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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press The Canary List

WaterBrook Press The Canary List

When false accusations rip apart the life of school teacher Crockett Gray, his only hope of redemption and of reclaiming his son is finding out who has targeted one of his elementary students, twelve-year-old Jaimie Gregg, for death. But the truth behind her gift and her abandonment as a baby is a secret that lies at the heart of centuries-old witchcraft conspiracy hidden within the Vatican - a secret on the verge of destroying Christianity for bleievers all across the world.
Average Customer Rating:
3.267 out of 5
3.3
 out of 
5
(30 Reviews) 30
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19 out of 3063%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Canary List
Review 1 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Crockett Grey is a school teacher with the unfortu

Date:February 9, 2012
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Morgan
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Crockett Grey is a school teacher with the unfortunate tendency of mourning his deceased daughter at the bottom of a bottle of liquor. When one of his female students arrives at his house in the dead of night, terrified and begging for help, those memories of his daughter compel him to help her. This simple of act of help drags him into a world of false accusations, physical assault, and political and religious intrigue.
I read this book quite a while ago and meant to write a review, but then so much happened and the next thing I know, it’s months later and I find this book on my desk covered in papers and pencils and pens and sticky notes. So I figured that it’s about time that I posted a review.
I make a point to request books that are of Christian writing. And that’s why I requested The Canary List. However, after reading it I found it very difficult to categorize as Christian Fiction. It does has some Christian influence in it, but mainly it just felt like “Catholic bashing”. Not exactly sure how I feel about that, but I do know that it wasn’t one of my favorite books I’ve ever read.
I’m trying really hard not to tell you guys much about this books, because I think that you should all go out and read it and come up with your own opinions! But, if you were to really beg me to tell you what I thought about it, I would say that I give it a 3.5 out of 5. Even though I didn’t like that it wasn’t very Christian even though it was advertised as such, it was still a great fiction story. There, how’s that?
So are you going to go read it? I think you should!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 2 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:December 28, 2011
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Jaclyn
Location:Sabetha, KS
Age:18-24
Gender:female
In the book The Canary List a twelve year old little girl must face her fears of detecting evil and come to grips with her special gift. With the help of her psychiatrist and teacher she will encounter things better left kept secret. One night after an evil man comes looking for her it pulls them deeper and deeper into things better left untouched.
This book will keep you interested with its many twists and turns. I enjoyed the book but at some points it was confusing.This book is a mystery and even at the end it will still keep you wondering. I recommend this book for book clubs and group discussions.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 3 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intriguing

Date:December 6, 2011
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jnjdet
Age:25-34
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 a very interesting story about how evil could infiltrate the Vatican and the Catholic Church in general. I appreciated the true facts that were incorporated into the story along with the various quotes and further reading given in the back. I liked that the story was told from the viewpoint of a complete skeptic about God but he was drawn into this whole spiritual battle which he did not believe in. I enjoyed to various characters that were apart of the story. Even the minor roll character of Nanna was completely lovable. I personally think the ending was brilliant. It brought full circle the whole point of presenting the two quotes in the beginning. The first being Eph. 6:12 acknowledging we have a bigger, spiritual battle going on. The second being C.S. Lewis saying people are either completely fascinated by the existence of demons or don't believe in them at all and both are very dangerous. The whole book seemed to deal with each ends of the spectrum and the end presented both viewpoints. For me, it made this book go from a 4 star story to a definite 5 star.
I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for my review.
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Review 4 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Interesting premise, dissatisfying ending

