“What’s it for? Is that what you want to know? What is this all about? You don’t know? Everything in the heavens is here…Moving… as the heavens move.” – Aughra, The Dark Crystal
Well, I finished it. I don’t think I’ve ripped through a book so fast in quite a long time, but it was worth it to get to the end. It’s going to take a few days to fully digest The Ale Boy’s Feast, but in the interest of time, I’ll give you what I’ve got.
What’s it All About? The Ale Boy’s Feast is about mystery and revelation. These are the matched pair of 300-pound gorillas that have been parked on the sofa throughout the three previous books in this series: “What the Heck is Going On?” and “When Are You Going to Tell Us?”
The Expanse is a world struggling with amnesia and tormented by unanswered questions. They’re familiar questions–Who are we? What are we doing here? Why are all these bad things happening to us? What should we do about it? I’d like to say that all the mysteries are solved and the revelation is complete by story’s end, but I can’t. Cal Raven and his friends have been following the legends of their childhood for a long time now. When they reach the fabled city that is their destination, They discover that these stories are fragmentary and distorted, but there’s a kernel of truth at their heart. In the end, it’s that truth that breaks the curse permeating their land. I don’t think it’s giving away much to confirm that Auralia and her colors are the thread that ties everything together.
Oh, and that’s just the beginning. The reality of the Expanse is rooted in a story so big and powerful and beautiful that there’s no way anyone can fully comprehend it, and it’s an eternity in the telling. I think that’s how it should be. A true mystery is unknowable, and its revelation is unending.
Is it Allegory, or is it Memorex? I maintain the position I usually take on epic fantasy novels by Christian authors. Don’t read this story looking for allegory. Just read it. Enjoy the masterful storytelling, unique characters, and vivid imagination of Mr. Overstreet. There are deeper messages within. Lots of them. They will spring to life as you ponder this story in the weeks and months after you read it, and this is a story that will set you to pondering the mystery of our own life here on Earth.
A Note for Parents: This isn’t a kid’s book. The Expanse is embroiled in war against a violent and sometimes sadistic evil, and the author’s imagery is at times very intense and graphic, more so in this volume than in the previous three. I’d recommend it for middle teens and above.
The other sites on this month’s CSFF Blog Tour:
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
Jeffrey Overstreet’s website: http://lookingcloser.org/
Purchase The Ale Boy’s Feast: http://www.amazon.com/Ale-Boys-Feast-Auralia-Thread/dp/1400074681
>>This review is based upon an electronic 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.<<