Wonders Never Cease, a novel by Tim Downs, is the story of an opportunistic trio out to make money off of a has-been movie star, a girl who can see angels and the hospital that ties them all together.
The movie star, Olivia Hayden, is in a medically induced coma after totaling her car. The nurse in charge of her care, Kemp McAvoy, is opportunistic and greedy, which leads him to the idea of bringing her out of her coma every night in order to give her a message from the "beyond". He approaches her agent and a book publisher with the idea, and they all plot together to produce a message they want to tell her. Then once she is awake her publisher can press her about her "dreams" and they'll make millions off the story she will write.
While those three are busy conjuring a pretend "angel", a little girl named Leah is seeing actual angels. Her mom is also a nurse, who happens to be dating Kemp. While Kemp is busy with his business plan, he keeps blowing off the needs of his live-in girlfriend Natalie and her six year old daughter Leah. Leah keeps getting in trouble in school because of the angels, which leads to stress on Natalie and medical testing for Leah.
Downs is a good writer. His story is engaging and he does a great job with the dialogue. However, I cannot give it my full stamp of approval because he does too good of a job writing an annoying protagonist - Kemp McAvoy. While Leah is supposedly the narrator, her voice gets lost in the story of McAvoy's arrogance, greed and narcissism. I would have liked to hear more from Leah's perspective, instead of just an prologue and epilogue that tells us she is the one telling the story. Instead we are stuck with having to follow McAvoy around as he becomes more and more of an entitled jerk. To be honest, he just flat out annoyed me and it slightly soured me on the book. But the story is engaging, the idea is humorous (and not too hard to believe!), and Downs has talent with words.
If I were to give a star rating, I would have to say 2.5. Definitely one that I was able to re-read, but not one that I couldn't put down or raved about.
(disclosure: I did receive this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)
Wonders Never Cease was a page turner from the start. Natalie, a harried mother, learns to stand up for herself during the course of this novel. Kemp, perhaps the main character, doesn’t grow in this novel, but he is a character that lives on the edge and keeps the action moving for the story and the reader. The large cast of characters might be difficult to keep track of, but Tim Downs took special care to ensure the reader knew each of the characters uniquely.
This was the best plotted and most fast paced novel I have read in a very long time. Kudos to Tim Downs for a superb page-turner!
I am surprised this book is even on the Christian list! It makes people that believe in angels out to have brain disorders, there is no redemption, no repentance for the offenses of the characters and it was just plain worthless.Jesus is not spoken of at all nor salvation. The main characters have no desire to seek God at all. Don't buy this.
At first time, I thought this would be a nice novel to read if I have the time..But after starting 2 chapters, I know I have to finish it, and I did finish it in a day!The story is about ex-movie star, Olivia Hayden, who's at the hospital. One of the nurse, named Kemp, tried to make a fortune. He, along with Olivia's agent, and also a publisher, managed to make a scheme, so Olivia will believe that she's choosen by angel to pass a message-by making a book!During the whole manipulation process, Kemp's girlfriend's daughter, named Leah, got involved. And she claimed to see a real spirit.. Who's that??? No one believed that Leah actually sees angel. . Natalie, her mother got confused as the school started to feel that Leah got a mental problem.. Lots of entertaining chapters happen, especially because involving money, celebrities and mystical things, and the ending is a bit unpredictable..I didn't really feel deep about how the characters.. But I love the twist, it's a bit shocking, because I assume that at the end Olivia will realize, or Kemp and his team got caught, or something like that.. Anyway, I think Tim Downs set a great ending for this novel. And still leaving me with curiousity.. Is there an angel for real outside there :)I'm looking forward for the next novels by him.. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson as part of www.booksneeze.com ..
What a great book. I've never read any of Tim Downs stuff before, and this was a lighthearted delight. His writing gives the right mix of detail and character description, but it is his plot skills that amazed me. It takes creative genius to come up with such a mix of stories and to flow them all into the final reservoir Downs did. All ten thumbs up!
Kemp McAvoy is always looking for a shortcut or the easy way out. On the way to a promising career as an anesthesiologist, he is forced to drop out of med school because of his easy way out attitude. With anesthesiology out of his reach, he becomes a nurse instead. When an actress past her prime is assigned as his patient, he concocts a plan to impersonate an angel to give her a special message with instructions to tell the world. He collaborates with her agent and a publisher in attempt to ensure a best-selling spiritual guide and line their pockets. Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs was a quick, easy, and heart warming read. I literally read the entire 320 pages in less than 2 days. While the book does lead the reader to consider his/her thoughts on God and things of a spiritual nature, this would not fall into an overt Christian Fiction category in my opinion. It would be a great book to gift to someone who may not typically read a Christian fiction novel. FTC Compliant Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are 100% my own.
