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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The River - eBook

Thomas Nelson The River - eBook

The River was calling him...Growing up in rural Kansas, Gabriel Clarke was mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon off rothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. From deep within, Gabriel's passion for The River was undeniable. The fast waters beckoned him to experience freedom and adventure-and leave his past behind.

But something was holding him back.

As Gabriel came of age in Kansas, chains of fear and resentment imprisoned him, keeping him from discovering all the treasures of The River-its powerful rapids, relentless gradients, and boulder-strewn sections of majestic splendor. He couldn't let go of the horrible event he witnessed on The River when he was four years old-something no child should ever see.

In this compelling story, Gabriel learns that letting go of the past means giving himself totally to The River-heart, soul, and mind.

Average Customer Rating:
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31 out of 4372%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The River - eBook
Review 1 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Overhyped, with poor storytelling.

Date:June 1, 2013
Customer Avatar
Arkatox
Location:Illinois
Age:Under 18
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The River by Michael Neale is a novel I acquired a while ago because of a hype. Many employees of the publishing company had read it and very highly recommended it, so I thought I would give it a shot. While it wasn't at all a bad book, it was certainly a disappointment.
The story starts out in the present day, where a fifty-ish man named Gabriel Clarke approaches the story's narrator and tells him that he's on his way back from travelling around the world, running National Geographic's Top Ten Most Dangerous and Beautiful Rivers in the World. After exploring numerous beautiful locations, meeting tons of new friends, and encountering multiple near-death experiences, he was ready to head home. And then he tells the narrator his life story, which is the bulk of the book.
Now, that might sound like a really intriguing story, but in reality the story doesn't focus at all on that long adventure he had. It's about his childhood and early years. When he was five, he watched his father die saving another man's life in The River. For the next fifteen years he would grow up with his mom in a small town in Kansas, before eventually, after a series of events, work at a summer camp in Colarado, where he would rediscover his true love of The River.
Right off the bat, I had problems with this book. The story is supposed to be about Gabriel, but the first two chapters are almost entirely from the point of view of his parents. If this is Gabriel's story, why is it being told through the eyes of others? In addition, the writing style of this book looks like it was written by a teenager. Not that it has bad grammar or it's poorly written or anything, but it just seems like it'd be something that I would write myself, if I had the ability to stay on a single writing project long enough to finish it.
The whole book just doesn't seem at all realistic. Some would argue that that's the point of fiction, but not when a book tries to be realistic. You can tell that the author meant for it to be a story that could have actually happened, but it didn't at all turn out that way. The entire story felt forced. Like the storyteller didn't know how to tell a story.
The dialogue is written in a way so that almost all of the characters appear to have the same personality (a personality which isn't in the slightest bit realistic), and sometimes it just felt like the author didn't know how things work. Things like animal behavior and what it's like to live in a small town—you get the impression that the author thought he knew what he was talking about, but he really, certainly didn't.
There's also the allegorical elements, such as whenever any river is mentioned at any of the book, the characters refer to it as The River. And everyone thinks The River is amazing beyond anything else, to the point where you get bored every time it's mentioned. Throughout the book, The River is a very obvious and poorly-implemented metaphor for God. If the author wanted to write a good book, he should have removed all allegorical content completely and just wrote it as a story. It would have been much more enjoyable.
Another part of the book I didn't care for was that some romance elements were added in, but for no purpose. If they'd been expanded on it might have added to the story, but as they were they were kind of pointless. Perhaps they were part of the allegory, and that would be why they could have been a brilliant addition, but they weren't. And on that point, the romance was absolutely unrealistic.
However, after pointing out all these parts of the book that made it not nearly as great as it could have been, I also have to point out that these can all be attributed as minor gripes. While I had problems with the story, other readers may not. I actually found the book quite enjoyable at times, though I always got bored when the characters got started talking about The River.
One of the aspects I liked about the book—though I'm not sure they should be considered as pros—is the similes used by the author. I don't know why, but I just found them hilarious. The sad part is that the author didn't mean them to be cheesy or hilarious; he meant them to be serious. However, I might be the only person who's even taken note of them.
Regardless of all the faults, there are still great gems in The River. I enjoyed it as a whole, and I know other people who would enjoy it a lot more than I did. While it could be boring, cliché, and poorly worded at times, I can see why people would like it. However, I find it difficult to recommend a book that I would not purchase myself.
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Review 2 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Pleasant and thought-provoking.

