March CSFF Blog Tour Day 3: Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow

If it’s Day 3, it must be time for Top O’ the Tour, in which I skim some commentary from other CSFF bloggers and compare/contrast it with my “take.”

  • Nurse, I’ll Be Having the Creamed Spinach: It’s a sad thing when you pick up a book like this and discover somebody’s turned you into an old man when you weren’t looking.  Keenan Brand, John Otte, and I all observed that a lot of the plot elements in HBSS have been around for a long time and aren’t especially gripping for us jaded old fogies, but for the intended audience, everything old is new again.  These young whippersnappers won’t be bothered by the “obvious” allegory, either, since it won’t be obvious to them, unless they’re getting a lot of John Bunyan and Hannah Hurnard for bedtime stories.  Wade Ogletree’s daughter, however, did pick up on it.
  • I Swear, You Don’t Look a Day Over Eight Years Old: On the flip side of the age issue, Valerie Comer and her hubby thought the CG-toony cover art looked too young for the target audience. John Otte (who earns a cookie for getting mentioned twice) thought the cover art failed to communicate the dark themes and ending. I liked the cover, but I have to agree with John that the lighthearted image left me totally unprepared for one particular event near the end of the story (no spoilers, sorry).  Regarding Valerie’s comment, my just-past-tweener daughter is very aware of how the cover art on a book she’s toting around might affect her image. For example, edgy teens at prep school=cool! Dragons and furry animals wearing jackets and glasses=not so cool.
  • Sharpen Up Those Red Pencils: Mike Lynch and Rebecca Miller pointed out some technical problems with the story, such as too much passive voice and some point-of-view violations.  I found a couple of typos along the way, but the one glitch that really annoyed me was the consistent use of “reign” (as in “to rule or govern”) in the place of “rein” (the contraption used to steer a horse).  You don’t “reign in” a horse, you “rein in” a horse.  Plug the words into if you don’t believe me.  You also don’t get down off a horse, you get down off a duck, but that’s another problem for another day.

That brings us to the end of another Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour. Next month, we’ll take a look at an extraordinarily odd bird, a Christian pirate novel! It’s Blaggard’s Moon, by George Bryan Polivka. Until then, fair winds and following seas, mateys! Arrr.

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