Monday, December 13, 2010

Review- Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren

Inspy Award winning novels are books that possess exceptional literary qualities and respectfully grapple with some element of the Christian faith. The Romance/Romantic Suspense category was filled with outstanding choices and those of us on the panel found it a very difficult category to judge. We debated right down to the wire, but I'm confident we made the right decision.

Our 2010 Inspy Award winner is Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren-an epic story which spans a couple of decades, and takes place on several continents. Though I don't usually care for World War II novels, the setting of this one swept me away. Warren took us from the Greek Isles to prohibition era Chicago, and back again, with enough description to make me feel like I've lived in both places.

She filled the book with rich detail, multi-layered characters, and plot twists I never saw coming. I loved how she weaved the story around historical events and actual people.

Fair warning, this is no light and fluffy read (a fact that suits this edgy christian fiction lover just fine). Warren has mastered the art of brainstorming the worst possible thing that could happen to her characters-then writing it in. These are flawed people who've drawn the short straw in life and nothing's off the table when it comes to self preservation. But resourcefulness will only get them so far. At some point each must decide if "God will deliver us" is just a platitude or a promise he can believe in.

Sons of Thunder easily places in my top ten of 2010. It's the kind of novel that would make an excellent movie. I wonder if anyone's bought the film rights yet. Hollywood, are you listening?

Want more info? Here's the back cover blurb:
Sophie Frangos is torn between the love of two men and the promise that binds them all together. Markos Stavros loves Sophie from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance and his hunger for honor. Dino, his quiet and intelligent brother, simply wants to forget the horror that drove them from their Greek island home to start a new life in America. One of these "sons of thunder" offers a future she longs for, the other—the past she lost.

From the sultry Chicago jazz clubs of the roaring twenties to the World War II battlefields of Europe to a final showdown in a Greek island village, they’ll discover betrayal, sacrifice and finally redemption. Most of all, when Sophie is forced to make her choice, she’ll learn that God honors the promises made by the Sons of Thunder.

My Rating:

It's giveaway time!

I'm sending one lucky reader my copy of Sons of Thunder. Just leave a comment on this review between now and Sunday to let me know you're interested (be sure to include your email address if it's not in your profile). To earn extra entries, come back this week and comment on the rest of my Inspy nominee reviews.

In other news, today I am over at Hannah's blog, Project Journal celebrating the Christmas season with her. Be sure to check it out!


  1. I really want to read this one.

    Hey, did you see the giveaway on Casey's blog today? Donna Winters is originally from Rochester area and is planning to come here in the spring to research her historical romance set on the Erie Canal. Familiar territory. :)

  2. Thanks Julia, I'll definitely get over there and check it out.

  3. I would love to be entered. This sounds amazing!

    Please please count me in :)

  4. I LOVE this book! I read a few months ago and it immediately shot to the top of my "Best of the Year" list (then again, Susan's books always do). Great review!

  5. @Juju- I heart bad boys too.

    @Lydia- Can you believe this is the first SMW book I've read? I'll have to try some others.

  6. I've heard others rave about this book, also! I'd love to be included in a giveaway drawing. reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  7. So you see how it easily made my best fiction of 2010 list, eh?

  8. I'm so glad this book won because it's DEFINITELY a 2010 Must Read!!!!

    Please don't enter me I already have this on the ol' keeper shelf.

    XOXO~ Renee

  9. @Michelle- Oh yeah...and we'll have some more overlap I'm sure.

    @Renee-You said you thought I'd like it and you were right. :)

  10. I really want to read this book. Sounds like a very good book. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  11. Yah! I made it over here just in time. (I saw your comment @ Renee's and headed this way to catch up).
    I've been wanting to read this one ever since Amber reviewed it and now with your review I want to read it even more!!

    bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

  12. I have Susan May Warrens PJ Sugar novels. I haven't read them yet, but my daughters have and they have enjoyed them. I might have to bump them up on my TBR list. And of course put Sons of Thunder on the pile too!

  13. Thanks to everyone for popping in on my reviews all week. The winner to this giveaway is Renee Ann!

  14. Eh, not a romance lover. I usually know what's going to happen by the end of the novel. Like 'shocker' someone falls in love. I've read the plot to this and it seems so...unrealistic, not something I would ever pick up.

  15. Hi Joy,

    I just found your website. I just recently read my very first edgy-inspy novel (Redeeming Love), and am so glad to see that such a genre exists.

    I am a married Christian woman and mom to two boys. When my husband and I go on vacation, I love to read romance novels set in the location we are visiting (I've been doing this since our honeymoon). But I much prefer "steamy" novels to those more explicit than that, so this genre is perfect for me!

    My only suggestion/request would be for you to have one giant list of novels somewhere, and it would be awesome if you listed them by location and/or time in which they are set. I know - my first time here, and already I'm making requests!

    But mostly, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for putting together such an awesome blog! Keep up the good work!

    ~Barbara in California


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