Pages of Awesome

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Starlighter - Bryan Davis - Book Review

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.

Writing Quality
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!


Bryan Davis said...

Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate the positive review.

Jacob R Parker said...

Very nice review. Your best yet, in my opinion. :)

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Absolutely Mr. Davis! Thanks for the great read ;) When does Inner Starlight come out? :D haha

Jacob, I gave it time this time ;) lol Thanks :D

Storyteller said...

Thanks for the review, Keeneye! Sounds like a great read!

Galadriel said...

I loved it too, though it was jarring to have evil dragons. Sometime I WILL write a review.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

ST, it was a great book :D
Galadriel, what did you think of Arxad? (sp?)

Galadriel said...

I think, as someone in the story said, "He was the most human" of the dragons. But I don't know if he's on anyone's side except his own.

Beorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beorn said...

I must be honest, I didn't really care for the Dragons in Our Midst series. I got stuck on the second book--twice. This one sounds better, I have high hopes for it and would love to read it.

Good post, I like your category-style review. =)

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Galadriel, I'm curious about him :D We'll see lol

Beorn, this was quite a bit different from the DIOM series. Even the style of writing seemed different, but it's been a while since I've read the DIOM books.
It's only 10 bucks ;) And you may be able to find it cheaper. I'd recommend it :D
Glad you liked the review :D

Beorn said...

Only 10, you say? Hmm... I'll probably end up buying it. Was thinking library at first, but maybe not.

Now I'm torn. I have 10 bucks ATM and both Do hard things: Start here and this one are jumping out. Though, I might just wait for this one to come out and not preorder.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

I think there might be some way to get it cheaper...but I can't remember. It's a good price as is though.

If you order this one from Mr. Davis's website he'll mail it immediately I believe. :D Just throwing that out there ;)

Beorn said...

And it's signed. At least this one:

BASE said...

nice review...probably one of the best...

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Thanks much BASE!

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."