2019 Box Office Revolution Book Awards

Every year, many Christian books are released, and writers of the same show off their creative talents. Across the many genres, these novels are judged based on the presence or absence of plot continuity and exceptional storytelling skills, above average character development, and whether or not a novel correctly addresses an issue or issues that relate to current American Christian culture. These novels are separated into roughly three groups of authors and their respective works of art: the exceptional, the potentially great, and those chosen by the votes of our readers. Likewise, winning titles are listed according to their genre. At Box Office Revolution, we believe it is our prerogative to annually recognize the entertainment creators who have the ability to bring revolution to Christian entertainment.

Staff Choice Winning Books of 2019

Thriller of the Year: The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Rachelle and Ted Dekker and The Line Between by Tosca Lee are tied for first place.

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Fantasy of the Year: Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse (#2 in the Ravenwood Saga)

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Biblical Fiction of the Year: The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr

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Historical/Coming of Age of the Year: All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Suspense of the Year: The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

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Staff Choice Honorable Mentions of 2019

Drama: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

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Historical: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

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Romance: Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

Courting Mr. Emerson  -     By: Melody Carlson

Biopic/Romance: My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love  -     By: Amanda Barratt

Reader’s Choice Book of the Year: The Line Between by Tosca Lee

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Staff Choice Authors of the Year: Rachelle Dekker, Tosca Lee, Morgan L. Busse, Patrick W. Carr, Susie Finkbeiner, and Jaime Jo Wright.

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Rachelle Dekker
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Tosca Lee

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Morgan L. Busse
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Patrick W. Carr
Susie Finkbeiner
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Jaime Jo Wright

Staff Choice Honorably Mentioned Authors of the Year: Erin Bartels, Susan Meissner, Melody Carlson, Amanda Barratt

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Erin Bartels
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Susan Meissner
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Melody Carlson
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Amanda Barratt

Congratulations to all the authors mentioned in this post on their wins and honorable mentions! Thank you all for being committed to producing high quality Christian entertainment and for glorifying God with the gifts He has given you!

A Single Light by Tosca Lee (BTSNBM)

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Author’s Note: We were provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Plot & Storyline Quality (1 point)

Lee’s latest novel is a far cry from her usual finesse. A Single Light is a bit of a disaster area in general (pun intended). From the meandering storyline, to the meaningless characters, to the Band-Aid style ending that seals the story’s festering wound, there isn’t much good here. Wynter, Chase, and all the rest pick up where they left off in the last novel. Everyone is underground in Noah’s interactive bunker of sorts, hiding from the prion disease and general mayhem above ground. Everything goes well until one day Noah doesn’t show up on the nightly live video feed that is their only contact with the outside. The residents grow restless and anxious, which leads to suspicion and accusation. When a woman goes crazy and stabs a fellow resident to death, her peers decide to serve up justice by locking her in the freezer (!?!?). Needless to say, her husband joins her, making the death tally read three (so far). When someone recognizes Wynter from news specials about her so called crime, she and Chase are put in custody. Wynter soon learns that Chase is not who he appears to be, and begins to wonder who she can trust. As one accident and catastrophe leads to another, Wynter will have to fight tooth and nail to survive. Needless to say, this novel contains endless violence – innumerable fight scenes, impossible survival sequences, and lots of blood and weaponry. If the reader can disregard the novel’s morbid tone and cold attitude towards the value of human life, they may come down with a case of motion sickness from the chaotic storyline. Additionally, the pointless cursing and edgy content do not fit in the supposed inspirational genre. Moreover, the cheap suspense elements, unusual characters, and corny romance scenes are not inspiring. As if this isn’t enough, we experience numerous rehashings about things that happened in the previous novel in the series. The main positive note here is the ending – typical though it may be – because it gives the reader reason to hope.