Date:November 30, 2011
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Teddy G
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The Canary List is a fiction book about the connection between the spiritual forces, the physical world, and the humans that straddle the two. Do demons exist? Do our beliefs about them - whether belief or skepticism - affect us, or them? At the opening of the book, C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying:
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."
Crockett Grey is not looking for an adventure, he's not looking for a cause; he's not even looking to leave his house on the night Jaimie Piper comes to him for help. He's looking to get drunk and to grieve the anniversary of his daughter's death. Jaimie is looking to escape the Evil she believes is hunting her, and she cannot reach the person who has promised to help her, her psychiatrist Madelyne Mackenzie. Crockett, instead, gets swept up into a whirlwind of scheming, and plotting, and politics of the Catholic Church, not to mention the question of supernatural forces of evil.
I don't normally read suspenseful books, mostly because I can't afford the lack of sleep due to the intense need to read "one more chapter" to find out what happens. This book definitely kept me up later than I should have been. I was intrigued by the characters, and the action kept moving at a pace that made it hard to put down. I do not like heavy foreshadowing, or predictable plots, and this had neither. There were several reveals that, while logical based on the story, had not been the obvious outcome.
Until the conclusion of the book, I probably would have come away fairly satisfied with a good read. There were sections of the book where I felt a bit too in-the-dark about what was going on, but it seemed true to the character's point-of-view from which I was experiencing the story. However, some loose ends and an unnecessarily complicated ending left me displeased. I wanted to know what became of the other characters, I wanted to know how the remaining question was answered, and I wanted something deeper - something to spark the reader to question their own beliefs in the spiritual realm.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 5 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

lacks Christian viewpoint

Date:September 6, 2011
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
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
Jaimie is a twelve year old foster kid. Her troubled childhood has relegated her to school classes for challenged kids. But she trusts her teacher, Mr. G.
Jamie can sense evil and it terrifies her. When she feels the evilness of the man who has come to her foster home, she escapes and runs to Mr. G. for protection.
Thus begins a wild adventure for Crockett Grey, Jaimie's teacher. Jaimie doesn't want to go back to the foster home. When Grey, grandmotherly neighbor Nanna, and Jaimie drive to the home, they find it burning. Jaimie spends the night with Nanna but in the morning, Grey is arrested. He's caught with an underage girl in his house, Nanna is missing, and child porn is found in his attic.
As this novel progresses the action centers around the Vatican. The current pope is in a coma and will die in days. Three Cardinals are in the running for the position. But one of them is a Satan worshipper and must be stopped at all cost. Will the Church Exorcist be able to arrange for Jaimie to be in Rome in time to draw out the evil in the man so others can know the truth? Or will the demon possessed Cardinal succeed in having his lackeys rid the world of Jaimie and Grey?
Brouwer has created a contemporary story of the classic battle between good and evil. It gets off to a bit of a slow start. I was at page 120 before I finally felt compelled to continue reading. It is at this point the Vatican connection is made clear. I would have preferred that hook much earlier in the book.
The novel revolves around demon possession, or does it? There is a twist at the very end of the book that makes you wonder.
While the novel is about good and evil, evangelical Christians may be disappointed that with such an important theme, the gospel is missing. While in the end the good wins out (or then again, maybe not), it is not because of the power of God but because of conniving by church leaders. At the end Grey hesitantly comes to acknowledge that if demons exist, then God must too. But the final twist may destroy any move by the reader to believe in spiritual beings.
I wonder – who are the readers for whom the novel was written? There is no gospel message. There is no “good wins over evil because of God” message. There is intrigue. There is manipulation by powerful men in the Catholic Church. There is the final twist that makes the readers wonder if all the fuss about demons is worth it.
So who should read this book? Not nonChristians. Their view of the Church as a manipulative organization bent on power grabbing will be reinforced. Christians who believe in the reality of spiritual warfare will be disappointed in the book's weak position on that theme. I guess someone who likes a novel of suspense and doesn't mind the spiritual conclusions would find the book satisfying.
I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Press for the purpose of this review.
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Review 6 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Can Jaimie really find Evil?

