Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Illuminated

Action, adventure, history lovers...this one's for you.

Click on the book cover to visit the Amazon page for more information. Click here for Matt Bronleewe's website. Come back Friday for an interview with Matt.

My Review:

If you threw National Treasure, The DaVinci Code, Red Eye and the Indian Jones movies into a blender, you'd end up with something very similar to Illuminated, but in book format. Bronleewe has crafted a novel full of mystery, intrigue and fascinating puzzles. If Illuminated is not made into a movie, I'll be disappointed. This story screams for the big screen.

Respectful-of-Christians fiction without heavy Christianese so Illuminated should have great crossover appeal. Normally I'm all over character driven fiction and Illuminated is plot, action, plot. But I ended up bonding with the characters. Sometimes a plot heavy novel ends up with stereotypical characters that are as appealing as cardboard cut-outs. Bronleewe has developed heroes with a stereotypical brush, but he has given them a charm of their own, individually. He isn't afraid to slow down and show a positive characteristic within the baddies, and the good guys are not polished to the point of nausea.

I was thoroughly charmed with the humor and personality of this first novel. History is so easily grasped when sandwiched inside a great multi-faceted story. Historical fiction lovers, fans of the above mentioned movies, and story lovers should consider looking into Illuminated. I'm anxious to see Bronleewe grow as a writer. He's one to watch.

One note to Big Honken Chicken Club members...there are some ewwww elements.

Normally I don't add the author's bio, but Matt's is a story in itself so I thought I'd share it with you.

Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.