Date:January 19, 2013
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MaryRuth
Location:Midwest
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I have to admit, when I first picked up this book I was more than a little skeptical. I've read enough books that were backed by countless rave reviews to know that great reviews don't always mean a great book. Having read dozens of 5-star reviews about how The River changed the reader's life, I was just a bit doubtful.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the book, though, I'm pleased to say. Though I'm not sure I would call it life-changing, it was most definitely meaningful and impacting - and I don't just say that about any old book.
I've recently been reading quite a few books that follow themes similar to The River's - namely, don't live life on the sidelines, get in and embrace it, take risks and follow your destiny. And although that trend has been unintentional on my part, I've been enjoying the ideas it has encouraged me to explore. The River is definitely the best book of that nature that I've read so far. Who knows? Maybe God is trying to tell me something.
My only complaint - and it's so small and trivial that it doesn't really even qualify as a complaint - is that throughout the book, every time anything was said about the river (which was a lot - it's about whitewater rafting), the words 'the river' were capitalized. I get what the author or editor or whoever was trying to do with that, but when you're reading along at a good speed and all of a sudden The River is capitalized in the middle of a sentence it can be jolting. More than once my rhythm got derailed because I saw the capital letters and thought I was starting a new sentence, which didn't make sense with the words themselves. And then it wasn't even done every time the words 'the river' were written. I caught several instances in which they were all lowercase, with no detectable pattern to the difference. That whole issue got on my nerves quite a few times throughout the book.
But other than that tiny annoyance, as I said before this book was great. What makes it even more impressive is that it is apparently the author's first work. As a fellow writer, I take my hat off to Mr. Neale. Well done on an outstanding first novel! The rest of you out there, take note. This is an author to watch.
On the whole, a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read. This one will be staying on my shelves for a good long while, and I'm already thinking about reading it again.
I received a copy of this book free of charge for the publisher in exchange for my review. A favorable review was not required, and my opinions are my own.
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Review 3 for The River - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The River is a must-read!

Date:November 20, 2012
Customer Avatar
Peter
Location:Midland, MI
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Gabriel Clarke lived his childhood scared of The River and anything to do with water. Perhaps that’s because of the memory of a day he could not get out of his mind—the day he last saw his father, who saved the life of a kayaker at the expense of his own life. Young Gabriel was mad, “Wasn’t I more important than that reckless kayaker? Didn’t he deserve what was coming?” These thoughts plagued him and caused him to live in a shell for most of his childhood. His heart slowly changed over time, and one day Gabriel decided to accept a friend’s invitation to go on a rafting trip in Colorado—on the same river he and his dad had loved many years ago. It was there that he realized he was made for The River. It didn’t take much to convince him that his dead-end job of cleaning the Five and Dime store back in Kansas should not and could not hold him back from fulfilling his destiny at The River. Throughout his experiences that summer interacting with The River and the people who were also called to The River, Gabriel became a new man—a man who took hold of not who he was, but who he was destined to become.
While I enjoyed this novel at face value due to the gripping story that kept me up late at night and wishing my lunch break were longer, there is another level to this novel. In the narrative, the author stays away from most religiosity in the story, but when viewed as an allegory comparing The River to God and His ways, a lot of spiritual insight can be found. In fact, during the month leading up to the world-wide release of his book, Michael co-hosted a four-part sermon series at his church in Florida about the deeper meaning of what The River is. He reveals that “The River [God] is shaping everything in its path.” “The River [God] is alive and is moving all over the world.” “The world will not be the same because of [God] The River.” “When we’re with The River [God], we know it’s where we’re meant to be.” Gabriel truly found his life when he encountered The River. The same can ring true for you; just get in…all the way in!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “The River” through Book Sneeze, in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 4 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

"You were Made for The River"

