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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Cat Tales and Whiskers by Ciella Naden



Cat Tales and Whiskers

When fourteen-year-old Ash is forced to move, the world as he knows it turns upside down. Soulville is a strange town, and the house his mom inherited from a distant relative should be condemned. It’s spooky. Possibly haunted.

What Ash initially believes to be a string of bad luck has nothing to do with luck at all and everything to do with a demonic curse on his family. Does Ash have what it takes to break the curse, or will his life be cut short like those before him?

The Guru's Review:

This is the second novel I have read that has been written by a teenager. The first was Ariel Johnston (Dragon's Touch) who was 16 at the time of writing and that was an impressive debut Christian fantasy. This novel by Ciella Naden is also an impressive debut and she was only 13 when she wrote this! I feel it is important to mention her bio here, 
Ciella Naden wrote "Cat Tales and Whiskers" when she was 13 as a home-school assignment. She battles dyslexia, but believes that with God, ALL things are possible. She also holds a high-green belt in karate, competes in air pistol competitions with the local 4-H, and runs her own crochet business. She loves Jesus and plans to write more stories about Ash in which he will be demon hunting. 
Quite an impressive rap sheet, especially noting that she suffers from dyslexia which, from reading this novella, has not been an obstacle or has defined her. I am very impressed with her talent and creativity and also of those others that are also developing their talents and publishing at this age. I fully applaud them for this. As an avid reader, I am very excited that our reading future is very bright with these up and coming young authors. 

I really loved this novella. A real page turner and filled with suspense. Ciella writes well and her command of the English language is impressive for her age. Yes, there were a few words that could have had a better alternative that would have improved the sentence structure but I found this to not be a huge distraction. The author was 13 at the time of writing after all, and every author learns from each novel to improve their craft. Such will be the case with Ciella. Also, looking at this novel as a whole, it is simplistic in its structure and construction but again, Ciella was 13 and her debut attempt. Still very impressive. However, this will work in her favour as this simplicity will suit the age group it is aimed at very well, enabling them to understand the importance and truth of its message and still be very entertained. I was impressed with her plot structure and character development, I felt like I was in Ash's teenage world and could relate to his feelings and reactions. 

One aspect that really did impress me was Ciella's understanding of biblical spiritual warfare, angelology/demonology and deliverance. This is what we as adults and parents wish for our children and teenagers, that they get grounded in the Word, being doers of the Word and not just hearers. Novels such as this can be used as encouragement here. On this point, I can really see that this novel could be very successful in teaching teenagers about spiritual warfare in youth groups or in the small group setting at church. In a future edition, a study guide could be added or produced as an accompanied booklet for this purpose. And future novellas could be used for the same purpose expounding a different aspect of spiritual warfare, intercessory prayer, angelology/demonology, etc. Ciella would be on a winner here! 

I have read a few Christian novels involving demon possession and what I did like about this one is that is has as its basis of the spiritual warfare theme, the generational curse. To me, this added more depth to the story, it was not just another haunted house or demon possession story. The generational curse theme is biblical and I hope gives the reader some knowledge that the sins of the father can be passed down through the generations until conversion to Christ (what He achieved for us on the Cross, victory over sin and death) breaks this curse and subsequent generations are free. So bravo, for Ciella including this in this novel and again, showing her mature understanding of biblical spiritual warfare. 

I look forward to more from this young talented author and more tales of Ash, the Demon Hunter. 

To speak in the language of the young, "Ciella, you go girl!"

Highly Recommended

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