Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LEAGUE OF SUPERHEROES, by Stephen Leon Rice

Warning! My review of LEAGUE OF SUPERHEROES, by Stephen Leon Rice may be somewhat biased. It’s not that I’m biased towards the author, although I suppose a case could be made for that. Instead, however, it has to do with me personally. Let me explain.


Growing up I loved comic books, specifically superhero comic books. When I was barely into school I had a dream that I was superman. At one point I wanted to be Thor, but that didn’t sit right with my Christian faith. Then I wanted to be Captain America, until I found out he had some kind of fictitious super-serum injected into him to make him that way. I wanted to be Spiderman too, but doubted that being bitten by any spider would alter me in any way. (Back then we didn’t talk about DNA because we didn’t know that much about genetics). I liked Dare Devil, but aside from the fact that I’m not blind I doubted I’d ever come into the kind of money that allowed him to build an extravagant gym in his NYC brownstone home. So I settled for Black Hawk, an archer and member of the Avengers. I even made at least part of a costume that I planed to wear when I fought crime. I had my own bow and quiver of arrows, and I was a pretty decent archer. A friend of mine made a Flash costume and I once took a picture of him running in our backyard. I moved the camera to make it look like he was running fast. So you see folks, these superheroes were a prominent part of my childhood. Even after growing up I started creating some of my own superheroes, after a fashion. Maybe “super” is a bit much, but I was bound and determined to at least create heroes. (I’m still a comic fan to this day).



In any event Stephen L. Rice has done a superb job of giving us a great storyline, a believable premise about "real" superheroes, and a lot of his own style of humor. Just thinking about 4 teenagers suddenly equipped to battle crime in supersuits brings a smile to my face, especially the geekish kind of kids here. While I wasn't a geek, I was ostracized from many social circles in high school, and the ones I did make it into I felt more klutzy than anything else. Needless to say, high school was not one of my better periods of life.

So what do we have? We have a story narrated by Tom Riley, whose special interests is in linguistics, which he feels isn't really a science, so his natural techno hero is Darklight, who has the power to fly and be invisible. We have three of his friends, Rod Davies, the math and physics geek, who is described as being a "bean pole" (so it's no surprise that his favorite superhero is Titan, kind of a flying humanoid tank), Allen Peters, the computer hacker whose attention to the speed of things draws him to the techno hero Tachyon, and Charlie Taylor, who fancied himself as being called into the mission field as a medical doctor. Charlie's hero was Micromegas, a techno hero with the ability to change size, however, since Charlie saw himself as a future doctor enlarging himself didn't appeal to him as much as shrinking himself down. Well, we all have our dreams, fantacies, heroes, etc. The difference is this band of "Mad Scientists" have their dreams come true when Allen's little sister, Clarice, introduces them to Genie, a 7 year old girl she met in Kidchat. The problem with this 7 year old girl is that she is smarter than Einstein and Newton put together and then there's this problem that she doesn't remember any family members ever, only a friendly man she calls "Uncle". As the story unfolds so do the problems, the humor, the despiration and the action. This is one fantastic ride, especially for someone like me who likes superheroes.

Meanwhile back in the real world, we really can become heroes, after a fashion. No we don't have techo-powered supersuits (at least not yet), but those of us who know Jesus have the power of God available to us. It seems to me that we should focus on that. How can a Christian be a superhero? Well, we have the power of love, which breaks down practically every wall we come up to, and faith. The two have to be worked together. Jesus said that if we had faith in Him we could tell a mountain to through itself in the sea and it would happen. Now that's super, right? More to the point, we run into the arch-enemy, Satan, or at least one of his cronies, on a daily basis. They whisper in our ears trying to get us to look at something, consider something, hold doubt in our heart. If we listen to these voices they are like Kryptonite was to Superman. It's no wonder there are so many people hurting in the world. We, however, have the power of God living in us. If the power to die and come back to life isn't a superpower I don't know what is. God also creates, and has given us the ability to create on our own limited scale. Artists of every type, graphic, music and even us writers, exhibit this God given power. A lot of times, however, I think we're just as poorly equipped emotionally, to handle these powers as the League of Superheroes. We're tiny babies in this period of eternity. Yet even then we can get direction and wisdom from our Heavenly Father and shut down the enemy. That's our job. We have way too many people out there who are falling down on a battlefield they aren't even aware they are on. We know and have the power to go out and rescue them, to get them out of harms way. We can bring them to our Commander, Jesus, who will make all things new. Look to Eph. 6:10-18 and read about the whole armor of God. Then saddle up. It's time to stand up against the enemy and get the wounded off the field. It's time for us to be superheroes. - David Brollier