Wonders Never Cease, written by Tim Downs, is an interesting glimpse into human nature. The antagonist, Kemp McAvoy, concocts a daring scheme to impersonate an angel in an effort to capitalize on a movie stars tragic car accident. Using his medical knowledge, he brings Olivia Hayden in and out of consciousness, delivering his message to her and demanding she share it with the world.Despite her knowledge of his selfish nature, Kemps girlfriend, Natalie, clings to their relationship in an effort to create a normal life for her daughter after a devastating divorce. As Kemps lack of character continues to reveal itself, Natalie is forced to make hard choices about her life and her relationships.In the midst of it all, Natalies six year old daughter, Leah, begins seeing angels, and the people in her life are forced to question their own beliefs about angels and about God.Wonders Never Cease is a cute story, a quick read, and a thought-provoking study in human nature and Gods intervention in humanity. I wouldnt necessarily call this a Christian bookthe main characters are living together outside of marriage and one of the good guys makes some less than desirable choicesbut it does inspire the reader to think about his/her beliefs about God and life.
This is the first novel I've read by Downs. It's praised as "a warm-hearted story of mistaken identity and unlikely redemption". I wouldn't classify this story as warm-hearted, and I struggle to find the redemption. The main characters are a lazy narcissist, a co-dependent single mom, and a six year-old who sees angels. Then add the child's teacher and school counselor, both non-believers in a Christian school, a self-center movie star, her greedy agent, a dishonest book editor, and a loan shark. The only genuine character is the janitor, who eventually turns to extortion to get his way.I found the story a bit depressing - it starts with lies and ends with lies. Instead of forgiveness and redemption, there's retribution and manipulation. The author attempts to touch on the issue of faith, commenting that there needs to be "a willingness to believe". While that concept sounds nice, a willingness to believe in angels doesn't redeem one's soul. It's the belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ that redeems. The story is well-written, but it left me disappointed. The characters all continue on in their troubled ways, not learning lessons or repenting of their wrong decisions, but finally getting what they deserve. I found this story to be less about redemption and more about consequences - you reap what you sow.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Near the end, I could not put it down because I just had to see how it all played out. Kemp McAvoy is a nurse who should have been an anesthesiologist but his character keeps him from achieving his dream. You will find out his character doesn't change much and trust me ...this man will frustrate you to no end! Leah is a precious little girl who sees angels and her mom doesn't quite know what to do with her or her so called visions! This book is a good, clean, and interesting read.
Do you believe in angels? I do! I felt Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs was a very moving book about angels, greed, justice, and love. It didn't seem much about God so I feel readers who are not so religious might enjoy this book as well as people of faith.It was comical mixed with a bit or romance and a bit of supernatural. I felt it was very creative. This book was satisfying. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. It provided a powerful message. Tim Downs did a wonderful job capturing the imagination and keeping the storyline intriguing. I felt he displayed the characters in a very unique way. My favorite character was Leah! Something about her just spoke to me!I do wish Wonders Never Cease explained the ending more. It seemed very swift but overall it was a good read and I would recommend this book to my friends and family.
Does Leah truly see angels or are they figments of a damaged mind or an over-active imagination? Do angels even exist, and if they dont, why are people so excited to read about them? Liv Hadyens best-selling novel Its All About You is a run-away success, but the story behind the novel is one of greed and stupidity in a tale of both selfishness and hope. Tim Downs carefully-crafted characters are easy to both like and dislike. From the mysterious Emmett to the irascible Kemp, Downs creates people who come alive as you read. While the twists in this book werent all that surprising they were no less satisfying. And the premise of Liv Haydens successful novel leads to the comparison of a self-centered life (its all about you) to the one Rick Warren shows us in The Purpose Driven Life (its not about you). This is the first Downs novel I have read and I found myself checking out the other titles at the end of my edition. I would recommend this novel to anyone. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I am under no compulsion to write a positive or negative review of this book. The opinions expressed are exclusively my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs was, overall, a really enjoyable book. Suspense, humor, action and drama this book has it all. I have never heard of this author before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but his entertaining story of angels and movie stars proved to be a great choice on a Saturday to read. Wonders Never Cease is a very entertaining story and an extremely quick read. I was really interested in where my favorite characters (keep an eye on Kemp McAvoy -arrogant, rude and self absorbed doctor who thinks he has it all figured out) were going to be going and how the story was going to end. However, do not expect a challenging read in terms of concept or deep thinking - something which really disappointed me. I thought going into this story that questions about faith and the existence of angels would pop up almost immediately and that the characters would wrestle more with this concepts, but it seems as though that never happened. I would be interested in reading more things by Tim Downs because I've heard that this book does not compare to others he has written in the past.