Date:August 18, 2011
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Nel Fastenau
Location:Willard, MO
Age:45-54
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
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer finds Crockett Grey or Mr. G as Jamie calls him mourning the anniversary of his daughter Ashley’s death. This being the one-day every year that Crockett allows himself to drink himself into oblivion. However, he had the feeling he was not by himself and looking up at the window he thought he saw her looking back at him, but of course he knew it could not be. It was Jaime Piper a foster kid from his school.
Jaime was different than a lot of the other kids, she could sense Evil really sense Evil, as in Demons and it scared her to death. Dr. McKenzie was helping her deal with these issues, or was she? She told Jaime they were going to hunt Evil and find it. Jaime finds herself testing the Cardinals in the Vatican – seeing if they were demon possessed. Crockett Grey finds himself in the middle of all the problems, only because he knows too much and he has to clear his name. He was framed. There are a lot of characters in this book and a lot going on, and a lot of mystery.
I received this book free from Blogging for Books the blogger review program for Waterbrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This was a very good fast-paced book, but could be very confusing at times. It was one of those books that found you sitting on the edge of your seat, one that you wanted the lights on while you were reading it. I highly recommend it if you like a good mystery.
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Review 7 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 18, 2011
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Kara
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
The Canary List, by Sigmund Brouwer, is a very interesting book. It begins with Jaimie Piper, a twelve-year-old foster child who is constantly afraid of evil, running away from her foster home due to a visitor that she just cannot trust. She ends up at the home of Crockett Grey, “Mr. G,” her teacher. This begins a multitude of events that land Jaimie in the custody of her therapist and Crockett in jail, framed for several crimes.
In the end, both end up in the Vatican City. Priests tell Crockett that Jaimie is a part of the Canary List, a list of women that can detect demons due to a special condition in their genes, that has been in existence for hundreds of years. They want her to help them identify people with demons that may be trying to become Pope. Both of their lives are in danger, and the situation is continually going downhill.
This was a different type of story than your average mystery. It was fast-paced, constantly moving between characters and situations. I was disappointed, however, that it did not have a more solid Christian message. The focus was on demons and Satanists, and it seemed that almost all of the Catholics in the story were evil. I was also extremely disappointed at the end, when you really don’t know what happens to the characters.
Overall, this was an intriguing book. I would recommend it for adults who like horror type books.
Kara
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.
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Review 8 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Left Me Wondering

Date:July 31, 2011
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Steph Blogging for Books
Location:Ontario, Canada
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This is a difficult book for me to review because I am an encourager. But I'm also a writer and editor, so certain things about The Canary List stood out to me that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. (And the people at Blogging for Books did ask for an honest review.)
The story immediately drew me in. However, shortly thereafter I noticed a tendency for the author to repeat himself. Throughout the book there are a number of redundancies of words, phrases, and ideas.
I am currently studying "deep point of view." I like to call it showing versus telling - on steroids. Thoughts and emotions are expressed through dialogue or a thorough description of the character's physical responses. Although my own tendency is to tell rather than show, I was surprised by the number of times Brouwer does so.
Though the story is filled with believable characters and several intriguing plot twists, the above mentioned technicalities did trip me up. I would, therefore, have a difficult time recommending this book.
I received a free e-book copy of The Canary List from Blogging for Books for review.
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Review 9 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Vatican Conspiracy or one big hoax? You decide.

Date:July 26, 2011
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Farmchick Shannon
Location:Virginia
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." --Ephesians 6:12
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer is about a twelve year old girl, Jaimie Piper who is extra sensitive to Evil. She is an orphan who has been shuffled from foster home to foster home her entire life. Her greatest need? To be safe and loved.
Enter Crockett Grey, Jaimie's school teacher and the only person whom Jaimie feels that she can trust. Crockett only wants to mourn his daughter's death and the loss of his marriage. He wants with all his heart to be a good Daddy to his only son. Caring teacher and father that he is, he just can't send Jaimie away when she shows up at his door late one night asking for help.
With Evil stalking Jaimie and Crockett getting in his way, it becomes a battle of wits as to who will survive. Does Evil really exist or is it simply a figment of Jaimie's imagination? Who is behind the terror that haunts Jaimie day night? Crockett will stop at nothing to find out, especially when this very Evil shows up on his doorstep.
Vatican Conspiracy or one big hoax? You decide.
My Rating: 3 Stars
The writing was excellent. Brouwer does an excellent job drawing the reader immediately into the story.
The storyline itself was interesting and engaging. Puzzling at most times, I must admit, but a very gripping read. Not one to read in a dark house at time, all alone...
So, why did I not rate it higher than 3 stars? Here's my reason: Brouwer never fully explains why Jaimie is stalked by Evil yet protected at the same time. I found myself wishing that he would take the story one step further and talk about how the blood of Jesus is a person's only protection against the powers of Satan and his demons. Does he not write this because he doesn't believe it himself? The Catholic influence was heavy, but still...
Sadly, it lacked the punch I was hoping for, expecting.
However this is my opinion, you should try it out for yourself.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book to review for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. All opinions expressed here are strictly mine.
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Review 10 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Twists, Turns, and Intrigue

