Before I begin my review, I would like to say that this post is part of a Blog Tour hosted by Sage's Blog Tours. You can find the website by clicking here, or by going to sagesblogtours(dot)com
Now here is my review.
Biblical Fiction. One of my favorite and least favorite genres. I say this because Biblical fiction is something that MUST be done right or it shouldn’t be done at all. Jonathan’s Shield is almost there. It’s ALMOST right and is, therefore, deserving of at least four stars. I had to fight with myself over whether or not I should give this three or four stars and I’ll tell you why.
The story was good. The plot was well developed and came together in the end. Characterization, dialogue, and events added up well and formed a complete and fairly original story. I think Turner did his research when he described battle scenes, weapons, and locations during the novel. Even the way the characters spoke fit the era without sacrificing personality. I think this was Turner’s strongest point.
From Jonathan to Beral to honorable mentions, the characters in this story were good. I won’t say they were awesome or easy to love, but they were good. Just good. Nothing too flashy, nothing too over the top. The cast was made up of developed men and women who were realistic and believable both in era and attitude. Jonathan was one of my favorites because I loved his story from the actual Bible. I think Turner presented him as someone true to the real Jonathan while still being able to introduce some of his own originality to the story. I also thought it was neat that the story wasn’t told from Jonathan’s POV. I had expected that much, considering the title, but once you get into the story you understand why Turner decided on a different narrator.
I can’t say I was on the prowl for mistakes, but it’s worth mentioning that this novel is not riddled with jarring errors. Jonathan’s Shield is told in first person and speaks through the voice of a character who lived in the Biblical era. So you can imagine the way they spoke, the way the details were presented and even the way the general story flowed. I think, considering the time frame, this story was very well put together when it came to grammar. No amount of misplaced commas would diminish the quality of this book.
Now this is where I begin describing what I had problems with. To make things clear, I like this book and I would recommend it to any fans of Biblical fiction and Christian readers from Young Adult to Adults. There is a good amount of violence befitting a heavily blood saturated time period. There are some racy scenes—for Christian fiction at least—but it makes for a good story. This book is good but I removed a star, and thought of removing one more, because I don’t think it read well. The story flowed well but it wasn’t structured well. I don’t mean that it hopped around and zipped characters from location to location. I just mean that it was too wordy.
Some sentences were looooong. They were grammatically correct but they were so intricately detailed to the point where it felt like every little thing mattered in the story when really it didn’t. I remember one scene distinctly described a pointed staff on the damp ground beside an old sleeping mat. All good and easy to imagine but when the point of that sentence was to say that someone grabbed their weapon and left the room, then just say they grabbed their weapon and left the room! This book was about WAR, I think a seasoned soldier would naturally grab the ‘pointed’ staff and if he’s sleeping then of course it would be on the ‘damp’ ground beside the sleeping mat. As opposed to hanging in the wardrobe beside his jewels and trophy trinkets.
Basically, I think some things that were described in detail didn’t need to be, while other things could have been fleshed out more. There were too many words in some parts and I found myself skipping sentences just so I could find the storyline beneath all the extra blah blah.
Like I said, this IS a good book. Biblical fiction or not, it has enough blood, fighting, and romance to entertain any reader of any faith. I’m glad I had the chance to read and review.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*