Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By The Numbers Series by Eric Wilson

I'm going to do something a little different for this review.  I'm actually going to review 2 books at once.  These books are the first 2 books in the "By The Numbers" Series by Eric Wilson.  Not sure how these review will sound, let me know what you think of it.

"1 Step Away" - A Modern Twist on One of the World's Oldest Tales
     Bret and Sara Vreeland have been targeted. Someone has plans for them, a plot that reaches into their past and threatens their future.
When one of Sara's patients dies, a mysterious old man, he leaves his fortune to her and her family. They have no idea they are part of an experiment. Satan once tested Job through trials, but failed to break him. Now Satan has sought God's permission to test the Vreelands with a $6,000,000 blessing.
     As their lives take turn for the better, will their souls take a turn for the worse?

     Bret and Sara have made it by in this world by counting pennies and adhering to a strict budget.  Bret works in the manufacturing world and Sara in the health care industry, he during the day and she at night.  A picture of a couple reminiscent of many middle-class people today.  They have just enough to get through to the next paycheck and that's about it.  On the relationship side, though, they are committed to each other and their family.  Bret always going out his way to help his boss and Sara making a house call to help a patient.  It's during this trip that Sara finds that the patient has more than a passing interest in her.  After his death, she finds that she has been left a large portion of his estate, worth over $6,000,000.  As this new found wealth takes hold of their family, they find that a lot of their values have eroded with the money.  After a discovery that he ex-fiancee had possibly been killed by the patient that left her all of the money, will it change what they do with the money?  Who is stalking them and what does he have to do with the inheritance? Can their family still continue their bond as the money seems to unravel it? NOT GOING TO TELL YOU :)

"2 Seconds Late" - Natalie Flynn, a minor character in 1 Step Away, takes the lead role. After a chance encounter at a Nashville book festival, she starts dating a suave, young politician, Reuben King. Natalie has no idea Reuben is friends with some very dangerous people. These friends deal in information, and knowledge is their form of gold. Recent technological advances have allowed for widespread use of RFID tagging (radio-frequency ID), and Reuben's friends are growing richer by the day. To do so, though, they are endangering the lives of society's mentally and financially destitute. 2 Seconds Late is a tale of modern characters faced with ethical and life-altering decisions. Natalie, in some parallels to the biblical story of Esther, has been positioned for "such a time as this," but every second counts, and already she may be too late.

     Natalie Flynn was a minor character in the first book, but really played a large roll when it came to what happened to her in it.  It's nice to see her back, especially since we get to see a part of what happend to her in the first book that we didn't get to see.  In this book, she has moved on past the experience and gotten back on track with her schooling.  She meets up with Reuben King, who is spearheading a campaign that includes the latest advances in technology for RFID tagging.  Little does she know the power force that he has aligned with to make all of them rich and powerful.  Does Natalie finally figure out how to stop these people from ruining the lives of millions?  Does Reuben "wake-up" and see the destruction this power could cause?  You guessed it again, you're getting so smart.... READ THE BOOK!

These books were both quick and enjoyable reads.  Mr. Wilson has a very fluid writing style that practically keeps you hooked from the first page.  These were books where, "I'll just read one more chapter" became several more chapters.... In these books, the characters were ones that I rooted for, especially since I felt like I could identify with Bret.  Work, work, work, climb, climb, climb.  Am I making any progress up the ladder, or will it be like this all my life?  I liked that Bret seemed to have ethical struggles after they received the inheritance.  Not only by what to do with the money, but also by how people started treating him.  Was the pastor treating him different now that they had extra money?  I enjoyed the character of Reuben as well.  It is always refreshing to see people in power that struggle with that power and seeing how they overcome those struggles and do the right thing.

Are these "guy's books"?  The first is a twist on the story of Job.  In this story, instead of losing everything they have, they gain so much more. I think alot of guys will see themselves in the character of Bret, so I think this book would be great for any guy.  In the second book, even with this being a spin on "Esther", I saw more about the character of Reuben and enjoyed watching his development through the course of the book.  So yes, I think these books would both be great books for guy's to read.


From an early age, I wanted to be a writer. Although I was born in California and raised  in Oregon, my more enduring memories start in Europe where my parents took Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. Life was an adventure, full of  exotic cultures and peoples.
Back in the States, I went through junior high and high school. I loved soccer, basketball, chess. Oh, yes, and girls. It took a few years to learn how to talk to them, but they interested me from a distance.
After high school, I traveled in eastern Europe and China. I returned to my parents’  crumbling marriage. I moved to LA and began college. During my junior  year, a childhood friend showed up as a freshman. Within months she and I were married, and we’re now going into our twentieth year, with two daughters to keep us on our toes. We’re not perfect--our kids could give you details--but we refuse to stop fighting for our family. And for our faith in Jesus, who is bigger than our self-centeredness.

I received both of these books from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

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