Date:July 26, 2011
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maryrussel
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
When I was offered a chance to review this book, I was excited because the publisher's site noted that it was about a child in foster care. Having grown up in that system, I was anxious to compare Jaimie's experiences with mine. It turned out that we had very little in common but I empathized with her unique situation just the same.
12-year-old Jaimie can sense evil and to escape it, one night she seeks the help of the one person in her life that she trusts, her teacher, Mr. G. That decision triggers a series of calamities for him and uncovers secrets about Jaimie's past and the Catholic Church.
This is an easy to read, fast paced Christian thriller. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. The ending was totally unexpected to me and raised additional questions.
I would recommend it, if you don't mind endings that don't tie everything neatly together.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 11 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Excellent

Date:July 11, 2011
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ArmyWife
Age:18-24
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
Twelve year old Jaimie only has one person she can go to with her problems, her teacher. She can see things that are dark, and she runs from them. Crockett, Mr G. as Jaimie calls him, only has one thing on his mind, to spend the anniversary of his daughter's death by himself and by doing so getting himself drunk. Events that happen sends Crockett's and Jaimie's life into carnage. To get his life back, Crockett has to find out about Jaimie's life.
This book is a suspenseful fast paced fiction. This book is a sequel to "The Vatican". Sigmund Brouwer is an exceptional writer and I would recommend any of his books to anyone that loves Christian fiction.
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Review 12 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not What I Was Hoping For

Date:August 8, 2011
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Katy
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Summary:
Jamie Piper is a twelve-year-old foster child who wants a normal life and family. But she can't feel safe when she can sense the evil in people around her. So on one June night, she turns to her teacher, Crockett Grey for help.
"...the feeling of Evil was still so real she couldn't shake it. She wanted -- no, needed -- to talk to someone about it. Wanted -- no, needed -- to feel safe. Somehow."
But Crockett never wanted to be a part of the mess and never imagined how quickly things take a turn for the worse.
"Surely the man had to be exhausted, but he wasn't showing it. And most surely, the man had to be bewildered. A week ago, his life was that of a schoolteacher at the beginning of summer break. Now he was in Rome, Thrown into events far beyond his comprehension."
My Thoughts:
"The Canary List" was definitely a fast paced and suspenseful novel but it wasn't very gripping. It was a bit confusing and I found myself more than once having to re-read parts because I felt so lost. Also, the story followed many different characters (some of them only playing minor parts) and so it was hard remembering who they were later on.
Most likely, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It was nothing like I expected and I wasn't really able to get into it. I was pretty disappointed (especially in how much it was focused on Satanism) and only give it two out of five stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my unbiased review. All expressed opinions are uncensored and uninfluenced by them
+2points
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Review 13 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing

Date:June 24, 2011
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Lesley P
Location:Shady Spring, WV
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
Wow. What a book. This was excellent. It is full of mystery and intrigue. A story of good vs. evil. I really couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen. It was definitely a page turner. I think if you like mystery and Christian novels this is the perfect book for you! Highly recommended!!
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Review 14 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Intense

Date:July 29, 2011
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Laury
Location:Waynesville, IL
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This is my first Ebook to read and review through Waterbrook Multomah. I don't have an E-reader so I used my computer. It wouldn't let me use the Kindle reader for PC. I had to download the Adobe Digital Edition Reader. It was okay, I suppose. I don't like the idea of having two different readers, though, taking up space on my computer. Both are different. If I had to choose, I'd say I like the Kindle for PC better. Ideally, a Kindle or Nook is what is needed for this but I don't have one.
Anyway, The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer was different. Very, very different. It wound in the lives of an ordinary school teacher, with a young foster child, and a child psychologist, a couple of hired killers, the Vatican, and a plot that makes you think.
The book kept me engrossed. I never wanted to stop reading yet it was too intense where I had to force myself to stop so I could get to sleep at night. I'd say it was over my head towards the end. I'm not interested in the in's and out's of the Catholic church nor am I interested in learning about demon possession. If you are prone to debates in this area, then you would enjoy the book. It does cast a bad light on the Catholic Church, too, just for a fair warning.
It was interesting and opened my eyes to some things but all in all, I'd say it was pure fiction. It's not a book I would read again for fun. I would be hesitant to recommend it. Maybe a man might have more of an interest. It was well-written and intense. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and felt their pain and hopelessness. With that, I will leave it up to you and would like to know what you think of the book if you give it a go. It's just different than what I normally read.
+1point
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Review 15 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Conspiracy novel with plenty of shocking twists

