The Floating Island

Author: Elizabeth Haydon
Series: The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Starscape
Pages: 351

I stumbled across this book in the library last week and, in spite of the fact that I had never heard of it or its author before, I was intrigued so I picked it up.
The Floating Island is the story of Ven Polypheme, a young Nain (similar to a dwarf) boy who finds himself thrown into a 'series of unfortunate events', as it were. Being attacked by pirates, nearly drowned, threatened by unintentionally-made enemies, and forced to seek shelter in a haunted inn, are just a few of the mishaps that befall him along the way as he seeks to find his way home and, at the same time, satisfy his own insatiable curiosity and desire for adventure.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I must admit, I have absolutely no idea what the dragon on the cover has to do with anything in the story - a talking cat, or a mermaid, or even a ghost wolf would have been much more appropriate and applicable - but it was still a very fun story.
My one complaint was the part of the story that hinged on the cursed spirit of someone who was buried at a crossroads, and the characters' quest to bring the spirit rest in order to restore the magic of the land surrounding the crossroads. The magic itself didn't bother me that much in and of itself, because of the author's explanation that magic was a force or energy built into creation when the Creator (and yes, she capitalized Creator) made it. I was more bothered by the ghost character who came into the story, and by some of the ghost-related circumstances that arose, however. I won't say I would never let my kids read this book, but I would definitely wait to let them read it until they were mature enough to understand the true nature of ghosts and spirits and not be confused. I would let my 18-year-old brother read it without a second thought, but I wouldn't give it to my much more impressionable 13-year-old sister.
So on the whole, a very fun, lighthearted fantasy read, but one I wouldn't necessarily recommend for the young audience it was intended for.


Rules of Engagement: Preparing for Your Role in the Spiritual Battle

Author: Derek Prince
Genre: Theology, Christian Life and Thought
Publisher: Chosen - a division of Baker Publishing Group
Pages: 266

While I have to say I absolutely love the amazing cover art of this book, I have rather mixed feelings on the book itself. A lot of it was great, very thought-provoking, convicting, encouraging, and inspiring. It made me think about several parts of God's Word in ways I hadn't considered before, and brought issues and struggles in my own life that I hadn't noticed or paid much attention to, to the forefront of my mind. That's always a good thing.
However, there were several instances throughout the book when I thought the author might be reading a little too much into a particular passage of the Bible, basing a little too much on speculation. None of the thoughts he put forth in those instances seemed wildly off the reservation or anything, but there were multiple instances in which I would have like a lot more scripture to back things up. Things like that make me very nervous. I'm not opposed to ideas and imaginative thought, I just like it to have a solid, irrefutable base in Scripture.
There were a few instances where the book seemed a little touchy-feely - a suggested 'Faith Response' with a model prayer placed at the end of each chapter, for example. It wasn't just thick with it, but touchy-feely-ness in any amount turns me off very quickly.
So on the whole: not all bad, but not all great, either. Read it, but do so with a grain of salt.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review.