Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Book Review: Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet

I had a "hankering" to read something "new" as I climbed out of the hole that was the Lewis house flu of 2008. So on a grocery shopping trip to Costco, a couple of days ago, I skipped on over to the Christian Bookstore across the street (something I rarely do) and sent myself browsing through the fiction section. I wasn't in the mood for anything particular, I just browsed until something grabbed my interest. I settled on Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet.

I love fantasy. C.S. Lewis is my favorite author and I hope to sit on bookshelves next to him some day as C.L. Lewis. I also love the Harry Potter series. (Can a Christian admit to that? Please don't stop reading me just because of that.) I was hoping to find a new world I could love.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, Mr. Overstreet did not deliver. Though I can tell he is a gifted writer, full of beautiful prose, I feel the way he chose to tell the story left us distant from his characters (of which there were far too many of) and I never really grew to love them or the land he tried so very hard to create. I was lost half of the time trying to figure out what was going on. I think he was trying something allegory-ish but I don't think he suceeded.

There are two fantasy styles: The C.S. Lewis type and the Tolkien type. As mentioned above I fall in line with Lewis side. I think perhaps my dislike of Auralia's Colors was because of its similarities to Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings-therefore I do not want to get into the details of the book. I want to leave it open for you to explore. You may love this new world that Overstreet has created.

Auralia's Colors is first in a series. (I don't know how many are planned.) I do not plan to continue on with the series but I wish Mr. Overstreet the best in his writing. I am hoping the fantasy market will open wide in Christian publishing. I do so enjoy delving into new worlds.

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