. She is faced with trying to interpret how to put into action her training.

While I've enjoyed this genre before, I was somehow disappointed by "Powers". The murky setting and confusing plot was emotionally gripping, but didn't satisfy my mind. The Christian aspects didn't seem to be integral to the plot or the characters.

I decided to read the first book in the series to see if I could better understand this one. So, I read "Shade" and found the same types of setting and characters and the same impossible situations consistently resulting in our main characters remaining alive. However, the first book was somehow more satisfying to my mind, although the Christian parts were just as ill-fitting.

Nov 8, 2009

Bonfire !

What a fun night! Click on the photo to see it big. It was a huge bonfire.

We had a Reformation Day picnic and bonfire last night. Hay rides, Chili and lots of other fun.

Nov 2, 2009

A Photo Weekend

This Fall started out gorgeous and then degenerated into a soggy mess. The trees, which had promised to be gorgeous for some time, lost many of their leaves and we were left with trying to catch the last of them.
Making jokes proved good for treetime smiles.
Collecting leaves from the ground after the rain stopped was fun.
These cuties were dancing and jumping for Joy on October 31st.
The pink haired ones were carving pumpkins.

"Well, hey there, ma'am"

More carving with slimy guts and slippery seeds.