Date:December 31, 2012
Customer Avatar
Bess
Location:USA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Gabriel Clarke was “made for The River.” Coming from a family legacy of whitewater adventurers, it’s “in his blood,” as the book says. The River by Michael Neal is a story chock full of life lessons – forgiveness, living life to the full, and overcoming grief. After a haunting accident on The River leaves five-year-old Gabriel without a father, he finds himself far from the waters of Colorado and deep in a sleepy town in Kansas. Growing up is a struggle and he retreats into himself with the pain and grief of that fateful day. As he grows he slowly opens up, but parts of him remain locked, until an unexpected invitation comes his way to go camping in the state where he was born and his father was lost. He experiences The River on that trip and again discovers the hold it has on him. He finds himself in love with a girl and before he knows it, he’s working at The River adventure camp for the summer, which her father runs. It is there that he must face his grief full force in an unexpected way, and make the choice to retreat into his old pain or fight his way to the life he was meant to live on The River. I found this book a little slow going at first, but by the camping trip chapter I was intrigued to finish quickly. I was disappointed that it does not openly mention in any way that Christ is the way to true life, but I suppose it can be argued that The River was symbolic of that truth. The book contains a Reading Group Guide and interview with Andy Andrews and the author.
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Review 5 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The River

Date:December 21, 2012
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jessy1313
Location:Tennessee
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The River is a good book. I compare it in some ways to The Shack. The story theme is great. I really enjoyed it.
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Review 6 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:December 21, 2012
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Randy
Location:Kansas City, Ks
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I was quite honestly disappointed,it was a good book just for picking up and reading, but, there was no God journey, in fact God was mentioned only once. I just didn't get it as Christian reading
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Review 7 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 19, 2012
Customer Avatar
senior cavalier
Location:shreveport louisiana
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
written so that you are with the people as the events occur within the story as it unfolds.
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Review 8 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The River

Date:December 17, 2012
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Sandy
Location:LI, NY
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this book. It was a quick, easy read and yet very spirtual in nature.
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Review 9 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Disappointing

Date:December 2, 2012
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The author does a good job of visually creating in my minds eye the location of The River. A very beautiful river, peaceful and at times, dangerous. Very descriptive.
The plot was well thought-out; however, I found the story to be really long at some points. I felt the story could have moved along at a quicker clip then it did.
There are a lot of characters in this story; the author only really develops one of them-Gabriel. The end of the story just stops, you don’t really know what happens to any of the characters, which left me feeling like something was missing. Most of the characters were one dimensional, nothing really to them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 10 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The River

Date:November 17, 2012
Customer Avatar
Amanda
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The River was by no means a difficult read. The hard copy’s pages had a worn edge reminiscent of an old journal, mimicking how it would be to read about the main character’s life. Part inspirational seminar, part quasi-memoir, and part small group fiction (yes, there’s even a workbook in the back), The River certainly had a poignant story—perhaps too poignant. In fact, it seemed more than a tad forced. I finished the book thinking it was almost trite in its fairy-tale, all-loose-ends-quickly-tied-up-in-neat-bows ending. It had the air of being a college English major’s senior thesis: a “How can I Write an Uplifting Story” project. What was perhaps intended as a life-altering plot-twist was obvious a mile away and, almost like watching a horror movie, the reader wants to shout to the main character, “Figure it out already!” And, although Michael Neale likely intended to encourage people to take chances and reach for their dreams, live their destiny, and find their calling, he succeeded more in making his readers feel that their lives are not “adventurous” enough to be meaningful. Yes, changing diapers or working a 9-to-5 job to support a family is not taking on Class V whitewater rapids, but I don’t think that means it isn’t really living. His metaphor of refusing to stand along the shore (Get in the Water!) seemed a bit more of a t-shirt slogan than a sincerely thought-out appraisal of the options people face in their lives. Though I’m sure it wasn’t the author’s purpose, he nonetheless left this reader feeling like he’d put a lot of effort into stirring up his readers to face their fears….that their lives are actually really boring.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 11 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

I couldn’t help but see the River as an allegory o

Date:November 10, 2012
Customer Avatar
PBJones
Location:Edmonton, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"You can't fully experience The River from the banks . . .. You have to get in . . . all the way in."
It’s not hard to get “all the way in” to Michael Neale’s “The River.” The fictional story is set in the beauty of the Colorado wild. It deals with death, grief, fear, young love and old hurts. “The River” follows Gabriel Clarke through the tragic death of his heroic father to a surprise encounter with the man his father died saving. The River backdrops the entire story of his life.
I couldn’t help but see the River as an allegory of life in general and faith in God in particular. Contemporary Christianity compares the work of the Spirit of God to “a river.” A veteran guide on the river instructs novice guides by saying, “I want to challenge you: don’t just be around the River, but really study it. Get to know it. The more you get to know, the more your knowledge will ignite your passion…”
That perspective’s true of “the River” and God. The more you know about God the more you want to know God. Neale’s phrase, “You were made for the river…” is an echo of Augustine’s “…man is restless until he finds his peace in God.”
At times, the book reads more like a self-help book than a fictional adventure. “If you stay connected to only that which is small enough for you to understand and control, then you have nothing – no adventure, no destiny, and no purpose.”
Step into the River and step up to an interesting read.
Booksneeze provided a copy of the book for review purposes.
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Review 12 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

THE RIVER - Be Inspired - Must Read This Book!

