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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The School of Ministry: The Windgate Review

I was very excited to read and review The School Of Ministry - The Windgate book after I read the preview.  I usually like to begin reading a book after a week or two break, so that I don't carry emotions over to the new book.

It was a slow move into The School of Ministry book. I figured it would eventually pick up and ensure that I'd want to read it again.

The book is about a young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness.

He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels...demons! Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak.

Ziv learns that he is a "Conduit," which allows him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself. When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate.

An untimely love triangle clouds Ziv's judgment,  forcing him to choose between the love of his life and the new female interest Evan. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, he eventually comes face to face with pure evil itself--Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

In the beginning, Ziv is basically abducted and then nicely asked to join a group to forward the Christian cause. If it was me, I'd be finding a way to hurt someone and get out as fast as I can, while also dialing 911. Isn't that the normal response to being kidnapped?

Ziv however seems to think this is swell and he'll stay awhile and figure out how this situation can help his life and help rescue his friend, whom he hopes to have a chance with at a relationship. That same friend by the way, was kidnapped that very same time as Ziv.

I would think that if you are chosen and needed for good, then there is no reason for being knocked out and kidnapped as a way of asking your permission to join a worthy cause.

While at the school, Ziv is placed with two other men about his age, who are also in training, and from rather interesting backgrounds.
Of course as boys there seem to be some sort of competition in how they present themselves, who can do best at the training sessions and perhaps who can get the dear Ms Evans to soften her heart towards them.

The plot then continues down the road of training in physical strength, mental awareness, spiritual alertness and teamwork. All of this in the quest to protect The Windgate. The Windgate is a portal from Heaven to Earth through which the Holy Spirit travels; if the Windgate is destroyed, the Holy Spirit will cease to be a factor in the war of Good versus Evil - at least for awhile.

I am still uncertain how I feel about these characters. I'm so used to being attached to a character that I can't forget for weeks afterwards. However I must admit that I was worried for Ziv and that the whole thing would turn out to be a catastrophe and  he'd have to fight his way out of The School Of Ministry.

Ziv: He is vulnerable and unsure of his part in being chosen, but is taking it one day at a time with the hopes all will be revealed.
While he is learning some good skills, I still think he needs more maturity with his gifts to be more aware of when he is being lied to. By the end of the book, I think he is awaken to motives that are behind the scenes in many areas of the school. Motives that might not always be good.

Francis: He is the ultimate bad boy. He takes his training seriously and I love that he shoots off at the mouth and stands up for himself. It seems he never lost who he was before joining the school. He is constant, while learning new skills and doesn't feel the need to prove himself to anyone.

Jaythan: He was made to be too nice that I kept wondering when his backbone would chip in. I saw it a few times and still didn't think it was sincere.
His character was always suspicious, even when he was doing good deeds.

Ms Evans: I honestly thought she was the spy. And I'm glad Mr Cosby explained a little about how she came to be at The School Of Ministry, but her fraternization with the recruits seems questionable. Is it just to gain information from romantic trusts? Or is she invested in finding a mate?
Her character is still rather mysterious.

Mr C and Maxwell: I'm going to assume they are respected for being in charge, but they really do not explain things properly and always seem to have an air of deceitfulness about them.

It was interesting the talents and gifts that the recruits developed along the way. And even though they lost a team member, it will be interesting to see how the new female recruit develop to form the dynamic trio that the school requires.

This is not a religious book. It will mention a few verses of scripture here and there and other biblical references, but a religious theme does not dominate the book at all.

The book has plenty of twists and enough settings to keep the reader wondering when things are going to fall into place and truth established so that things can begin to make sense.

I felt the ending of the book was a bit rushed, but maybe it was the culminating promise of future series.

While I love a good YA novel, this wasn't one of my 'let's curl up with tea and check out for awhile" kinda novel. I would love to hear other reviews about this book.

What book are you reading this week? Have you read The School Of Ministry - The Windgate? 
@CosbyKid_FatDoc


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Meet the Author:

Multi-Award-Wining Author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who evolved from concepts on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. Protostar: Book 1 The Star-Crossed Saga and The School of Ministry: The Windgate are currently two Young Adult series he created. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife, three children and a troop of crazy African Cichlids. 
www.braxtoncosby.com www.theschoolofministry.com

Follow Braxton: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Literary Addicts


I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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21 comments :

  1. Thank you for the review Colette. Excellent insight to the novel. Have an amazing week!

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  2. So much great detail in your review. WOW! This sounds to me like a very intense read. I would have a hard time getting pass the murders. But that is because I read at night :)

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    1. The 'murders' are only Ziv's parents in the beginning and it is loosely talked about, not re-enacted. I don't think you'd be frightened. :)

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    2. Yes I should have mentioned that. The murders are just referred to but not re-enacted in any detail to make you afraid.

      Thank you again Dr Braxton for visiting and engaging. i do appreciate it.

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  3. Love the detail in your review. Thanks for another great new suggestion.

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  4. Great review - wondering, what age would you say this would be a good fit for? I have a 12 year old daughter that loves reading and is branching out into new genres.

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    1. From what I read, I would say a 12 year old could read it. There is just a bit of violence with the boys killing the demons, but honestly not too descriptive at all.

      Very little sexual themes. Just embraces and talk about soft skin. Nothing sexual at all.

      But as a parent, I prefer to read the books before my kids :)

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    2. Great suggestion to have Lisa read it first. Some people find the smallest things offensive and some have a much broader range. I feel comfortable having my daughter (11) read it because the lessons on accountability and the value of choice are huge.

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    3. Yes I do like the lessons of letting go of the negative and embracing good themes that will make our life paths more focused.

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  5. you had me at "untimely love triangle"

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    1. A double love triangle at that QueenB... :)

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  6. You truly give a detailed review. I at once was drawn to the character because of the turmoil he had survived. I would be curious to know about the "skills" the youth develop.

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    1. The skills Ziv has are specific to him, they are termed "Gifts" and "Talents". Each of the boys, Jaythan, Ziv and Francis have their own. Ziv can tell when people are lying and see demons by closing his eyes for example. The other set of skills, called 'Shouts', control people, but cannot harm humans.

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    2. Yes Judy. You would like Ziv's gifts. Especially being able to tell when someone is lying or withholding information.

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I appreciate your thoughts - Colette

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