by Braxton A. Cosby"A fast-paced adventure featuring a secret society on a divine mission...a satisfying read: The characters steadily develop, goodness prevails, and there's even a touch of romantic intrigue. Gripping, action-packed." ---- Kirkus Review "A memorable, unpredictable journey of hope, identity and courage. The Cosby gift of storytelling lives on in this page turning adventure." ---- Bill Cosby, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Comedian, Philanthropist "Braxton Cosby delivers a thrill ride of suspense, fantasy, drama and fun in The School of Ministry. An unrequieted love story beats at the center of Ziv's journey to find peace, purpose and faith. You'll root for him as he claims his life and future in this wholly inventive and original novel with a message for all. I loved it." ---- Adriana Trigiani, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Shoemaker's Wife Winner of The Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Book of the Year Award for Young Adult - General
I'm helpless as she continues to struggle for air. Then, an image flickers from the corner of my eye as a side door opens and Maxwell walks out, holding a staff of his own. "Maxwell," I plead. "It's Miss Evans. Please help her!" He shakes his head and lifts his staff in his hands, twirling it in a circle as he begins to slowly walk sideways, circling me like a predator, encasing me in a hedge of danger. "Hold your ground. Make a choice: fight or flight," Maxwell bellows. Miss Evans' banging on the glass behind me blends with the pounding of my heart. I lift my staff and spread my feet, turning my attention to Maxwell. As much as I'm afraid for my own safety, I find it impossible not to focus on Miss Evans. Her muffled scream comes from the tank and I look away from Maxwell to check on her. Her hands clutch her neck. Her face is bright red with a tinge of blue around her lips. "No," I scream, stepping back away from the tank. Raising my staff above my head, I crank back and rip it down, slamming it into the side of the tank, as I yell. The water explodes from the crack in the tank and glass shards crash to the floor below. I swing once more and this time the entire tank shatters, launching Miss Evans into the air toward me. I catch her in my arms and the force of the water propels us backward onto the floor. She coughs, gasping for air. I hold her in my arms and caress her head. Her sobbing brittles me and I'm relieved to see her skin color returning to its natural tanned shade. We're here, an odd place, an unfamiliar place. But as I hold her delicately in my arms, it makes me feel like I'm heading back home. Not the place where I live now, but the place where I used to live, when mom and dad were still alive. The way she rests in my arms beckons me to a time when I used to hold my kitten, Priceless. She'd climb into my lap during the thunder storms. I was her comforter. Priceless would purr when I did it. And now, so many years later, I find myself feeling the same way as I hold Miss Evans. Her soft body pressing into my skin—warming me—calls me to hug her even closer with each passing second. The times when I needed someone to hold me reflect in my mind like a mirror as I stare at her. Her chest rises as her heart beat quickens, mixing evenly with her breaths. As warmth returns to her body, a subtle tremor comes over her; like a purr. I can't resist. I have to do it. I must do it. I hug deeply, ignoring the senseless urge to pull away. "Bravo!" praises Maxwell, exiting the room as the lights come back on. Miss Evans resting in my arms and I comfort her, caressing her hair. She finally looks up at me and mouths, "Thank you." "You're welcome. Are you all right?" I ask. "Yes…better now," she replies. "How did you get in there?" I ask. "I don't know. Um, if you don't mind me asking, who are you?" "What? It's Ziv of course. Miss Evans, are you feeling all right?" "Miss Evans?" she asks with a puzzled look on her face. "Did you say your name was Ziv?"
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My Thoughts: The School of Ministry is a really interesting concept about the battle between good and evil. The book centers on new recruits who have been brought to a facility to learn about using their gifts and talents to battle evil in the name of the Lord. I couldn’t help but think that even though they were battling evil things were not always what they appeared. I finished the book still believing that a lot of truth was being withheld. I will be interested in seeing how it all unfolds later.
I enjoyed the characters in this book a lot. Ziv was unsure and full of fear in the beginning. I enjoyed his growth in the book. I loved reading about him learning to trust himself in situations. He was clever and quick on his feet when it was necessary. Francis was a bad boy type. He was one of my favorite characters. He seemed sullen and a bit arrogant, but every little glimpse of his true self made me like him more. Jaythan seemed like an all around good guy, but I found him a bit too perfect at times. I never knew what to think of Miss Evans. She was a great character, just a bit mysterious at times. There was one character that I only got a brief glimpse of but I cannot wait to learn more about her. She caught my attention and more than once I found myself wondering about her. I loved that all of the characters fit so easily into the mold that Braxton A. Cosby wrote for them.
The plot for this book is fast and very exciting. The recruits are going through training at what seems like top speed and then missions just as fast. Even though the time line was quick, I didn’t feel rushed. Cosby used amazing detail and his wonderful storytelling ability to make this fast paced story engaging. A great part of this book was the gifts and talents the characters had. While there wasn’t a clear view of all the characters’ abilities yet, there was a lot about Ziv’s gifts. I enjoyed watching them grow and watching him learn how to use them. I also loved the way that parts of the Bible and Biblical history were worked into the book. I can’t wait to see how this great battle of good and evil continues in later books.
Meet the Author:Multi-Award-Wining Author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who evolved from concepts on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. Protostar: Book 1 The Star-Crossed Saga and The School of Ministry: The Windgate are currently two Young Adult series he created. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife, three children and a troop of crazy African Cichlids.
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I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.