Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: All Things Bright and Strange

All Things Bright and Strange
James Markert

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 30, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718090284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718090289

  • I generally don't like Christian speculative fiction -- yep, even though I write books in that genre. But this book was a pleasant surprise. It's not imitative -- written in the Left Behind, Narnia, or Divergence mode-- as so many Christian specfic books are.

    The characters are not cookie-cutter and do not speak in on-the-nose preachiness. There is no undercurrent of a woman looking for her Boaz or a Hosea type. This is a good book. It's not perfect but what book is?

     I'll write a longer review of this on the christian fiction review blog where I'll go deeper in depth into the characters and discuss how challenging it might be to the "typical" Christian reader, and my ideas about how it succeeds or fails.

    And yes, there is such a thing as a typical Christian reader. So there might be issues about whether the story is truly Christian or not. Christians come in all sizes and shapes, and the question of hell and who gets saved is iffy. I tend to avoid putting people in hell but i do believe in a hell. Some Christians don't believe in hell. Upshot? Depending on how you have built your Christian foundations, this book might be offensive...or not.  The type of Christian who thinks anything supernatural is demonic or weird and "unChristian" will have a problem with this book. Racist Christians who don't like to be stressed about race issues will have a problem with this book. It deals with someone who is not in love with his life and is pondering suicide, stuff that some Christians often don't want to deal with. It has its tropes and for the most part they work. The author is trying to walk the fine line of writing a book for a particular audience and at the same time trying to write a book that will challenge that audience. 

    I received this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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