So if you follow Christian Fantasy, especially teen Christian Fantasy, the name Bryan Davis ought not be a new one to you. Author of fifteen or so books including bestselling series Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, and Echoes from the Edge, Mr. Davis has made quite the name for himself.
Recently he has started a new series entitled Dragons of Starlight. In this story world there will be, I believe, four books for teens and two books for adults. The adult series is to be published with AMG Publishers beginning with Masters and Slayers. The teen series begins with Starlighter, to be released next month.
Those who pre-ordered/won copies of the book received the book early and, as I was one of those people, I have decided to write an in depth review of the book.
From the Back Cover
Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons' realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered. In Starlighter, bestselling author Bryan Davis masterfully weaves fantasy and inspiration into a captivating novel for young adults.
Personally, I found the plot thoroughly enjoyable. Who doesn't enjoy stories of other worlds? Dragons? Fantasy period? The story was fast paced and exciting. But some basic story elements were a first for Bryan Davis. For one, the dragons in this tale were evil. The villains were the creatures we came to love in his previous series. Secondly, none of this tale takes place on earth, and in the story world earth is nonexistent. Finally, I thought a lot of creativity went into this plot. Nothing came across cheesy, as things did in some of his other works, and in fact I was surprised by many of the fantasy elements in Starlighter.
The story has five or so main characters (two girls, two boys, enemy dragons) and I found them to be quite real. Each one has a very distinct personality, to the point that if you presented me with a line or two of dialogue, I could tell you which character spoke it. In this I believe Mr. Davis succeeded. However, I did not feel a serious connection with any of the characters. I identified with them, but because there were 4 heroes, two main villain-ish characters, and a deep plot, I do not think Mr. Davis had the time to create the connection. Keep in mind, however, that this is the first of a longer series, so I expect to gain that intimacy later. My favorite character was one that kept me on the edge the whole time, I am still analyzing his actions.
Mr. Davis is a very well rounded storyteller. Exempting one or two points the dialogue was excellent, the detail was spot on, and the flow was perfect. As I said, I found a line of seemingly contrived dialogue and I was hazy on details in one particular scene, but overall the writing was wonderful.
The theme of this story is perhaps my favorite part of the book. The allegorical aspects are flooring and worded in my favorite way. Of course, I may be biased because of its similarities to my novella. :-P The theme was this one: the world is lost and needs delivering; though some will refuse bring the Lost Ones home. Beautiful if you ask me.
The story ended on a cliff-hanger of sorts. Some serious questions were left unanswered and I am dying to know their conclusion. Some things worth noting: I was a bit lost at the beginning of the book, terms were being thrown around that I didn't know the meaning of (and still don't) but that may just be because of my limited vocabulary, once the story really began things became easier to follow. Basic positive elements include: sacrifice, brotherly love, love between friends, non-romantic companionship between boys and girls, honorable men and women, loving adults, clearly defined good and evil. And I was going to put negative elements...but I can't think of any :P I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.
Be sure to check out the book trailer as well as Bryan Davis's website, blog, and the national tour schedule. Also, Mr. Davis is hosting a huge contest! See his blog for details! Zondervan will be hosting a contest shortly as well.
To buy the book from the author click here!
From Amazon, click here!