Date:June 13, 2011
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Anonymous
Location:Oconto Falls, WI
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
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer is a fast-paced conspiracy tale with a plenty of twists and turns. Crockett Grey is still battling the grief of losing his daughter Ashley to cancer a few years ago. He pours his heart into teaching troubled kids including Jaimie Piper, a twelve-year-old girl with her own tragic past. When Jaimie comes to his house one night, running away from her foster home, it turns Crockett's entire world upside down. Child pornography is found in his home, the only person who can support his alibi has disappeared, and once in jail, the guards put the word out that he is a child molester. Then things get even weirder when a high-priced attorney takes his case for free, and in his quest to discover who has set him up, he finds a conspiracy that stretches across the ocean to the high courts of the Vatican. Brouwer has written a gutsy novel that will make him few friends in the Catholic Church. The concept is fascinating, especially when reading the foreword, but I think this would have been better as a series, taking time to build up the characters and the suspense. There are so many break-neck twists, there's a hint of the movie The Usual Suspects, especially with the revelation at the very end. The Canary List was an entertaining read, I just hope that Brouwer hasn't completely alienated his Christian fan base with this novel.
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Review 16 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Fast Paced Conspiracy Theory Tale

Date:June 4, 2011
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Pamela M.
Location:Memphis, TN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
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
The Canary List is speculative fiction that is based in part on facts which are referenced in the afterword. If Brouwer's speculations were true, it would be truly frightening.
The primary character of this story is Crockett Grey, a schoolteacher who is drawn into a sinister web of danger and subterfuge when a frightened student comes to him for help. As his life spirals out of control, Crockett is determined to get answers about who is responsible and why. Crockett's student Jaimie, a twelve-year-old girl, constantly feels that she is hunted by evil but doesn't understand the cause. The two of them are pulled into an international conspiracy that extends all the way to the Vatican.
With frequent references to demons, exorcists, satanic rituals, child abuse and the involvement of the Catholic Church, The Canary List is a fairly dark tale. The spiritual aspects are contrasted by modern technology that includes hackers, genetic code, and powerful secret agencies. Crockett's emotional response to his unwarranted accusations and subsequent events are realistic although some of his experiences seem to be somewhat extreme.
For the most part, The Canary List was an intriguing story that made me want to find out how everything turned out. However, there were times when I had to backtrack a few pages to be sure I hadn't missed something. Brouwer has woven a twisted story that ended with more questions than answers. But then, maybe that was his intention all along.
If you enjoy speculative fiction and conspiracy theories, The Canary List should probably be on your reading list.
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Review 17 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Well-written conspiracy suspense

Date:June 1, 2011
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Inspired by Fiction
Location:Pittsburgh, PA
Age:25-34
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
I received an advance reader copy of The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer from Waterbrook Press to review. I was very excited to read it as the description on the back of the book explains that one of the major characters is a young girl in foster care, and I have a heart for at-risk children. The book actually starts with a short scene of two other children being abused, then moves on to Jaimie, the foster child. Jaimie senses that Evil is trying to get her, and one night she runs to the home of her teacher, Crockett Grey, for help. Grey tries to help the best he can, but the police take him into custody the next day and find planted evidence further incriminating him. Through a series of crazy events, Crockett ends up in Rome with Jaimie and her psychologist where they confront some of the Evil that Jaimie senses. Where they find the evil, how the Vatican is involved in all of Grey's problems, and what all of it has to do with a young girl are all questions dealt with along the way.
As it was an ARC, there were many errors in spelling and grammar that I am sure will be corrected prior to printing the final edition. It was a quick read. The characters were well developed, although I would have liked a little more about Jaimie. This conspiracy suspense is fast-paced with lots of twists and surprises. I love the title and how it works into the story. Overall, The Canary List is a well-written and interesting book.
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Review 18 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

