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Posts Tagged ‘World View’

So I’m finally getting closer to catching up with the Christian Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Tour, and am able to post a more proper review of the book for the month.  For August us bloggers took a trip to Mars with the characters of Robin Parrish’s Offworld.

This book definitely keeps the pace up, the opposite of a slow and over worded novel.  In fact there were a few times I found myself trying to figure out whether or not it was going too fast.  But only a few times.  I haven’t finished the book yet, though I’m pretty close.  And it’s been hard to break the action to put the book down for the night.  Enjoyable when I don’t have to be up by a certain time the next day.

I’m able to get into the lead characters, each one a necessary part of the story.  There are some I care about more than others, but that may have been Robin’s goal.  Offworld is truly the story of the characters, and not simply a plot filled out with unimportant bodies.

And speaking of the plot, man am I looking forward to seeing how this book ends!  When I said the characters matter, well, it goes the other way too.  This isn’t just a grouping of great characters thrown into a room and inconsequentially recorded.  It’s a good story.

I’ve been partially let down by the direction the book has taken thus far, but I’m not sure why.  I guess I liked things as they were after the first few chapters and hoped it would work out differently.  The way things have turned out is not a let down in and of itself, in fact it’s quite enjoyable.  But I guess I would like to see the idea explored in a different direction (at this point in the book I’m going to assume it would have to be a work completely separate from this novel).  I mention all this not to downplay the book, but rather to point out that it sets a foundation for even more to be explored.

On the spiritual aspect of the work, it’s definitely a safe book to read thus far.  Honestly I haven’t seen much depth spiritually, and I’m hoping for something powerful before it’s all over.  I’m not seeing how it might happen, but there’s enough there to work with if you have the desire to do so.  I’ll just have to wait and see if Robin Parrish wanted to or not.  I will say that considering the Christian world view changes a lot of potential outcomes throughout the book, so in that regard the spiritual aspect has the potential of adding suspense for the reader who accepts Christ as their Lord and Saviour and who accepts the Bible as the infallible word of God.  The book could still tear that apart, though I’m not expecting or hoping that it will do so.  What I’m really wanting to know is what kind of spiritual impact the conclusion of the book is going to have on readers.  Lord willing I’ll find out in the next couple of days.

And, Lord willing, you too dear reader will have the opportunity to see what the conclusion of the book has to offer.  Not just from my opinion, either.  I’ve got in my possession a couple extra copies of this book to give away.  Be on the lookout next month for the giveaways to begin, it’s my goal to start with the next CSFFBT.  And if all goes well there should be somewhat regular giveaways to follow, with a variety of books from a variety of authors.  I have some ideas in mind on how to do the giveaways, but feel free to share any of your own ideas.  However it happens, as long as the end of this book doesn’t tank, I’m really looking forward to passing it on to other readers to enjoy.  It’s been a fun book to read, even for a guy who’s not really a sci-fi fan.

Some official websites to follow up on are:

Offworld http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764206060

Robin Parrish’s Web site – http://www.robinparrish.com/
Robin Parrish’s blog – http://twitter.com/robinparrish(that’s the address he gives for his blog on his Web site)

To find out what other bloggers thought of the book and the author, please visit some of the other sites below.  And remember, the more you follow and reply to these kinds of reviews and books, the more chances there will be of publishers supporting Christian speculative fiction.

Thanks for reading, and thanks fellow CSFFBT bloggers!

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Gina Burgess
Canadianladybug
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
Nissa
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Steve Rice
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Stephanie
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Elizabeth Williams

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A review of:

The Book of Names, by D. Barkley Briggs (NavPress, 2008 )

From the Legends of Karac Tor

The book started off slow.  Honestly I found it hard to keep reading.  But after a few chapters I found I was beginning to enjoy the story. 

I started to remember what it was like to be a boy in a rural Michigan town, intrigued by the mysteries of Native American culture.  We would get all excited when we found arrowheads in the fields.  But what these boys encounter is something that would have blown my mind as a kid.

The book makes a good transition as it gets further into the story.  I didn’t feel like any of the elements were forced upon me, they seemed to flow as they should have.  And as with any good book I read, I was inspired over and over again to imagine new things that I could write about.

