Friday, January 7, 2011

Tea & Read: Nightshade

Title: Nightshade
Author: Ronie Kendig
Rating: Spend the Day Sleepy

I love it when random moments result in greatness. I love it even more when casual encounters turn into great reading. That’s exactly what happened during the ACFW conference last year.

I had gone to the bookstore during a time when different authors were set up for book signings. I’d browsed through the bookstore and nothing caught my eye, so I wandered around the book signing tables. One of the authors had military gear set up at her table. Me being a military wife, I went over to check things out. That and the fact that I love finding new favorite authors.

I can still remember the confused look Ronie Kendig gave me when I walked up without a book to sign. She probably thought I was crazy when I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself so I could decide if I wanted to buy her book.

But before she could open her mouth, another woman walked up to the table and started gushing about the book and its main character, Max. The woman finished by saying, “I love Max.” As Ronie had signed her book, I said, “I’m sold.” I walked back into the bookstore and bought a copy of Nightshade for Ronie to sign. She wrote, Thank you so much for taking a chance with Max and his team! No, thank you Ronie, for writing an amazing book.

Nightshade is the first book in the Discarded Heroes Series. It is the story of Max Jacobs, a former Navy seal. He is home from war and battling PTSD. Things are not going well in his marriage either; his wife has a restraining order against him. But Max is giving an opportunity to be a part of a team and a great adventure follows.

I think the best part of this book was the characters. I read a lot of Christian fiction and for the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve been reading the same characters only in different settings. But not with Max and Sydney. Kendig created fresh and engaging characters. And she accomplished something that I always enjoy: she wrote flawed characters without making them annoying.

And talk about a page turning. I found myself zipping through the story but the pace wasn’t too fast. It was balanced, keeping me locked in for the ride. Kendig is also to be praised for her treatment of the military. Max and his team are very realistic, going beyond the normal military stereotypes.

This book pulled my emotions like taffy. I went from curiosity to intrigue to heartbreak to anger and back again. And like the woman at the book signing table, I love Max.

1 comment:

Ronie Kendig said...

Ahhhhhh! I love your review, Terri! It's awesome. Thank you so kindly for taking not only a chance with Max, but with me as an author. I've loved getting to know you--you're such a delight!