Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

‘Bag of Lies’ & a Breath of Fresh Air

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Is it spring yet?

During Snowmaggedon. One of us was really, really cranky about being cooped up indoors. Since like, the 12th of Never. So when the author reached out to us about a book review, saying he’d actually read our submission guidelines, we accepted. We got the ARC the next day.

You know that phrase “breath of fresh air”? Well…

Bag of Lies (Read & Reread Books, 2020)

By Ricky Dean Wright



Just be honest and tell ‘em like it is.

Civil War

A war within a war. A revolt within a revolt. A civil war is raging. Neutrality is not an option. You must choose a side. What if your best friend turns out to be your worst enemy?

More Than a Kid’s Game

Hide and seek is more than a kid’s game in this high-octane story of suspense, intrigue, double-crosses and betrayal. When four boyhood friends suddenly find themselves plunged into the midst of a civil war, nothing is as it seems. Think This Present Darkness and Lord of the Rings meets The Red Badge of Courage.

What happens when freedom is given to a broken world? is at the core of this delightful page-turner. With  memorable characters and a unique, engaging storyline, this faith-based adventure is a kick in the pants! Kernels of biblical truth are artfully tucked into this cleaver, creative, story. Unwrapping them is half the fun!

Minor Caveats:

  • Lots of characters flit in and out of the story. Some readers may feel overwhelmed. You may want to bring a road map.
  • We got a little lost when the story wanders into Hubbard Orchards. (We get the metaphor. But it seemed a bit stilted.)
  • The digital art topping some chapter headings seems out of place. Jarring.
  • When the same character is repeatedly referred to by two different names – sometimes in the same sentence –  it can get confusing. (We got it the first time. No need to beat us over the head with it.)
  • The title kind of goes “thud.”
  • Not to get nitpicky here or anything’, but in Chapter 56 Michael “pushed his way through” “thirty or so” armed enemies? Really?

That being said, the weft of history and fantasy is expert. The pacing is nimble, with each chapter flowing seamlessly into the next. Elements of intrigue and mystery nip at the narrative’s heels, propelling it inexorably forward. Young adults and anyone who enjoys a lithe, creative story with enough plot twists to rival the El Toro at Six Flags Grand Adventure will enjoy this story.

Plenty of room for a sequel! What happened to Mr. Patches? Pudge’s book? Caramel the faithful steed? What’s the story behind Penny’s eye? Etc.

Our Rating: 4.0


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