Final Thoughts on Auralia’s Colors

I just had a couple of final thoughts on Auralia’s Colors.

1. Robert Treskillard described the book as being “poetic”. Dang! That was the word I was searching for all night writing my post, and I couldn’t come up with it. It is definitely a poetic book.

2. Marcus Goodyear commented “Funny that you describe the book as “truly an amazing accomplishment” but then say it isn’t one of your favorites. Did you find yourself appreciating the artistry without being engaged in the story?”

Appreciating the artistry is pretty close. Let me say it this way: I really enjoyed the book overall. When I compare it to books I considered my favorites of 2007, it didn’t quite make the list. However, in my opinion it is a very key book for Christian fiction. Overstreet gives us a book that challenges the boundaries of what Christian sci-fi and fantasy can be. It tells a story artfully and boldly, without having to explain to the reader every detail of what is meant from the story.

I was engaged with the story to a great degree, but there was a little that held back. There was a little distance to it. As I said yesterday, it seemed to be part of a grander vision, but lacked a little of what it needed to stand on its own.

Overall, the use of language and the challenge Overstreet set for himself in telling his story is what made me describe it as an amazing accomplishment. I think I can appreciate that without it being one of my top favorites (not to say that I didn’t really enjoy it). Is it analogous to saying I know that Beethoven is a master, but I prefer Bach? Perhaps.

So, if you haven’t read Auralia’s Color, then I do encourage you to take a look at it and give it a chance. I think you’ll be rewarded if you do.

Final Thoughts on Auralia’s Colors

I just had a couple of final thoughts on Auralia’s Colors.

1. Robert Treskillard described the book as being “poetic”. Dang! That was the word I was searching for all night writing my post, and I couldn’t come up with it. It is definitely a poetic book.

2. Marcus Goodyear commented “Funny that you describe the book as “truly an amazing accomplishment” but then say it isn’t one of your favorites. Did you find yourself appreciating the artistry without being engaged in the story?”

Appreciating the artistry is pretty close. Let me say it this way: I really enjoyed the book overall. When I compare it to books I considered my favorites of 2007, it didn’t quite make the list. However, in my opinion it is a very key book for Christian fiction. Overstreet gives us a book that challenges the boundaries of what Christian sci-fi and fantasy can be. It tells a story artfully and boldly, without having to explain to the reader every detail of what is meant from the story.

I was engaged with the story to a great degree, but there was a little that held back. There was a little distance to it. As I said yesterday, it seemed to be part of a grander vision, but lacked a little of what it needed to stand on its own.

Overall, the use of language and the challenge Overstreet set for himself in telling his story is what made me describe it as an amazing accomplishment. I think I can appreciate that without it being one of my top favorites (not to say that I didn’t really enjoy it). Is it analogous to saying I know that Beethoven is a master, but I prefer Bach? Perhaps.

So, if you haven’t read Auralia’s Color, then I do encourage you to take a look at it and give it a chance. I think you’ll be rewarded if you do.

Review of Auralia’s Colors

An Impressive Palette

At first glance, Auralia’s Colors may have a beautiful cover with an intriguing back copy. I was interested when hearing about the book a few months ago on Becky Miller’s blog. What you get when you open the pages is the literary equivalent of a master tapestry.

Trying to write a book that prominently features colors is an inspiration that I don’t envy. However, Jeffrey Overstreet’s first novel is truly an amazing accomplishment.

It doesn’t really have a comparison in Christian fiction. That is definitely a good thing (as it shows that this “genre” is growing), but it can be a little harder to characterize it then.

I haven’t been to a lot of blogs on this tour yet, but one word that keeps coming up is literary. I think what is meant by that is that the book treats language as a beautiful thing in and of itself, rather than being secondary to the plot or action. The book seems to be carefully crafted, and the choice of words is very picturesque. Even though a major theme is color and beauty, the descriptions of birds taking flight, people’s reactions, and other things that could be mundane paint just as compelling of imagery in the reader’s mind.

The book takes chances aplenty, and it wins on a lot of them. One of the main characters is only called “ale boy” throughout the book. The plot zigs instead of zagging. There are surprises toward the end that I really didn’t see coming. The themes are deeply spiritual, but not clearly allegorical: you can not pin “this is Jesus” on one character and “this is Satan” on another. The mysterious Keeper stays mysterious throughout, and it is not fully revealed. It allows the reader to mine their own conclusions from the book.

