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Smashwords book reviews by William McHale
- I Am Jesus
on March 03, 2010
To properly address the multitude of errors in this text would require a text far longer than the original text itself. This work is simply a pastiche of the half formed ideas of many who would not merely deny Jesus's divinity but his actual historical existence (Denying that Jesus existed as an historical person is actually something of a fringe position amongst historians, even amongst historians who are not Christians or who are atheists).
Lets look at some of the errors, or at least some poorly written passages. The Notzrim did not begin with Yeshu Ha Notzri, but rather had existed for centuries before he did. Further most scholars would dispute that this Yeshu was the same as Yeshua that became the biblical Jesus.
The writer doesn't seem to understand the doctrine of the virgin birth at all since he seems to equate the virgin birth with Jesus being the virgin.
He clearly doesn't have a clue of Church history as it applies to the Bible. In short I will summarize.
1. The printing press preceded the King James Bible by more than a century. The Catholic Church had plenty of time to provide an English Translation.
2. The Catholic Church, and certainly the Popes never embraced or assented to the King James Version of the Bible.
3. The King James Version, being an English Translation had very little impact outside the English speaking world. Despite the desires of some American Protestants, the translation is not even embraced by most of the world's protestants let alone Catholics or the Orthodox.
Ultimately the fact that the author shows incredibly little understanding of history and an inability to do even the most basic research undermines what tiny merit that might exist in this work. Clearly those who have given it five stars clearly either don't know any history, or hate Christianity or are friends of the author.
- The Untold Story of Jesus
on April 22, 2010
Can I give fewer than 1 star?
No citations to even suggest that any research went into this story? Basic errors of fact -- for example, the work claims that Church teaches that Jesus was born in the winter; the reality is that the Church never thought this, it only choose to celebrate Jesus's birth then.
- Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins
on June 14, 2010
Overall the three novellas in the original trilogy are a good first attempt, but they are a bit rough. I enjoyed these books, but they felt a little like reading a Star Trek Novel, (Not that the author cloned Star Trek, the Universe the characters inhabit is definitely the author's own), but rather in the tendency for the characters to be supremely competent to the point of being miracle workers.
Over all though, I would say the books are more than worth the time it will take to read them and I was interested enough to buy more.
- Through Struggle, the Stars
on Aug. 08, 2011
Take an Honor Harrington novel, subtract all the unrealistic physics and hyper-competent good guys, add in some shades of moral ambiguity and some Tom Clancy from his Hunt for Red October/Red Storm Rising days and you probably have a good idea of what this book is about.
This novel represents one of the most serious attempts I have ever read to get the science right when it comes to military science fiction. Like the Honor Harrington novels, this novel bases the movement of spaceships on Newtonian mechanics; unlike the Harrington Novels, the acceleration rates and velocities are limited by a realistic space drive.
Also, unlike the Harrington Novels, this story does not provide good guys who are pure as snow and the only competent characters in the Universe. The main bad guy in the novel is very competent as well, and sometimes the good guys make decisions that will make you wonder if they really should be considered the good guys. In other words, the novel shows you war as it often is in the real world.
Now is the novel perfect? No, I think based on how the key-hole network was set up, that it is too large for the year in which the novel is set. I also think that there are a few info-dumps that might have worked better if they were worked more subtly into the story. Also, there are some editing misteps that should have been handled in final proof reading. If I was being totally critical, I probably should be giving this novel 3.5-4 stars, but when I compare it to the ratings some other books get by their readers, I know that such a rating would be doing a disservice to what is really an excellent first novel. I only hope that we don't have to wait to long for a sequel.