Maximus by Richard L. Black

I received this book via NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Synopsis:

Maximus has never known peace. In command of one of Rome’s finest legions, he and his closest friend, Androcles, have fought side by side to uphold the glory of the empire.

But at the end of a long and bloody campaign, Maximus begins to question his purpose, his past, and the gods he has been taught to believe in.

When word reaches Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judaea, Maximus and Androcles are sent, disguised as Jews, to ascertain the truth of the situation: Is this Jesus merely a radical preacher, or is he instigating a revolution against Rome?

As Maximus immerses himself in Jewish culture, he must confront questions that could change his life: Is it possible this carpenter from Nazareth is the Son of God? Is it possible for a man of war to live a life of peace?

Review:

Maximus is a neat story that demonstrates the heart of it’s author.

In reading Maximus, one can definitely see the author’s desire to spread the Gospel in his own special way, and that is exactly what he did! The story was well researched and I was pleased with how well the characters were made and how each one had his/her own special part in the story.

However, in reading this book, I could tell that this was Black’s first book. The writing was kind of choppy and he switched in between point of views far too often, making the characters seem too vulnerable. In books like this, it would have been better to keep the story in only 2 or 3 different characters’ point of view so that the book would not have been so predictable. There were also several glitches in the grammar of the e-book version that I read.

But overall, I loved the story as well as the mission that the author gave it, so I do recommend it as an entertaining read and give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale

I received this book via NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

It’s The Last of the Mohicans meets HBO’s Rome in this exciting and inventive debut novel from Sidewise Award-winner, Alan Smale, that will thrill fans of alternate history, historical fiction, and military fiction.

In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, a legion under the command of general Gaius Marcellinus invades the newly-discovered North American continent. But Marcellinus and his troops have woefully underestimated the fighting prowess of the Native American inhabitants. When Gaius is caught behind enemy lines and spared, he must reevaluate his allegiances and find a new place in this strange land.

Review:

Such a unique story with some pretty amazing characters! Alan’s writing style is just perfect, not overruling with details but clear enough that you could even smell everything that happened! (And can I just say how awesome the cover is?! Wow, just gorgeous!)

There were many issues that contradicted my morals however, and actually caused me to stop reading in the height of action, much to my dismay. From the very beginning, Clash of Eagles consists of the smaller cuss words and not very frequent, but the intensity of the cursing quickly escalated as the book went on, eventually using all cursing.

The gore and action is decently high, containing vivid scenes of maiming as well as killing in the war scenes. There is an unnecessary sex scene, that though it is not overly detailed, it is still disturbing.

So it hurts me to give a book that has as much potential as Clash of Eagles does, only 2 out of 5 stars because of all of the unnecessary content. However, the story line, writing, and characters are brilliant and I wanted to mention that again!

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