Review of “The Return” by Carter Vance

Carter Vance took a real risk, stepping into a difficult genre that is ruled by Dan Brown. The author is to be commended for an excellent story line and superb research.

I found the “Dan Brown-esque” style to be engaging and the strong point of the novel. I am a reader who loves Biblical prophecy, end times eschatology, and especially when it is rolled into a modern day tale. Who doesn’t enjoy reading about the Knights Templar, and their place in history?

I, too, enjoyed the short chapters, ala James Patterson. Good breaking points if one cannot read the book in one or two sittings.

I agree with one earlier reviewer who said that the pace was fast to the point that we didn’t get to really know key individual characters. It was more like a written recap of the happenings. Like Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, “just the facts ma’am”. I enjoyed the facts, but I wanted more depth of character.

All in all it was a pretty good read. The only major distractions to me were the numerous typos. Words left out or just plain missing. And also some prevalent facts of the day. Early in the book, the story recounts two of the protagonists “kissing at the airport gate”. That hasn’t happened in a dozen or more years. While it doesn’t really sidetrack the story, it does question the writer’s attention to detail.

Like I said, THE RETURN is a good read. This is not an advertisement for my services, but I would suggest that for future works, the author retain the services of a proof reader, like myself, to eliminate the glaring typos. Our services are very reasonably priced. Enough of my advertisement….

If you like the subject matter at hand, I think you will get a few good evenings of good, entertaining, and informative reading. The Return challenges you to think “what if?”

I received “The Return” as an ARC directly from the author. I accepted the book with the understanding that I would produce a timely and fair review of the work. I have no personal or professional ties with the author. In my reviews, I try to point out my observations without giving any SPOILERS.


Review of “Out of Darkness” by Darrell Case

I really thought long and hard about what to rate this book.  Three or four stars? I, as you can see, ultimately settled on a 4-star rating.  More about that later in this review.  

This is a fast moving mystery with a number of key characters.  It has a strong story line and is genuinely believable.  The primary protagonist in this work is a minister/evangelist named David Padgett.  Without going into any of the details of the story, I will just say that it is a well thought out tale of the rise, fall, and redemption of a man who lives his life under the microscope of public opinion.  I think most readers will “bond” with Reverend Padgett.  Though he has become a high profile personality, he still maintains his integrity and values from his days as a minister who had to supplement his income as a bagger in a grocery store.

There is one prime issue that keeps me from giving this book a 5 star rating. And, it is the same issue upon which I struggled between the 3 and 4 star rating.  The book is written in a somewhat conversational style.  But, I was quite distracted by the numerous errors in writing.  I don’t recall any misspellings, but use of punctuation and inconsistent paragraph breaks create quite a predicament with a red ink wielding English teacher. Numerous occurrences of improper use of quotation marks, and especially commas (which tend to throw off the readers rhythm).  Cases where there are open parentheses, but no close parentheses.  Also, cases of two characters speaking within the same paragraph (caused me to have to go back and figure who said what).  Lots of run-on sentences as well.  

I don’t mean to bash the author.  I can see that his work was well thought out, and took an incredible time investment.  An additional investment in getting others to proof read and edit would likely have omitted most of the errors.  

So, if you can get past these distractions in punctuation, it’s an interesting, entertaining and thought provoking read.

I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for a timely and honest review.  I have no personal or professional ties with the author or the publisher, and no financial incentive regarding this review.