Monday, August 25, 2014

Raegan and RJ in Space: Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ by Richard Collins

"Raegan and RJ in Space" is the award winning series of 16 graphic novels which tell the story of the first Christians to leave Earth to colonize other star systems.  It was done to give Christian kids a fun and interesting story to read with a happy ending.  The storyline is that 50 Christian families got together in 2020 and formed their own town in the USA called Hope Tennessee, built a star port called 'Sanctuary', the first star ship called the 'Christian Star Ship (CSS) 001 Faith', all with the goal of colonizing space.  Once people started hearing about what they were doing, Christians from all over the world started to help them.  In 2025, after 5 years, they were ready to go!  Most of the stories revolve around Raegan, a 13 year old girl, and RJ, an 11 year old boy, and their life and adventures on the colony ship "CSS 001 Faith".  There are no aliens, guns, or battles, just out of this world adventure and excitement as Raegan and RJ help their families 'Colonize the Galaxy for Christ!'

I have to say, not overly impressed with this one. There was a lot going on for a graphic novel. The illustrations  were ok. I felt they were very colorful, but some of the actual scenes did not keep my interest; let alone my childrens'. There were so many words on each page that it seemed to overwhelm the pictures. The conversations were hard to follow because I couldn't tell who was speaking when.  I did love all the space jargon and integrated math problems, but there was just so much information it sounded more like I was reading a lecture than a novel to me.
I love the opportunity the writers took to have the characters always thanking God for something; whether it was keeping them safe, helping them accomplish a mission or allowing them to travel and colonize space. But overall, not a book I or my kids would continue to read. Great idea, just not executed well in my opinion.  
To find out more information on this series visit

*I received a free copy from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review.


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Big Flavor Grill by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby

Upon receiving the book The Big-Flavor Grill (No Marinade, NO-Hassle Recipes), I was immediately interested in the concept of not marinating meat that you were grilling. This idea went against the rule of marinating the meat to help tenderize and make the meat more flavorful.  The writers explained how to effectively grill the meat with very little seasoning, and then to add additional flavors when the meat is done. They explain how grilling can be very simple and by adding a few ingredients to finished meat, you can get a big flavor without a big effort. The additional flavors were very inventive, from pouring on the dressings to mixing the grilled meat with juices. I like how the book sectioned off each meat with a basic grill, and then you can pick from about 5 different flavors, or toppings. Having a vegetarian daughter, I was glad there was that there are about 15 different recipes specifically for vegetables and sides.
The instructions were very easy to understand and follow.  I did try one of the barbecue sauces that involved maple syrup, mustard, and orange juice. The sweetness was great on the meat and wife and I were actually impressed with the flavor.
Because this grilling book focuses on not marinating, it is definitely a worthwhile book to keep in collection of grilling cookbooks.
*Received a free copy for review from Crown Publishing Groups Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.