Okay, folks over at the Christian Fiction Review Blog are having this Tag Team Tour, and since you are here, "Tag. You're it." You found out where today's post is, that is if you came here today, on Wednesday. For Thursday, Friday and Saturday you'll need to hunt the links below to try and find out who is posting. Also, if you are here today you might want to find out who posted on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Same thing goes, "Tag. You're it." Have fun. Enjoy the other posts and the other sites. Don't be surprised to make some new friends along the way. That's why their doing it this way.






Now just because you read the review and have all those links up there doesn't mean that you have all the scoop. If you want to find out more about Stephen Leon Rice you can click his button "Back to the Mountains" below .



And of course you probably want to know where you can read more about this great book and purchase it, so here are some links:

The Writer's Cafe Press
Amazon Books

As far as info is concerned you can't beat Steve's site above, but if you don't have the time to go through all the in depth look at the techno-superheroes try the following site which is loaded with info in a short format:

http://ansric.pbwiki.com/LoSseries


And don't forget the giveaway. That's right Cathi Hassan is giving away a copy of LEAGUE OF SUPERHEROES, by Stephen Rice. To view the details visit her site Cathi's Chatter. You don't want to pass this up.

4 comments:

Steve said...

One of the points of the series as a whole is that the superheroes keep running into spiritual problems that mere technology can't overcome. Even Genie is no match for that. And we do eventually see that God is the true superhero, and we derive "our" superpowers from obeying him.

David said...

Excellent clarification. I get running away on a topic and get ahead of what God wants...often. I weaken the power of God in me because I refuse to lie down and die so that Jesus might live more fully in me. Jesus said, "Unless a kernel of corn fall to the ground and die it can not bear fruit." Focusing on the "me" in Christianity blocks the power of God in us, for, as you said, H is the true superhero. Without Him we are nothing.

Rick said...

Enjoyable review. Your pre-comments remind me of my own early teen years too, walking around the neighborhood with shorts, a t-shirt, a towel slung over my back as a cape, and a mask so no one would know who this crazy teenager was!

I also drew a lot of comics, had my own collection of superheros and evil villains. Was lots of fun. So I look forward to reading this book as well.

David said...

Hey Rick, how's your drawing these days? I have a superhero that I'd like to see worked on and I bet Steve would love to see LoS as a graphic novel. (If I'm speaking out of line Steve, just let me have it between the eyes). In any event, yeah, I guess I really wanted to help out humanity, so long as I had some kind of super power and could hide behind some really cool costume. In some ways I still do.

Tangerine

Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith



This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Tangerine (Revell, January 2007) by Marilynn Griffith (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and mother of *GULP* seven!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email: marilynngriffith@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.

Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?



The book link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0800730429


Marilynn's website link: http://marilynngriffith.typepad.com/rhythmsofgrace/

THE 3RD COVENANT - a Comparison

The following table shows where THE 3RD COVENANT stands against 7 top authors and 14 other books.

Title

Author

Times out

times per month

Judge and Jury

Cold Moon

Death Dance

Promise Me

The 3rd Covenant

The Camel Club

Violet Dawn

3rd Degree

The Collectors

Web of Lies

The 12th Card

Words of Silk

Above and Beyond

Entombed

No Second Chance

James Patterson

Jeffery Deaver

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben

David Brollier

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

James Patterson

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

Jeffery Deaver

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben

CHO 9

CHO 17

CHO 17

CHO 16

CHO 11

CHO 21

CHO 4

CHO 34

CHO 2

CHO 2

CHO 17

CHO 29

CHO 30

CHO 19

CHO 31

2.25

2.43

2.43

2.28

1.83

1.71

1.3

1.08

1.00

1.00

.94

.94

.91

.82

.72