Saturday, September 17, 2011

Book Review: The Queen by Steven James

From the publisher's website:

While investigating a mysterious double homicide in an isolated northern Wisconsin town, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers uncovers a high-tech conspiracy that ties together long-buried Cold War secrets with present-day tensions in the Middle East.

In his most explosive thriller yet, bestselling author Steven James delivers a pulse-pounding, multilayered storytelling tour de force that will keep you guessing.

The Queen is the latest Patrick Bowers thriller from the author Publishers Weekly calls a "master storyteller at the peak of his game."

I have now read four out of five of Steven James' books in the Bowers' Files series. I have enjoyed reading every one of them. (The only reason I have not read The Knight is because I didn't have time when it came out - I need to get to it sometime!)

This series is quite fascinating and well-written. I have a little bit of a hard time when I read one because I have to remember the characters all over again, but the effort is worth it. It isn't long before I am engrossed in the story and find myself cheering Patrick Bowers (the main character) on in his quest to find the "bad guys" and see that justice is carried out. I'm sure I'll be sorry to see this series end.

Mr. James is a number one author who really understands human nature from a biblical standpoint and writes what he does with obvious passion and insight. His descriptions of evil are not "over the top", but definitely "edgy". I, however, believe that we sometimes need to see the depths of our sin before we can truly see the beauty of God and His holy majesty. These books have helped me to think in these ways. I tremble when I see the depravity displayed in the books, but I also (while reading) rejoice in the One who has provided a way for us to be delivered from "this body of death".

Another thing I found thought-provoking in this particular book were the references to the theme of forgiveness. Another main character, Tessa, has problems with guilt and feels a need to 'forgive herself". There were several scenes where the issue of forgiveness was discussed and I learned a lot from these. I especially like the following quotes which helped me understand forgiveness a little bit more:

"When you ask someone to forgive you, you're really asking the other person to sacrifice for the benefir of the relationship".

"Someone needs to sacrifice for someone else to be forgiven."

Steven James' works of fiction are not didactic, but I was certainly "preached" to when I read these scenes. I belive God simply used this book to teach me what I need right now in my life. (It is also not a "coincidence" that our pastor is preaching on this very subject on Sunday mornings right now. God's timing is perfect!)

I give The Queen 5 out of 5 stars!

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

(I received this book from Revell Books for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)

When I was preparing to write this review, I decided to add a warning about the graphic content of the book that may offend some readers. Then I found this warning from the publisher that includes an article written by Mr. James that seems to express well the reason why his books contain the scenes that they do (please read the article if you are bothered by such content - it may be helpful to you):

WARNING: This book contains violence and graphic descriptions of disturbing crime scenes.  It is not for the faint-of-heart who may be offended by such written images.  For more on this topic, please read Steven James’ blog article entitled “Why I Write about Evil”.

Here is a review of The Queen from Chris at Baker Book House:


You can also view a video for The Queen on the author's website HERE.

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