For those who share my trepidation, permit me to introduce Jeffrey Overstreet. Overstreet is a novelist and film critic as well as an editor at Seattle Pacific University. The Aurelia Thread began with the 2007 publication of Aurelia’s Colors by Random House’s Waterbrook Press. In 2008, he followed it up with Cyndere’s Midnight. February 2010, Raven’s Ladder was released.
My first statement to the publicist from Random House’s Multnomah Books was “I’ll review it, but I don’t know anything about the series.” After reading some comments from a fan page, I learned they had hoped this book would address more of a continuation of a storyline from the previous book, Cyndere’s Midnight; however, it did not. I cannot speak to that since I have not read the first two books. What I can say is, bearing that in mind, I never felt lost while reading the current installment. While I am sure the reading experience would have benefited from having followed the story from the beginning, Raven’s Ladder is quite capable of standing on its own.
The Aurelia Thread deals with freedom, responsibility, courage, trust and faith among other issues. There are times that the conversations and adventures of the characters closely resemble biblical stories. Much of the pressure I felt in reading the book was the result of having to look for the hidden meaning of the symbols, trying to find comparisons, deciding if the book was suitable Christian fiction, and worrying that I might miss something. If I was a fan of sci-fi/fantasy books and reading purely for enjoyment, I’m sure the book would not have been a haunting heartbeat. Half way through, I decided to read for pleasure. The book was well written and I will freely admit that I enjoyed it more than Tolkien’s books. I am sure that is directly attributable to the fact that Overstreet’s style is more relaxed and modern than Tolkien’s. If you have an advanced “tween-ager” (ages 11/12) or teenager who enjoys sci-fi/fantasy or if you were a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, you will decidedly enjoy Overstreet’s Raven’s Ladder.
This book is available from retailers such as www.amazon.com
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Multnomah Books, a division of Random House as a free review copy. Compensation was not given to the reviewer by the publisher, author or any of their agents.
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