Even though this book was very enjoyable, it didn’t quite make my list of top books for 2007. I’m sure part of this is just my taste in books – I am usually drawn to a little more fast and furious. Still, some of the plot took a long time to describe without discernible payoff later on in the book, and overall the book seems a little too much like a set-up for the whole series. I am sure it is a very hard thing to make one book self-sufficient and inclusive when imagining a whole series, but as I think about it, this is the reason that the book didn’t fully resonate with me.

Overall, this book is a very welcome entry into Christian fiction, and is a well-crafted, entertaining work that should be read by any fan of fantasy. This colorful literature is one of the most important books in Christian speculative fiction in a long time, due to its creativity and daring.

Review of Auralia’s Colors

An Impressive Palette

At first glance, Auralia’s Colors may have a beautiful cover with an intriguing back copy. I was interested when hearing about the book a few months ago on Becky Miller’s blog. What you get when you open the pages is the literary equivalent of a master tapestry.

Trying to write a book that prominently features colors is an inspiration that I don’t envy. However, Jeffrey Overstreet’s first novel is truly an amazing accomplishment.

It doesn’t really have a comparison in Christian fiction. That is definitely a good thing (as it shows that this “genre” is growing), but it can be a little harder to characterize it then.

I haven’t been to a lot of blogs on this tour yet, but one word that keeps coming up is literary. I think what is meant by that is that the book treats language as a beautiful thing in and of itself, rather than being secondary to the plot or action. The book seems to be carefully crafted, and the choice of words is very picturesque. Even though a major theme is color and beauty, the descriptions of birds taking flight, people’s reactions, and other things that could be mundane paint just as compelling of imagery in the reader’s mind.

The book takes chances aplenty, and it wins on a lot of them. One of the main characters is only called “ale boy” throughout the book. The plot zigs instead of zagging. There are surprises toward the end that I really didn’t see coming. The themes are deeply spiritual, but not clearly allegorical: you can not pin “this is Jesus” on one character and “this is Satan” on another. The mysterious Keeper stays mysterious throughout, and it is not fully revealed. It allows the reader to mine their own conclusions from the book.

Even though this book was very enjoyable, it didn’t quite make my list of top books for 2007. I’m sure part of this is just my taste in books – I am usually drawn to a little more fast and furious. Still, some of the plot took a long time to describe without discernible payoff later on in the book, and overall the book seems a little too much like a set-up for the whole series. I am sure it is a very hard thing to make one book self-sufficient and inclusive when imagining a whole series, but as I think about it, this is the reason that the book didn’t fully resonate with me.

Overall, this book is a very welcome entry into Christian fiction, and is a well-crafted, entertaining work that should be read by any fan of fantasy. This colorful literature is one of the most important books in Christian speculative fiction in a long time, due to its creativity and daring.

CSFF Tour – Auralia’s Colors

Good things this month for the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour – if you like colorful things. That is because we are highlighting the book Auralia’s Colors, by Jeffrey Overstreet. If you are tired of reading the typical fantasy fare, or if you think that Christian fiction can’t produce unique, striking fiction, then you need to take a look at this book.

The kingdom of Abascar has been in drab doldrums since their missing queen decreed that all colorful items be stored at the palace to build the realm’s prestige. This was supposed to be a temporary edict until the time of “Abascar’s Spring,” but since the queen disappeared, the ailing king has continued the cold-hearted rule and drained the people’s spirits as well.

Outside of the walls of the great city is where the Gatherers struggle to survive. Banished to the forest for various crimes, they toil to make amends and perhaps win a pardon from the king. However, one day a mysterious girl is found in the footprint of a monster, and she is raised by the motley ragamuffins who discovered her.

Auralia proceeds to live without abandon, from a young age having a talent for finding or creating colors and decorating beautiful gifts for the Gatherers. As she grows older, her forbidden talent draws unwanted attention, and may be the turning point for the whole kingdom. But will the turning be a blessing – or a curse?

