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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Brilliant Devices (Magnificent Devices #4)Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina

Alternative history? Check
Steam driven machines? Check
Clockwork devices? Check
Use of human level engineering? CheckTrevelyan
Young characters having to get old characters out of trouble? Check
A tale of high adventure, dark conspiracies, and hairbreath escapes? Check

"Brilliant Devices", the 4th episode in Shelley Adina's "Magnificent Devices" stories about the adventures of Lady Claire Trevelyan has all of the elements of a great steampunk tale, and more.

This time Claire travels from the American (or the Colonies) Southwest to the wilds of Canada. Claire, having escapes the dastardly clutches of Lord James Selwyn, goes north to meet up with Earl Dunsmuir and family with Alice Chalmers, Adrew Malvern, and her wards Maggie and Lizzy, known together as the Mopsies. Alice has her own purpose in going to Edmonton where the Dunsmuir family have a large diamond mining operation. She is looking for her father, whom she suspects is involved in the enterprise, though under mysterious circumstances.

While there, they all uncover a plot against Count Zepplin, a brilliant creator of dirigible airships. And we discover more about the growing attraction between Claire and Andrew. Claire learns a good deal about herself in the process.

Lovers of the Steampunk genre will find all elements of what we have come to enjoy about these stories, plus Adina has created some memorable characters about whom I hope she continues to write.

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The "Looking Glass Wars" Open Up a New Front

Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars, #2)Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 2nd book in Frank Beddor's "Looking Glass Wars" triology. Queen Alyss must once again fight her Aunt Redd for her queendom pitting her White Imagination against Redd's augmented Black Imagination, as well as a new nemesis, King Arch of the Boarderland tribes. In a sub-plot Hatter Madigan discovers a lost love and unknown daughter, and Alyss and Dodge's love for one another grows.

This is a transition book to the 3rd part of the triology, Arch Nemesis.

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Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of JesusThe Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus by Robin Meyers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an outstanding examination of the current state of the church and a vision for a new church that is more like the person the church was supposed to emulate.

I have the great privilege to be a member of Mayflower Church where Robin Meyers minsters. This book spells out his vision of what the church should be and what Mayflower is trying to become. We want to be a place where all feel included regardless of their beliefs and/or lifestyles. We have no doctrine, simply a covenant to help each of us to realize all that God wants us to become. I recommend this ebook to all those who feel that the church needs to do more than simply do more than to affirm the status quo.

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