I’m Ray Keating, the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels – Warrior Monk, Root of All Evil?, An Advent for Religious Liberty, and The River (with another being written now!). I occasionally get asked about feedback and reviews on my books. Quite frankly, I’m always amazed and humbled that people – especially those I have never met – take the time to not only read my books, but offer reviews or comments. But there are five reviews/comments that I would like to quickly share with you for various reasons.
The first two comments below hit on something that I wanted to avoid when writing fiction with Christian themes, that is, some Christian fiction offer stilted dialogue and wooden characters. The third point came from a reviewer who, like Stephen Grant, went from working for the CIA to becoming a pastor. Hey, this guy, in a way, is Stephen Grant! The fourth was appreciated as it came from a reviewer who disagreed with many views of the main character, but still gave the book a thumbs up. And lastly, a reader summed up what I hope all readers experience.
1) From a pastor via an Amazon review: “It is a pleasure to recommend a book to my friends that promotes Christian virtues, is not stuffy, and is an exciting adventure.”
2) Another Amazon reviewer declared: “Keating has a gift for navigating the treacherous waters both worldly and denominational. If you are tired of the ham handed presentation of faith so easily found elsewhere, Keating might be just the thing.”
3) In a review in The Washington Times, Kenneth V. Blanchard, once with the CIA and now a pastor, noted, “Mr. Keating's storytelling is so lifelike that I almost thought I had worked with him when I was at Langley. Like the fictitious pastor, I actually spent 20 years working for the U.S. intelligence community, and once I started reading ‘The River,’ I had to keep reading because it was so well-crafted and easy to follow and because it depicted a personal struggle that I knew all too well. I simply could not put it down.”
4) In a four-star Goodreads review, a reader declared, “I should probably hate this book... The hero’s political and religious attitudes are conservative... Yet, the book was well written and a lot of fun to read. It was the literary equivalent of a James Bond movie - boy, does that show my age - I know what is happening is improbable to impossible, but it is SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
5) Finally, one reader made the following simple but generous statement on the Pastor Stephen Grant Novels Facebook page: “The whole series is just such fun!”
These comments mean a great deal to me, as do the many other reviews, comments and feedback that I have received. I’m going to keep on writing, and I’d love to keep hearing from each of you. Thanks and God bless.