Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vacation Reading Reports

For both of you readers who have been wondering what I thought about Avalon Falls and The Kingdom, which I read on vacation last month.

Bottom line: I enjoyed them both but was disappointed in them, too.

Both were great attempts at writing Christian fiction--and I loved what the authors were trying to do, but I thought they fell short in their artistry.

Avalon Falls was a page-turner that I could hardly put down.  L.B. Graham did a terrific job of trying out a new genre--the gritty crime novel (I'm looking forward to reading his next one, too, which is going to be a futuristic Huckleberry Finn). He also kept me wondering what was going to happen next and threw in enough plot twists to really please a reader.  However, about 2/3 of the way through, it was pretty obvious "whodunit," and some of the "preaching" came across too strongly.  Great try, but only a 7 out of 10.  (Again, however, I love that he is trying. I'd read another right away.)

The Kingdom was more artfully constructed and is part of a larger trilogy. Again, I love what he was trying to do, but the premise never really "worked" for me. Fun to read and see what he did with his big idea, but I never really came to love the characters or even actually care about them that much.  I think that other readers will disagree with me on this--several people at our church are reading them now and can't put them down.

Good, engaging Christian fiction is hard to find (and, I believe even much harder to write--I could never do it), so applaud these authors in what they are attempting. I'll keep buying and reading their books. That's the only way to encourage continued growth.