The Canary List

Date:May 28, 2011
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Rick
Location:Middleburg, FL
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I would say that Sigmund Brouwer has done some great books in the past, but this is not one that I would be overly excited about.
The stage is set early with Jaime Piper going through some "spiritual warfare" at her home. She's drawn to her teacher, Crockett, and seeks him out for guidance. Thus begins an interaction between these two characters that only be described as desperation. Desperation for her wanting to find someone who can help her, and for him to ward off the demons of the death of his young daughter.
The Christian themes were too shallow, not that I think every book should have the plan of salvation, but there should be more overt conclusions.
This was a quick read, seems a little rushed, and really doesn't bring to mind a memorable Sigmund Brouwer novel.
I received this book free in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.
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Review 19 for The Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Better books abound

Date:May 25, 2011
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The Canary List is a speculative account of a little girl who has a unique gift. Having this gift leads to adventures that take her from a juvenile detention facility to the Vatican. Unfortunately while the tale was good in concept, it was not exceptionally well told, and frankly the ending left a lot to be desired.
For fans of the Da Vinci Code, this book has some similar elements – a top secret Vatican organization, a plethora of cover ups, and plenty of supposed intrigue. Unfortunately, many of the characters are poorly developed, and the story line is not very robust. Things happen, but at such a weird and incohesive pace as to be superfluous to the actual tale. There is a detective who is very angry, but we never know why; the final confrontation is not as much a confrontation as it is a conversation; the ending feels like an after-thought that doesn’t add any value to the reader.
All in all, if you are looking for a quick read, and don’t have any need to think through an adventure in any detail – this is an ok way to spend an afternoon. If you want something that has depth and gives a great story – read something else.
Here is an excerpt: http://www.christianbook.com/the-canary-list-sigmund-brouwer/9780307446466/pd/446466?item_code=WW&netp_id=854393&event=ESRCN&show_all_cr=1#curr
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 Canary List
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

book review {the canary list}

Date:May 18, 2011
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ATaylor
Location:Texas
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: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Given the excellent hook found in the prologue of The Canary List -- and the author’s usual writing style -- I expected a gripping, fast-paced tale. And while I remained engaged, I don’t believe this volume delivers in normal Sigmund Brouwer fashion.
Based around a web of characters ranging from twelve-year-old Jaimie to her 35-year-old teacher, Mr. G, to various Catholic clergy (including a couple of cardinals and the Pope), The Canary List peels back the layers of a conspiracy happening behind the strong walls of the Vatican. Mr. G (known as Crockett Grey to characters other than Jaimie) is an unwitting participant in this scheme whose success hinges on Jaimie and her ability that is both frightening and enlightening at the same time.
Interesting concept; poor execution.
One of my favorite things about Sigmund Brouwer is his ability to put the reader in sync in a character. For instance, I could feel Jaimie’s desperation at the beginning of the book. But while Crockett is in a similar situation -- his desperation is rooted in the death of his young daughter and the subsequent crumbling of his marriage -- I never felt the depth of his despair. I never connected with him, and throughout the book I even lost my connection to Jaimie. Brouwer fails to capitalize on the strong bond he forges in the first few pages. What a disappointment!
Further, what seems to be Brouwer’s red herring -- dropped at the beginning of the book (and a little too early, in my opinion) -- didn’t do its job. The very first note I jotted down about the main character was the trait I was supposed to miss. Oops.
My least favorite thing about The Canary List is the incessant repetition. Perhaps this is deliberate, to portray the exasperation of the situation. It doesn’t work, although it did leave me frustrated that I had to rehash information I had already processed.
The final plot unraveling seems to go on forever (and quite unnecessarily). Had each new layer of the conspiracy provided an enormous, breath-catching twist in the plot, the amount of time spent in revelation would be worth it. But I found that each new piece of information falls flat and I was glad to have reached the end (which also arrives deflated).
I love Sigmund Brouwer’s books and will definitely read his next offering. The Canary List isn’t one of my favorites, though, and -- to be very frank -- I hope there isn’t a sequel.
In exchange for my honest opinion, I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Press.
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