If it’s Day 3, it must be time to venture out into the cobweb-strewn forests of the CSFF Blog Tour and see what other folks are saying about Curse of the Spider King.
Spray can of Black Flag, check. Combat boots, check. Baseball bat, check.
Okay, I think I’m ready. I’ve even got a protective hat. It’s kind of fuzzy, though. Itches a little.
Waitaminnit…I’m not wearing a hat. AAAGH! Get it off me! Get it off me!
Ahem. Moving right along…
David Frost? Morley Safer? William F. Buckley? Amateurs. Some great interviews with the authors this time around, and a lot of interviewing skill displayed by our Tour bloggers, including Ryan Heart, James Somers, and Amy Browning.
Who’s on First, What’s on Second, I Don’t Know…Third Base! While there was nearly unanimous approval for the appealing and true-to-teen characters in Curse of the Spider King, a few reviewers (myself included) struggled a bit with the large cast of central characters. Phyllis Wheeler made a list to keep track of everyone. Valerie Comer said the handling of the characters felt “fractured.” I was looking for a character to step out in more of a leadership role or provide an overarching perspective for the whole story, but I think this is a situation where it’s worth being a little patient and waiting for a deeper exploration of the characters. They’ve got a long way to go yet in their adventures.
Membership Has Its Advantages. Several folks spent some time perusing the very nice webpages of Messrs. Batson and Hopper, and particularly the Berinfell Prophecies site, which hosts a fan forum and a plethora of series-related interactive games and activities. Robert Treskillard and his kids are already members of a Berinfell “tribe” and are enjoying the fun together. The authors seem to be very engaged with their fans, which is both smart from a marketing point of view, and just impressive overall. No socially-dysfunctional, ivory-tower snobs here. These guys are having a ball and sharing that joy with others. Good on ’em.
The Eternal Question. It always happens during the Tour, and it’s important that it does happen–somebody raises the question, “Is this really a Christian book?” We are the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour, after all. This time, it was John W. Otte (“Least-Read Blog on the Web”? Au contraire, Pierre!). He observed that there aren’t many overtly Christian elements in the story, and simply making a few passing references to God doesn’t cut it if we want to call something a Christian work of fiction and have it mean anything at all. Mr. Batson, for his part, had the sense and grace to simply step back and say, “That’s a good question, and I’d like to hear what people think about it.” I weighed in with my two-cents’ worth, and suggest you do likewise, respectfully and intelligently. We’ll all be the richer for the debate.
And Now, the Rest of the Story. Wow, just found this…Shane Deal has logged his thoughts about the book chapter-by-chapter. He got through Chapter 12 before he had to stop, but he promises to finish in future installments. Great stuff. I recommend reading this AFTER you’ve read the book yourself, unless you have no intention of doing so.
Well, that concludes my expedition into the arachnid-ridden backcountry of Curse of the Spider King. Join me again next month as we…hey, waitaminnit…there is no CSFF Blog Tour next month! Our fearless leader, Rebecca Miller, is re-engineering the schedule for the coming year, so it looks like we’ll be featuring one or more writing-related web sites in lieu of a book review. Hey, everybody enjoys a few surprises for Christmas! See you then.
There’s still a lot of great commentary out there on the Tour–check it out:
Wayne Thomas Batson’s blog – http://enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com/
Christopher Hopper’s Web site – http://www.christopherhopper.com/
The Berinfell Prophecies Web site – http://www.heedtheprophecies.com
>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<