Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: Shades of Morning

Ok, due to some technical difficulties, my post on the fictional love of my life (not to be compared to or even remotely able to compete with the real love of my life) will have to wait until later tonight.  In the meantime, I'll post some reviews. 

Shades of Morning.  Sigh.  I really wanted to like this one.  And for the first 200 or so pages I was so into it.  I liked the characters, I liked the plot, and the writing, while not just amazing, flowed well.  I was all set to give it at least three stars.  Three stars is my general rating for what I'd consider a "bubble gum" book.  It doesn't require the reader to make inferences or think very hard, but it entertains and passes the time quickly and is enjoyable.  And this book would be the Christian equivalent of a romance novel.

Then it happened.  The sermonizing started.  Now we all know that I'm a Christian and I consider myself to be a devoted follower of Christ.  I like to study the Bible and I love learning more about my Savior.  BUT, if I want to read a sermon, I will pick up non-fiction.  If you're going to sermonize in your fiction, please at least try to weave it in to your story.  I don't want to read a five page description of what happened on the cross in the middle of a story about a boy with Down's Syndrome. 

This brings me to another issue I frequently come across in Christian fiction.  Do Christian authors ever feel like maybe they are appealing to the wrong audience?  Most people who read Christian fiction are reading it because they are Christians.  We don't need you to present a systematic theology randomly in the middle of your story.  It really really leads back to the reason I started this blog and the book that inspired me (Roaring Lambs by Bob Briner - which I highly recommend).  Writing a story where the last hundred pages present five miniature sermons on various topics is just such a turn off for any reader regardless of religion.  It took me out of the story and took the focus off of the characters that I was starting to care about.

Finally, this book has a surprise ending.  For the sake of not spoiling it, I won't say what the surprise is, but it wasn't a good one.  I mean I guess some people think so, but I was completely annoyed by it.  It was random and didn't fit well with the rest of the story. 

In summary - I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't.  It gets two stars.  And a listing of "do not recommend."  I will temper that with saying that I'm passing it on to my grandmother and I think she is goign to LOVE it!

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for the change to review - and I hope you'll keep letting me review your books even though I didn't love this one!

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