Date:November 8, 2012
Customer Avatar
Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Cleveland, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love this quote from the book "Life is not to be merely survived--it is meant to be lived."
One of my favorite excerpts from the book is on page 272 where Gabriel is sitting outside with Ezra looking out at THE RIVER. Don't read it until you have read up to that page! It will move you beyond measure.
~ ~ ~
When Gabriel Clarke was five years old he watched THE RIVER take his father. Ever since that day Gabriel has flashback, reliving that day which causes him to to to a special place deep inside of himself. Gabriel has bad days when the memories haunt him. Even his friends are aware that Gabriel is different at times and it has something to do with THE RIVER and his father. His best friend Jimmy seems to always have his back.
Gabriel and him mom rent a place from Mister Earl and his wife on a farm in Kansas which is nothing like Colorado where he had lived with his father.
As Gabriel turns twenty he is even more restless than ever. He is working at the five and dime but he wants so much more for himself. Then one day at work he receives a call from his old friend Jimmy. Jimmy wants Gabriel to go on a trip camping and rafting with some buddies in Colorado. Gabriel was hesitant at first then decided it would be good to get away.
When they got to the campsite Gabriel meets THE RIVER that has haunted him for years.
Will Gabriel go back into that secret place deep within himself or will he face his fears and THE RIVER?
This is a beautiful heart wrenching story of loss, redemption and coming face to face with ones fears. The author shows how friends and family can be instrumental in God's plan to heal an injured lost soul. This story may even be instrumental in helping other injured lost souls. Maybe that is even you. There are many ways to become lost.
I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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Review 13 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Could be a healing book for the right person

Date:November 7, 2012
Customer Avatar
Julieanne Miller
Location:Oregon
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I thought The River was going to be more of a fictional work than it was. It was actually a biography of a man, going back to the childhood trauma that scarred him and made him unable to enjoy life for so many years.
The River was a quick and easy read; it took me about 3 hours to finish reading it the other night. While I enjoyed reading about this man's path through his own dry wilderness of childhood and young adulthood, and I became excited about some of the steps he took to trust in God and eventually find healing from his emotional pain, it wasn't the kind of book I'd choose to read a second time.
I love white-water rafting; haven't done it for many years, but I really enjoy getting out on a rushing river and feeling the thrill and excitement of the ride! The River brought me back to those times I had experienced the churning of the water, so I enjoyed "reliving" the moment as I read through this book.
I wouldn't say that it is my all-time favorite book, however, but for those who have experienced very painful childhood memories, I think they will find some healing for themselves in The River.
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Review 14 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An inspirational MUST READ novel!!!

Date:November 4, 2012
Customer Avatar
Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Every once in awhile you come across a book that really makes a difference in your life. One that makes an impact; one that makes a difference in how you move forward in your life. Such is the case in the inspirational fictional novel from Michael Neale, The River. I first saw an ad for this book and it was highly recommended by some of my favorite authors, one being Andy Andrews, who I have most of his books in my personal library. This one will definitely be joining them.
In the book, The River, it chronicles an encounter Michael Neale had with a mountain hiker he had met in a Denver airport when his plane was delayed. During a conversation, this man, Gabriel Clarke, shared with Michael his life story and in the end, this is the contents of that man's life and how he arrived to their chance encounter at the airport. It is nothing less than awe-inspiring and truly moving. You will not be the same after reading this.
The adventure begins with the love of a river guide, John Clarke, Gabriel's father as they are planning a hiking trip when he was only 5-years-old, but well beyond those years on the inside. Gabriel looked up to his father like most, and truly saw only the hero in his father's eyes. When a tragic circumstance that Gabriel witnesses, his life is forever changed in a way that no one should ever have to face. Now left alone and facing his worst fears as he grows up, Gabriel often retreats inside himself to help cope on his bad days. It takes much encouragement from his mom, to get him to even attend a swimming trip to the local pond, in which one more Gabriel will be left feeling responsible. As the man grows, he knows he must come face to face with the tragedy and fear that has changed him, if he ever expects to be half the man his father knew he could be. It will only take the calling of the River and a return to a place where we must all face our greatest fears.
I received, The River by Michael Neale compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and was captivated by the story. It truly does keep the reader engaged from beginning to end and like most great inspirational books, it leaves you looking at your own life in introspect. Dark times in life are inescapable. They feel like a turn life wasn't supposed to take. It may be grief, shame and illness - financial, relational, or otherwise. We all have those times...it's part of the fabric of being broken people, living in a broken world. The good news is...it is not forever. The beauty and power of this story is not that The River pulled Gabriel out of the dark times forever and ever. It's that The River called to him and joined him in those hurtful dark places, much like God does in our own lives. I encourage you to pick up a copy of this amazing book and see if it doesn't inspire you in your own battles with fear. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.
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Review 15 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Nice!

