Thursday, June 21, 2012

Full Tilt by Creston Mapes


Full Tilt is the second in the Rock Star Chronicles. Everett is a new Christian and newly married to Karen. He is planning a new band tour. This time, the message will be one of life instead of death.
Everett's older brother, Eddie, is in trouble with the mob. He is addicted to gambling and has gotten in way over his head. Everett helps by paying off a couple of debts but angers the mob boss in the process. It soon becomes apparent that Everett and Karen are in danger.
Add to the mix Everett's nephew Wesley. He is still angry over his brother's death, a death he blames on his uncle Everett. Wesley is heavily into meth and runs with a member of the mob family. He hears voices telling him to avenge his brother's death.

As with the first in the series, this is an intense book. We get a look into the world of methamphetamines, probably the number one rural drug in America. We see other addictions, too – alcohol and gambling.
The novel deals with other issues, as well. Everett has some of his tattoos removed and in the Reader's Guide, readers are asked to share their thoughts on a Christian's appearance. There is the question of God allowing loved people to die when young. In fact, Eddie refuses to believe in a God who would let his son die.
There are the issues of guilt and forgiveness. Everett has difficulty believing God has forgiven all he had done when he was with his ungodly rock band. Does he have to pay for those deeds somehow?

This would be a great novel for a teen reading group. The Reader's Guide included would stimulate some serious discussion. The Christianity in the book is clear, with the gospel is presented several times.
As is the case with the first in this series, I thought the writing was a bit uneven. For example, Mapes ends one chapter on Christmas Eve with Everett and Karen fearing the impending harm from the mob. The next chapter opens a week later, on New Year's Eve. I felt like the anxiety had been ramped up, then a week has gone by with ease!
Nonetheless, this is an exciting and hard hitting novel.

Creston Mapes has a degree in magazine journalism and has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries. His stories have been featured in many magazines.

Learn more at www.crestonmapes.com.

I received an egalley of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.

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