Kemp McAvoy is drop dead handsome, a medical school graduate, and a genius. If you dont believe it just ask him. What he comes up with to finally make it big is also a clue our non-hero is only a genius in his own over-inflated ego. The scheme is simple convince an actress in drug induced coma after a car wreck to believe he is an angel come to give her a new message for the world, get her to write a book about it when she wakes up, and rake in the millions after the fact. Thus begins the funny and yet insightful Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs. IMost of the people in this story are as vapid as the city they live in, Hollywood. Among them are the actresss agent that has been watching his cash cow slowly dry upWere in not for Kemps girlfriend, her six year old daughter, and a hospital custodian named Emmet one might give up on the whole human race.Did I mention the little girl really does see angels? The irony is her Christian school insists she have counseling after she tells her story during a See and Say Session in class. One can hardly miss the satire of the whole thing. On one side we have a greedy confederation of users with no qualms about duping the whole world with fake messages from a fake angel and on the other side people who say they believe in the supernatural but fall all over themselves in questioning the validity of the girls visions. As the plot plays out we are given a too real vision of the consumer driven pop-culture religion of our day. Downs throws in everything from Oprah to Dr. Oz to make his point.Tim Downs steps out of his comfort zone and gives us this sometimes charming, sometimes cutting parable of greed and faith. Wonders Never Cease will make you laugh out loud and hang your head in shame all in the same moment. And the ending? I didnt see it coming until it was almost on top of me. It will make you wonder if perhaps you have entertained angels unaware this very day.
What will he do if real angels show up?Unfortunately well never know. Though Mr. Downs began with a great concept and a natural platform for exploration, he just never seemed to let go and really delve into faith and spirituality. Thats not to say I didnt like the book. Wonders Never Cease is a fun, well-written read with likable characters and an amusing plot. Was it challenging? No. Gripping? Slightly. Entertaining? Definitely. Wonders Never Cease will make a fun addition to our church library and has made me curious about Mr. Downs other works.Legal Mumbo Jumbo: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
I was recently lucky enough to review the fabulous book Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs, and I really did love it. It was a hilarious book about a nurse who adjusts the medication of a comatose movie star in order to pretend to be giving her messages. He ensures that these messages will become the next spiritual best seller, followed by a lifetime of riches for them all. However, plot twist, his girlfriends daughter keeps telling people that she is seeing angels, and her mother and her teachers are all afraid that something is wrong. What a charming book! It kept me captivated throughout and I absolutely adored all the characters and all the growth they underwent by the end of the novel. It was a real page turner, and I fell deep into the story. The plot and characters were all unique and different, and the Christian element was understated and elegant in itself. A book about love, faith, greed, and justice, its definitely one for the ages, at least, my ages. It is definitely recommended by me.
Wonders Never CeaseBy Tim DownsWonders Never Cease by Tim Downs is about angels, both real and not so real. Kemp McAvoy receives a patient in ICU that is a famous, though aging, movie star. Always out for a quick buck, Kemp comes up with a plan for the movie star to have a heavenly encounter with an angelic being while in a medically induced coma. He sells this plan to the movie stars agent and to a book publisher, both of whom quickly begin collaborating with Kemp. Kemps girlfriends daughter, meanwhile, sees real angels, including one in the hospital Kemp and her mother work in. The story is very well written, though the surprise at the end can be figured out well ahead of time. Though the book does counter the message Kemp gives, Its All About You, there is nothing in the book to make it a Christian book. Obviously angels are mentioned quite and lot and there are a couple of vague references to God and to prayer, but that is it. There is no relationship with God, no mention of Jesus Christ, and a very few references to morals. Only three characters seem to posess any morals throughout the story. This book was an interesting read, but not one I would recommend for a reader specifically looking for Christian fiction. This book could just as easily have been published by a secular publisher, and in my opinion, should have been.