Date:November 3, 2012
Customer Avatar
Leung
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The basis of this story was unique, refreshing, involved, and interesting. That said, the execution of how it was laid out was lacking. The author starts out with an unexpected and confusing reunion with a man thought to be dead that plants the seed that her father might be alive. It progresses to an adventure of a River full of myths with native legends mixed in and ends with a trip to the future to show us a hint of how technology can go horribly wrong. It involves thoughts on certain ideals which have circulated for centuries including eternal youth, immortality, genetic manipulation, technological advances, and conspiracies.
While I like the story, the execution is completely rushed involving massive leaps of faith on how conclusions were made to advance the story (Much of it in translating the journal) and hurried endings. There are secrets and depths hinted at that are never followed through. Examples is Hawk alluding to certain native beliefs with them being these silly little tidbits only incorporated to explain the guide's willingness to follow the adventure, Gary suddenly turning into this computer hacker savant when an escape is needed when he is barely alluded to previously in the story (treated as an appendage that just is until suddenly he becomes useful), Hints at Miki's past yet never actually saying what it is.. then hints of other secrets in the group except they are never mentioned again. There is this mysterious time portal that is references yet never really described or even any more depth except "Oh yeah, you can get to the past and future through that. But only one person can go at once. Oh, and apparently crossing does something funky to your DNA", then Del and Jake just stumble into this relationship with no buildup. Then there are a million questions left to answer. Where did the girls in the center come from, who is the director, what happened to Jake, Why was it a big deal that Jake looked up his past, Why even allude to Del having MS except to try to create some complication that never arose, Did the Center Fall? Then the author killed off almost every character with little to no "ceremony". Just oh yeah, goodbye and they're dead.
I would love to see this book rewritten and the whole story idea revisited. This book had the opportunity for a huge depth that would of left a lasting impression in our thoughts and it simply, fell short. It was worth the read, but truly lacking by the end. For the price, I guess I should not of expected much and honestly the blurp about the book barely touches what the book is really about. I was pleasantly surprised as the story progressed but left the book wondering where the rest of it is.
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Review 16 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great!

Date:November 2, 2012
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grace
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recently I had the chance to read "The River" written by Michael Neale, through a service at BookSneeze that offers books to bloggers in return for a honest review, whether positive or negative.
This book evokes a mix of a lot of emotions, and its a rare thing when just reading the description of a book can make you start feeling them. I chose this because it sounded, for lack of a better word, inspirational. Boy has something horrible happen to him that changes his life. Boy wonders if he'll ever be the same. Boy grows up to be a man and comes back to the root of all his fear.... whats not to love?
What I can say is that I can't imagine seeing what he saw as a young child and ever being ok again. I can't imagine growing up to be a functional adult with such a huge chip on my shoulders. But this book proves it can be done. You can heal and have the life the life you've always dreamed up- but sometimes it takes staring your lion right in the face- whether it be a person, a situation, a addiction, or even simply, a river.
I recommend this book to anyone who has anything to overcome and wonders if they'll ever be able to. You will get get sucked in to the character.... you will cry, you will laugh, and you will find you shaking your fist in the air in celebration.
If I could sum this book up in one word, it would be, FREEDOM.
This truly is worth reading
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Review 17 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

