Book Jacket

 

rank 2832
word count 64393
date submitted 30.04.2012
date updated 22.03.2014
genres: Fiction, Children's, Young Adult, C...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Refined by Fire

E. A. Beckett

Sacrifice, selfishness, and salvation collide and confuse until Annette understands the importance of her life as it affects the lives of others.

 

The pain burned with as much intensity as the approaching flame and I heard a siren approach. I felt ready to give up as the flames came closer. I craned my neck to look at the flames. Despite the fact that they would kill me, they were quite beautiful, I thought. As I looked into the flame, I saw a smile. It was Uriel. He had come to save me. “You are not a hallucination,” I whispered.
“Oh, no, child. Definitely not a hallucination. But I am a bit like a nightmare,” he smiled again and leaned down to pick me up. I was confused about what he said. Was he trying to say that he understood how hard things had been for me since he’d come? I was airborne. The shock of it was so intense that I twisted my body in midair to look back at Uriel. My questioning gaze met with a sinister grin. He had thrown me into the path of the speeding fire truck. My body collided with it and shattered.

 
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tags

afterlife, angels, demons, edgy ya, heaven, possession, redemption, salvation, sibling rivalry, spiritual warfare, suicide, teenage

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13 comments

 

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Torkuda wrote 515 days ago

Hey , don't forget we agreed to trade reads a while back. Sorry I took so long to get to you.

I only read the first three chapters and normally this is where I would offer to do a full read and review if you were to do a full review or back of my book, however I'm afraid my full review would be negative. You're story isn't without merit, it just needs a lot of work. I recommend signing up with these guys and work shopping this before trying to get it to an editor: http://www.critters.org/

I agree with most people that taking on the idea of heaven is interesting, and trying to tackle such an alien subject (no one knows what the next world will truly be like) will definitely attract attention. Your grammar is also pretty good and the nature of the story is very interesting and unique.

On to my problems. Please don't take offense, but I had a few.

First off you're picture of heaven feels a bit weird. The idea of balancing light and darkness is not in the Bible at all. Actually this is an eastern philosophy, where the Judeo Christian belief puts forward that the universe was at its best when almost completely devoid of evil and such it is the end goal of us as Christians, to wipe out evil, not balance the scales. This is obviously a Christian novel, so mixing belief systems doesn't make much sense.

Also your picture of heaven is devoid of any conflict, which would seem natural, but consider this. First off, a lack of conflict makes the intro less intriguing. Second, conflict doesn't mean death or pain, just struggle. Why can't the citizens of heaven play games? Why can't the kids rough house? Conflict doesn't mean struggle against death and dismemberment, but just struggle at all. Just a few thoughts to help liven up heaven a bit.

The story also poses that the main character was made to fight physical darkness to prepare her to fight metaphorical darkness in the human world. My two problems with this are first that the two are fundamentally different concepts and second the main character immediately forgets her experience in heaven, so she can't learn anything from the experience anyway.

Finally, you really need to think about the concept of “show don't tell”. The character explains a lot about heaven and her former life, but in the end it feels like I've actually seen only a small percentage of what she's told me about, and therefore have only had a very tiny amount of shared experiences with her.

I would encourage you to keep trying with this story, but would also say it really needs work before attempting full publication.

Kerrie Price wrote 622 days ago

Wonderful work! I laughed and smiled all the way through the first chapter. I can identify with this so much - the awareness of the light of God in our lives, pushing back the darkness. Can you imagine what would happen on earth, if all the Christians became aware of the power of God in their lives and the ability to act in support of one another, without any need to compete? Ha Ha.....we would see the darkness squelched at every turn and the light of God shining brighter and brighter in the church, until it bursts forth in triumph, flowing out into the community, dispelling darkness wherever it flowed. Six stars and I will make room for it on my shelf.

I hope you will take a look at my book also. You might like the topics called Citizens of Heaven, and God's Mighty Power in Us.

Kerrie Price
Live to Please God

Neville wrote 662 days ago

Refined by Fire. - E.A. Beckett.

I just wanted to re-enforce my earlier comment and backing regarding your book.
I can see that you've changed the title...It makes no difference.
It’s written so well, and anyone reading it will find a very clever author has been at work here.
It’s such a very good Christian book with a lot to offer in my opinion.
Best wishes!

Kind regards,

Neville Kent. The Secrets of the Forest – The Time Zone.

Geddy25 wrote 664 days ago

Just been reading your work and I must say I'm really impressed.
Firstly, I'm not in any way religious and I wouldn't have chosen this as a read for myself, but your writing certainly grabs attention. You have a very imaginative mind and you have obviously spent a huge amount of time thinking about each aspect of your story, giving them beautiful descriptions and feelings.
I like the peace that you convey from the text, especially in the "speech".
Your text appears to me to be bang on - no typos at all that I spotted, and there are no awkward sentences that don't flow right.
Great writing for the right audience so high stars from me!
Mike.
(Rudolf Goes Bananas)

Casimir Greenfield wrote 664 days ago

There is an assured writer here at work. The writing is thrilling, ecstatic full of glory and wonder all at once.

I hardly think of heaven these days, but my dark stories are informed by my earlier aspirations to become a man of the cloth. I was seven years old when I was involved in a traffic accident and I also encountered a near death experience. It was close to the stunning description here and certainly affected my life from then on.

The beliefs at work in the dense narrative are sometimes overwhelming, but the sense of joy that the writer has in her soul bursts through at every turn.

As a spiritual non-believer these days (I do not subscribe to organised religion or the concept of god as such) I fully understand the thought processes at play here.