I will offer my review tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the web site for the book, and Jeffrey Overstreet’s insightful blog. Also see my tourmates below for varied opinions and content for the tour. I’m interested to see what people have to say with this one!

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Kait
Karen
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Pamela Morrisson
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Deena Peterson
Rachelle
Steve Rice
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachelle Sperling
Donna Swanson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

CSFF Tour – Auralia’s Colors

Good things this month for the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour – if you like colorful things. That is because we are highlighting the book Auralia’s Colors, by Jeffrey Overstreet. If you are tired of reading the typical fantasy fare, or if you think that Christian fiction can’t produce unique, striking fiction, then you need to take a look at this book.

The kingdom of Abascar has been in drab doldrums since their missing queen decreed that all colorful items be stored at the palace to build the realm’s prestige. This was supposed to be a temporary edict until the time of “Abascar’s Spring,” but since the queen disappeared, the ailing king has continued the cold-hearted rule and drained the people’s spirits as well.

Outside of the walls of the great city is where the Gatherers struggle to survive. Banished to the forest for various crimes, they toil to make amends and perhaps win a pardon from the king. However, one day a mysterious girl is found in the footprint of a monster, and she is raised by the motley ragamuffins who discovered her.

Auralia proceeds to live without abandon, from a young age having a talent for finding or creating colors and decorating beautiful gifts for the Gatherers. As she grows older, her forbidden talent draws unwanted attention, and may be the turning point for the whole kingdom. But will the turning be a blessing – or a curse?

I will offer my review tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the web site for the book, and Jeffrey Overstreet’s insightful blog. Also see my tourmates below for varied opinions and content for the tour. I’m interested to see what people have to say with this one!

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Kait
Karen
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Pamela Morrisson
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Deena Peterson
Rachelle
Steve Rice
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachelle Sperling
Donna Swanson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

CFBA Tour – Auralia’s Colors

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Auralia’s Colors (WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007) by Jeffrey Overstreet.I am almost done with this book. I will have more to say about it for a later blog tour since I’m not quite to the end yet. What I do want to point out is that this book is the most unique piece of fiction that I have read in my 1 1/2 years of actively reading/reviewing novels.

The description of this book before I received it was that it was a beautifully done literary work, with language that paints a vibrant a picture as Auralia’s Colors do in the story. Jeffrey takes time painting with words a very vivid description, full of metaphor and using the power of language in a formidable, haunting tale. In the recent Novel Journey interview with Dean Koontz, the famous author described the importance of using rich figures of speech in such a way – I would suggest that this book is what he had in mind when he talked about it.

The book takes a little more effort to read – it is suspenseful, but not in a way that zings the reader along. It takes a little more effort to mine the riches here. Sometimes the book suffers in the way it changes point of view characters in chapters – I got a little lost at times with the overall “where is this going?” Still, I am highly enjoying this story, and am looking forward to completing this particular thread.ABOUT THE BOOK:
As a baby, she was found in a footprint.

As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.

As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.

Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.

Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.

Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia’s Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to Jeffrey’s introduction of the book, plus a lot more!

CFBA Tour – Auralia’s Colors

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Auralia’s Colors (WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007) by Jeffrey Overstreet.I am almost done with this book. I will have more to say about it for a later blog tour since I’m not quite to the end yet. What I do want to point out is that this book is the most unique piece of fiction that I have read in my 1 1/2 years of actively reading/reviewing novels.

The description of this book before I received it was that it was a beautifully done literary work, with language that paints a vibrant a picture as Auralia’s Colors do in the story. Jeffrey takes time painting with words a very vivid description, full of metaphor and using the power of language in a formidable, haunting tale. In the recent Novel Journey interview with Dean Koontz, the famous author described the importance of using rich figures of speech in such a way – I would suggest that this book is what he had in mind when he talked about it.

The book takes a little more effort to read – it is suspenseful, but not in a way that zings the reader along. It takes a little more effort to mine the riches here. Sometimes the book suffers in the way it changes point of view characters in chapters – I got a little lost at times with the overall “where is this going?” Still, I am highly enjoying this story, and am looking forward to completing this particular thread.ABOUT THE BOOK:
As a baby, she was found in a footprint.

As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.

As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.

Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.

Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.

Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia’s Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to Jeffrey’s introduction of the book, plus a lot more!