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Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

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Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#1 by kandscreeley
» 08 Aug 2017, 15:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Beneath the Shadow of the Cross" by Geoffrey Cratch.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by kandscreeley
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Beneath the Shadow of the Cross by Geoffrey Cratch is a Christian fiction novel with about 200 pages. It's a quick, easy read good for a lazy day curled up by the fire. The star of this book is Lieutenant Brody James Edwards.

Lieutenant Edwards has come back from Afghanistan injured. Finally awake after a month long coma, he has a long recovery ahead both mentally and physically. While in the hospital, he learns that his father died while he was away. He had been estranged from his father and now feels it necessary to return home to try to come to terms with everything that has happened. Now that he is disabled and discharged from the military, he must figure out what to do with his life.

Mr. Cratch has written this book almost in a journal format. In the hospital, Lieutenant Edwards' psychiatrist informs him that writing a journal would really help him to process all that has happened to him. Thus, this book is his journal written from the first person perspective. I enjoyed being able to get to know Lieutenant Edwards better; I really felt that, because of this format, I was able to empathize with him as a person.

There really isn't much action in this book, so I wouldn't call it a thriller. The plot isn't fast paced, but the author does a good job in keeping the reader interested. From the very beginning, I wanted to know what Brody would do with his life, how he would recover and what the next steps were. Right at the end of the novel, the action picks up suddenly leaving you breathless until the end. Even though the pacing of the story wasn't even, I enjoyed it anyway.

One of the downsides would be the constant Christian message throughout. As a Christian myself, I didn't find this a problem. However, the author went into quite a bit of detail including mentioning the main points of sermons that Brody attended while back at home. I know that this will be a turn off to some, and I wanted to make sure to mention it.

The biggest negative to me was the lack of any push back for the protagonist. Yes, he is injured in Afghanistan. Yes, he suffers from PTSD. Nevertheless, his life falls right into place. He is able to recover physically and mentally. He goes back home and finds a job easily. I won't go into any more detail to avoid spoilers, but at no point does he face any real obstacles. This is unrealistic, and it's not in any way indicative of the normal Christian life (or any life for that matter.)

Overall, I enjoyed reading this story. There was a noticeable lack of action until the end, a strong Christian message and a lack of realism in the protagonist's life. Based on those factors, I would still rate Beneath the Shadow of the Cross 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading about Brody and his life even if he did seem to be particularly “blessed.” I would recommend this only to those who enjoy a good Christian fiction due to the strong Christian message.

******
Beneath the Shadow of the Cross
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#2 by bookiegalke
» 09 Aug 2017, 07:12

a book with a Christian message attached to it sounds like a must read for me. I am more inclined to know Brody as a person and how his life picks up after he wakes up from a coma. thanks for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 07:30

Thanks bookiegalke. If you like Christian fiction, then you'll probably like this one. I enjoyed following Brody's life.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#4 by MarisaRose
» 09 Aug 2017, 08:54

This one doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but reading your review was a joy! Great critique of the characterization - it seems like the author had a hard time relating the protagonist's characterization to the events in his life.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 09:07

Thanks Marisa. It was kind of an odd book, but it was still enjoyable. I've read books with similar flaws, but it brings the whole story down. This one at least was still good.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#6 by Darakhshan Nazir
» 09 Aug 2017, 10:50

Story seems inspiring and heart touching but as you mentioned that there's religious message throughout the book so, I don't think I will read it as I am not Christian. Thank you for such a great review😊😊
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#7 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 10:56

Thanks Darakhshan. It's definitely a unique story.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#8 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 09 Aug 2017, 11:21

True, that is very unrealistic, books where everything goes smoothly for the protagonist lose credibility. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#9 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 11:50

Thanks Kelebogile. I always like to see some push back, but that's just me.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#10 by Miriam Molina
» 09 Aug 2017, 14:19

Another winning review, Kandscreely! Too bad Brody didn't have much to fight after he recovers from his war injuries. Maybe the author thought Brody has fought enough battles. Or perhaps that was a deliberate effort to show how Christ blesses His followers.

The title and cover allude to the story's religious theme. As a Christian, I am encouraged to read this book. Creative means to evangelize are welcome. I may be able to recommend it too to people of the same faith.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#11 by jemgirl202
» 09 Aug 2017, 14:21

Not my type of book, but still a great review!!
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#12 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 14:43

Thanks Miriam! If you read it, let me know if you like it.

I understand jemgirl202. Thanks for commenting.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#13 by LivreAmour217
» 09 Aug 2017, 14:49

Thanks for this great review! It sounds like an interesting book, although I am disappointed by the unrealistic portrayal of PTSD.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#14 by raikyuu
» 09 Aug 2017, 17:12

Interesting. Too bad there is a problem with the development of the character. Great review.
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Re: Official Review: Beneath the Shadow of the Cross

Post Number:#15 by kandscreeley
» 09 Aug 2017, 17:26

I agree livre. It is too bad.

Thanks raikyuu
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