The villains in the story were set up pretty good.  A few things that were said made me question who the real villains might be, keeping me on edge until the last.

The allies were well thought out as well.  Very believable.

Overall I really enjoyed the book.  I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the Legends of Karac Tor series.

A couple of things did bother me though.  The first, which I will keep in this paragraph, may be a bit of a spoiler.  Go ahead and skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read it.  The way that Briggs mixes Christianity with other religions in our reality really didn’t set well with me.  I understand that these other worlds are fantasy worlds.  But taking their mystical elements and combining them with the world we live in and yet trying to hold the Christian world view… there’s a line that’s crossed there.  It’s good to open people’s eyes to the realities of Christianity which we do not normally recognise.  It’s another thing to add actual magical elements to a truth that rejects those very things.  I’m hoping that Briggs has something planned out in future novels to rectify this problem.  Though he writes well, I will truly be surprised if he finds a good way to pull it off (I don’t think there is one).

The other thing that bothered me was the use of cussing at the end of the book.  The problem I listed in the last paragraph is one that Briggs may have an ace up his sleeve to rectify in another volume (though I doubt it’s a direction he’s even considering).  But this cussing thing, there is no ace for that.  One representing a Christian view has no excuse for using that language anywhere.  It’s something that Christ had to die to forgive.  The need to represent the world the way it is… that’s no valid excuse for sin (there is no valid excuse for sin).  The world has been far better portrayed by the Lord Himself in the Bible than by any other writer, and that without a single cuss.  We owe the Lord better than this relying on the world.

These two problems and the slow start aside, I found that I really enjoyed the book.  Don’t let the size of the paragraphs that I complained in deceive you.  I just don’t want to accidentally spoil the experience of the read.  The story was very enjoyable, well written, and seems to be very well thought out.  Briggs created a world with great depth, and I’m eager to see the rest of it.

I would caution against suggesting this book to non-Christians, unless non-Christians are informed of what the Bible says about these two problems.  For any Christians who struggle with mysticism, paganism, wicca or magic… I would advise against reading this book.  For those who look to justify foul language, this book (though only in one part near the very end) will place a stumbling block before their feet.  For any other familiar with the truth of the Lord, as long as they are conscious of and reject the offerings of these issues, I don’t think they’ll have a problem reading this book.  And if they are fantasy fans, I’m guessing they’ll really enjoy it!

Thank you Briggs for your creation.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to offer.

Featured book, The Book of Names http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/160006227X
D. Barkley Briggs’s Web site –
http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?Itemid=49&id=19&option=com_content&task=view
D. Barkley Briggs’s blog –
http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=23&Itemid=79

For more reviews of this book, check out the following blogs:
Sally Apokedak
Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Magma
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Alice M. Roelke
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Timothy Wise

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As some of you know, Christian speculative fiction is a genre that’s not really a part of the general Christian publishing industry.  Authors writing fantasy, sci-fi, alternate reality, spiritual warfare, and other spec-fic  books with a Christian world view have a hard time convincing big Christian publishers that their books will sell.  Their books are not usually the ones picked up on bookshelves.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not an audience.  There is, in fact, quite a large group of people who love Christian spec-fic.  They just spend their time in other places.  Some authors and readers have banded together to reach this audience.  One such group is the “Lost Genre Guild.”

http://www.lostgenreguild.com is where the group can be found online.  They have something for anyone with an interest in Christian spec-fic..

Readers:

  • A list of quality books to read
  • Reviews to help you find the right book for your current mood
  • People who are working to encourage authors to write what you like

Authors:

  • Reviews to help market your material to the right people
  • Links to other groups that support what you write
  • Publisher links specific to Christian spec-fic
  • Contacts for author helps

Beyond these benefits, this is a chance for both readers and writers to partake in a work that brings glory to God Almighty, the Great Story Maker.  All good things come from Him; and when a book’s author understands that, they are able to tap into something that touches the very soul of man. 

So please visit the site, and be a part of what they are doing.  You’ll find good resources, no matter your part in the telling of good fiction.

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For more information on the LGG, and for more on Christian Spec-Fic, please check out the following blogs…

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Courtney
Frank Creed
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
Lost Genre Guild
Mike Lynch
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Mirtika
Hanna Sandvig
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Timothy Wise

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