story of a young man who finds healing, forgivenes

Date:October 24, 2012
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Anonymous
Location:San Antonio
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The River by Michael Neale is the story of a young man who finds healing, forgiveness, and purpose.
Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure. The memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River holds him back. When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest—and bravest—thing he has ever done.
Gabriel’s journey through life brings him back to the river and he encounters the river as he was not able to as a five year old boy watching his father drown. He experiences love, release, learns to forgive and find life once more – a life connected to the river. This is a beautiful story about family, purpose, forgiveness, and The River that binds them together.
Although this story is an easy read, the dialogue was too childish; relationships went too fast, getting over the fear of the water, too fast. The story was cheated out of the depth it could have, if the story was developed more. With the noted misgiving I would recommend reading the short story for an easy afternoon.
I received eBook from Thomas Nelson in their Booksneeze program for my review.
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Review 18 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Find your destiny

Date:October 24, 2012
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NewChristianBooks
Location:Chicago, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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Although it’s a novel and not a self-help book, this astonishing book will motivate you to have the courage to follow your dreams, to face your fears and find your destiny. Although his family had run a whitewater rafting adventure camp for several generations, Gabriel avoids water altogether after seeing his father drown in The River when he’s just five years old. Sent to live with his mom in Kansas, Gabriel lives a careful, cautious life, avoiding risk (and water). Eventually, though, he returns to The River, where he faces his fear and dares to discover his destiny. The River is, of course, a metaphor for God. While some Christian readers will wish for a more explicit spiritual message, I believe the book’s power lies in the fact that the message must be (like our destiny) discovered. Like a parable, this book has layers of meaning and nuggets of great wisdom for those willing to dig in and look for them.
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Review 19 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Predictable and Forced

Date:October 22, 2012
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I hate reviews like this one. It’s hard to be honest about a book that you didn’t like, when you know that someone poured their heart into it. But, the truth is that I didn’t care for this one. The writing style was clunky and forced, and I really couldn’t get into the characters. The picture of The River as a metaphor for God was an interesting one, but it felt flat and insistent, as if the whole idea was too big for the reader to really get without hammering it home.
The oft-repeated “this moment would change his life forever” was also overused, and again, it felt as though the author wanted to make sure you didn’t miss what the story should have been able to convey on its own. I am really disappointed in the overall experience. The story was way too predictable, I like to think about what’s going to happen next, to sometimes guess wrong. There was almost none of that in this story, except for the fact that there were inexplicable characters – the 6th grade teacher who gives Gabriel a painting, for example, who fell into the story and then back out of it with no impact other than the author insisting the experience was life changing.
There may be some for whom this book resonates, but I admit I am not one of them. There were some poetic and even lyrical passages in the book, but they couldn’t save a story that had so much lacking. The River didn’t change my life or my perspective, except to hope that Michael Neale’s next book is a better read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 20 for The River - eBook
This review is fromThe River, The River Series #1.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I WAS GYPPED!

Date:October 10, 2012
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KCPryzr
Location:Gilbert, AZ
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was my first thought when I finished this book. The author couldn't have finished it there. There was so much more I wanted to know. Did the character get married, did he have kids, did he end up owning the business? Come on! You can't just stop there!
This was a good, solid book. For Michael Neale's first published book, this was a good beginning. Let me begin by giving kudos to the publisher, Thomas Nelson. For those of us who have not gone over to the dark side of e-readers (I kid, I kid), the esthetics of this book are outstanding. The cover of the book has an old leather look and feel to it that makes it a joy to hold. The pages are reminiscent of older books with the uneven edges. It's the kind of book that makes you sigh in satisfaction just from holding it.
Then comes the story. Written in a style reminiscent of Andy Andrews, who happens to write an endorsement on the back, this book is written in allegory form with a sometimes meandering, winding, and peaceful, but other times forceful, rushing, in-your-face description of God's presence in Gabriel's life. How circumstances that seem beyond his control were actually put into motion to eventually move him to the place he needed to be for God to redeem and heal and to show Himself constant in all things.
i will not lie, there were a few times in this book that were a little slow moving, where it felt I was trudging through, but I am a firm believer that it's how you finish the story that is the proof. If you leave me wanting to know more about the characters, then you have more than done your job.
I look forward to more books by Mr. Neale, and maybe, hopefully, a sequel to The River?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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