pinterest-7bf66.html Reviews by Peter: Heaven's Oasis by Jeff W. Horton

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Heaven's Oasis by Jeff W. Horton

Claire is dead.

She's been the love of Kevin Foster's life for as long as he can remember; his soulmate, and his best friend.

Before she dies, Claire, an archaeologist, goes on an expedition to the Middle East and comes across evidence supporting the existence of a biblical, antediluvian site the ancients called Heaven's Oasis, and that certain ancient artifacts can lead her to it. Claire believes that finding this site will help prove the Bible's veracity, and provide indisputable evidence of God's existence.

Following her unexpected death Claire's expeditions become public knowledge, and the subsequent assaults against her reputation from the scientific community and the media are both brutal and relentless.

Furious at the public ridicule and to prove she was right, Kevin decides to pick up where Claire left off in her search and to finish what she started. He's willing to sacrifice everything, even his life, to restore her reputation and to honor her memory.

A billionaire arms dealer named Kain Masterson has also been searching for the Oasis, however, intending to keep what he finds for himself. The deadly competition soon becomes a struggle just to stay alive in the race to find the artifacts, follow the clues, and ultimately to find Heaven's Oasis.

The Guru's Review:

When I saw this novel advertised pre-release, I knew I had to review this novel. The last Horton novel I read was many years ago and I have been drawn to his novels since.  Even though I have not read the many novels in between the one I read and this new novel, I can say that he has definitely fine tuned his talent and writing. This is one very entertaining novel. Horton blends biblical archaeology, romance, mystery and suspense into one engaging read. 

One thing that is highlighted in this novel is that Horton is one very romantic man. This novel is resplendent with romance and all its nuances and characteristics. I have said in many past reviews that I don't like the romance genre where romance is the main plot theme and prefer the romance to be a subplot. Despite romance being the main theme in this novel, I did not mind it all. That is really saying something from me! Throughout this romantic plot, I was impressed with how Kevin's integrity as a Christian and as a man enhanced his love for Claire and vice versa and also later in the novel towards Zari. I have seen this in other Christian novels where the romance has been developed by a male author. I seem to prefer romance written by this gender. I have many male authors who are successful at this and I can now add Horton to this group. While reading this novel, I wondered where Horton got this ability to write romance so successfully. Then I recalled him saying that it was his wife who helped develop this ability by 
"forcing me to watch so many Nicholas Sparks movies that I've gotten to where I actually enjoy them!" 
It would appear then that Horton's wife should have no complaints about not being romanced by her husband! I have no doubt that some of the aspects of romance that he has included in this novel is based on his own experience. I say this as authors are encouraged to write about what they know, when and where they can.

As far as suspense goes, Horton has created this in one very unique manner, interspersed with the developing relationship between Kevin and Claire and through flash backs as Horton provides the background to their lives and romance. As their romance and relationship develop, so does the suspense and mystery surrounding Claire's quest for Heaven's Oasis and the ever increasing hunt for her and her research from billionaire arms dealer, Kain Masterson. This is more than a hook to reel the reader in, more like a snare, and a good one! It is actually through all this and Claire's death that ignites more of Kevin's integrity and love for his deceased wife that he devotes all his time and resources to carry on Claire's quest to find Heaven's Oasis. His  aim now is to restore her honour as an archaeologist that was destroyed by her murderer and the professional slander from her colleagues. I loved this aspect of the novel. It is great to see male characters showing such integrity of character and protecting the honour of another human being, no matter their gender. In this case, it is also part of the married agape relationship and more importantly part of being of sound Christian character when one allows God to change them into His likeness as the Bible encourages.

I detect from Kevin's character that Horton may have based some of this on himself. It is very true that authors base some characters on themselves, intentionally or not, or one character solely. My guess is the latter. Again, it is the author writing about what they know, or in this case, who they know. In this novel, this is one very strong asset.

There was one scene that really touched me and is I feel has a very important spiritual message for any Christian and it involved Kevin's dealing with his grief and relationship with God. Having gone through something similar like Kevin did, I can fully relate to Kevin's reaction to grief and how this affected his relationship with God and what he needed to do to be restored to God. Very well executed and it did minister to me after all these years. Just goes to show that Christian fiction can minister to the reader's heart and situation where they are at. On my blog, I state that I expect Christian fiction to,
  • entertained me immensely, 
  • encourage my walk with God. 

Well, I can say that this novel did entertain me immensely and overall did encourage my walk with God, especially this scene I mentioned above. I applaud Christian authors when they do this and I applaud Horton for including this.

I loved the events that led up to the climatic ending of this novel, both in a physical and spiritual/supernatural sense. Very suspenseful and satisfying. Horton has developed this well and a fitting ending to every thing that he has included up to that point and does justice to Kevin's quest to honour Claire's legacy and quest.

This novel has definitely entertained and reinforced in me to always remember that with God all things are possible and our integrity and character as men should not be comprised by our circumstances but to stand up for the honour of fellow man including our loved ones as an expression of God's love for us. I pray that the romance that is shown from Kevin can inspire male readers of this novel that this is a natural expression of our character and one form of expression of our love for our girlfriend and/or spouse.

Strongly Recommended. 4/5 Stars.

World Building 4/5

Characterisation 4/5

Story 4/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 2/5

Overall Rating 4.4/5


Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,
A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that Heaven's Oasis contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Spirit-Filled Romance outlined in this booklet, I award Jeff W Horton with

The Reality Calling Spirit-Filled Romance Award


Congratulations Jeff W Horton!

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