It is clear that the author has edited the text closely and there is hardly a spare word to be found, but ultimately I found the story lost in the evangelising thread running through the entire book.

For the target market the book a stunner of a read. Consistent, bold and single-minded.

Cas

AudreyB wrote 668 days ago

Wow--I have never read anything like this. It's a total original.

I read the first two and a half chapters (dinner is calling). I think you could improve the structure a bit. There's the brief mention of the teen, then the newscast, and then some narrator opinion. In the second chapter, we get first person from a teen who is presumably the one from chapter 1. Then in Chapter 3, we go back in time a bit to when the teen was still alive.

I am not sure what would work best, but I'd recommend having things happen in chronological order in the early chapters. Your story idea is so fresh and unusual that I don't think you want timing to throw any readers off.

Like Dianna, I appreciated the symbolic use of light and darkness. Sometimes we try to make the world so complicated, when many things really boil down to the choice between the light and the darkness.

Will come back when I have more time.

Best of luck to you on Authonomy!
~AudreyB
Forgiveness Fits

JMF wrote 674 days ago

I am here for our reading swap. I have read the first three Autho chapters. You have obviously spent a great deal of time thinking about your subject matter in order to present your arguments in a logical way, so well done for that. Your explanations, from what I have read, are clearly stated and I haven't noticed any typos or editorial issues. I was a little confused by the presence of the teenage boy at the start of the prologue as he does not appear again at the end of that chapter. It may be a good idea, to round off the prologue, to swing back to the scene with the teenager, otherwise the reader is left wondering why he is there. I also feel that I would perhaps engage with the story more, if we learn more about the mc's life prior to her entry into Heaven. However, this is my own personal view and of course, you need to follow your own thoughts about the way in which you want your work to flow.
This is an original story and one which will be of interest to many.
All the best with your writing.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Adam Thurstman wrote 677 days ago

Half way through the prologue and I thought, ‘Wow!’ Half way through Chapter 1 and I thought I’d really like to meet this person. Despite stating this is fiction it seem as if you’re writing from experience, it really resonated with me, it’s so vivid and clearly explained. 6 stars easy, and will make some room on my shelf.

Adam De-Thurstman
IS ISRAEL REAL

Cyrus Hood wrote 713 days ago

This is a complex and interesting story and certainly one that needs a deal of attention paid to it. I thought the first chapter slightly too long and would have liked to have seen some conflict in there. However, a well written piece about a subject that you are clearly very well studied in. In a couple of sentences you repeat words un-necessarily, a fault we are all guilty of at some time or another. Nevertheless, an intelligent enough piece that should do well.
I will place you on my watchlist.

I thought that my book might interest you because i also have a warrior girl as my heroine. On reflection, I'm not certain that it will be your cup of tea. However I would be interested in your comments.

regards

Cyrus - Hellion 2

Margaret0307 wrote 714 days ago

What a fantastic imagination you have! And you are able to write in a very clear way in order to express it - a powerful combination! I like your descriptions and the way you look at light and darkness - very original. I also like the way you describe Annette's thoughts - was it an hallucination, was she going mad or did she have a brain tumour? The brother/sister relationship is also very interesting - and I love a happy ending!

A great read - highly starred
Margaret
How do I know I know God?

Dianna Lanser wrote 718 days ago

E.A.

For being a beginning writer, you have a very strong start. I am so impressed by your story, your imagination, and your fantastic insightful descriptions.

I just happened to read Genesis one this morning where God created light and separated the light from the darkness. I thought it amazing that that first kind of light must be totally different from the sun and moon and stars, since it existed even before the heavenly lights. It seems you have captured the essence of that very foreign and unique light. I was amazed by the thought that light would naturally be drawn to the darkness to dispel it.

And I loved you view of heaven and eternity - always learning, never stagnant or unoccupied. You are gifted with an incredible imagination and remarkable way of expressing the intangible in palpable word pictures. At times I felt as if I were being pulled along with Annette.

I only read two chapters, but you have done such a good job whetting my appetite, I will definitely be back to read more. Six stars!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

P.S. Here’s a couple easy fixes I found

“There may be someone who may (it) explain it better.”

“Each time, I was lead to combine with many more beings of light (and as we came together).” This conjunction makes the sentence sound incomplete.

Shelby Z. wrote 720 days ago

This is very well written with a lot of beauty in this first chapter as you describe things.
You put a lot of thought into this.
I like the angle of this story it is told from.
Nice title.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my Christian pirate adventure Driving Winds.

Neville wrote 721 days ago

The Smelting.
By E.A. Beckett.


This is a very moving story as you describe Jesus sitting on the right hand of God in heaven.
Your description of the gardens gives me a mental picture of a place of great serenity.
I’ve never read anything like this before that gives such a good account of after death experience.
The idea of becoming a light and working for the good of others in this way is unique to my way of thinking.
Your thoughts are good and pure as you put pen to paper. Your imagination knows no bounds and I have taken to your story in a big way.
The way Annette gets a sense of how old Seth and Coryn are, fascinated me.
After all, the three of them are only thought transference’s, with no physical body.
So many questions from Annette as they are drawn towards the darkness on the first mission.
The forming of a new star and the need for the three light sources to surround and protect it from the dark while it continues to expand—brilliant thinking on your part.
I’ve read one chapter of this wonderful book and can see that this has only one way to go...In the bookshops.
Top stars for this, and on my shelf!!

Best wishes,

Neville. The Secrets of the Forest – The Time Zone.



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