IT DOES GIVE A PERSON REASON TO DOUBT | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

The novel also has a fairly complex storyline and a few mildly interesting dialogue sequences. These factors earn Lee a below average score in this section

Character Development (.5 point)

Because our goal on this blog is not to spread negativity, this section will be brief. First, Chase, the corny male, seems exist only to be the character with two-day old stubble and military muscles shining in the moonlight. Second, the protagonist is rash and wishy-washy. Wynter seems to teeter between the edge of sanity and a normal person’s conscience throughout the entire novel. While she is the best character, it us hard to get to know her in between explosions and mortal wounds. Third, the antagonists are numerous, but don’t worry, most of them die quickly. Finally, Otto is a great minor character with a senseless tragic end. Absolutely the very last sentence…

ABSOLUTELY THE VERY LAST SHOW WITH THE POSSIBILTY OF A SECOND SHOW TO FOLLOW | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

…Lee earns a half point here for her Otto character and for her reasonably good protagonist.

Creativity & Originality (.5 point)

Finally, there is not much creativity to speak of here. Any that does exist comes from the previous novel and is repurposed in this one – thus earning her a half point in creativity. Lee is better than this. We have seen great work from her many times before, and know she can do it again. But in the meantime, we do not recommend that anyone make this novel into a movie. Instead, they should look at her last novel, The Line Between, for content that would make a great Christian movie or series.

Wish List Rating: 2 out of 10 points

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Author’s Note: We were provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Plot & Storyline Quality (3.5 points)

Tosca Lee’s latest novel, The Line Between, is business as usual for this author. In Lee’s case, business as usual means consistently turning out exceptional Christian entertainment. The novel tells the story of Wynter Roth. Wynter is a member of a community obsessed with growing their own foods and eating only natural food. The community is all she knows, and she has no plans to leave. However, when Wynter disobeys the community’s code of living, she is excommunicated. This forces her to leave everything she knows and live with a friend. Wynter’s new independence soon leads her down a path she never expected. She becomes involved in a cause to stop an pandemic of early-onset dementia that is sweeping the nation. This sends her on a mission – a dangerous cross-country road trip with the goal of delivering experimental samples to a doctor she’s never met, and ultimately stemming the tide of the disease. Will she make it there in time? To answer this question, read the book! Obviously, for the sake of leaving the mysteries of this novel untold, we left out many important details that make this book all that it is. Lee’s latest contains a great science fiction storyline that is well thought out and explained as usual.
A major plus is that the storyline is built around a unique idea that makes sense. Additionally, it displays great world-building qualities and storyline unfolding through the use of character flashbacks. The only flaws to note here are the slightly rushed and abrupt ending and occasional off color expletives. Without these, this novel would have earned a perfect score. However, it remains one of the most creative novels we have had the pleasure to read in some time. Therefore, Lee earns just short of a perfect plot score.

Character Development (3.5 points)

Lee’s talent shines in the area of character development, a fact that is demonstrated through her well-established female lead. Wynter has a deep backstory and realistic motivations constructed through Lee’s effective use of flashbacks. Plus, this plot contains a shocking development – a realistic villain! This factor is almost never seen in Christian entertainment.
Furthermore, Lee’s supporting characters are above average. The only flaw to note here is the somewhat cheesy male lead. However, he is not all bad because he has a clearly outlined purpose in the story – he just needs some refining. These factors lead us to award Lee just short of a perfect score in this section as well.

Creativity & Originality (2 points)

Finally, Lee earns a full point in creativity and an x-factor point in originality for writing what is perhaps the best science fiction/thriller novel on the Christian market today. Once again, Lee proves she is an exceptional science fiction author who cares about character development beyond the plot. We here at BOR believe that this novel would make an excellent Christian sci-fi/thriller film. A screenwriter would need to do very little with this story to bring it to the big screen because all the applicable areas are nearly perfect as is. Great job Ms. Lee! We respect and admire your commitment to creating above average Christian entertainment. Thanks for sharing your novel with us!:)

Wish List Rating: 9 out of 10 points