Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Auralia's Colors by Jeffery Overstreet

As a baby, she was found in a footprint.

As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.

As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.

Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.

Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.

Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lit more!


"Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."
--Publishers Weekly

“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”
-–Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast of
Noor and Dragon's Keep

“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”
-–Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and The
Curse of the Raven Mocker


Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image.

His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.

Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread.

My Review

As a new member to CFBA and as a new “blogger”, I felt it only fair to at least attempt a fantasy read. I have learned, without a doubt, that fantasy is NOT my genre. In all fairness, this story is well written. The story line moves along at a satisfying pace, and the scenery and emotions are described vividly. That says a LOT about the talent of the author.

However, it is beyond my mind’s ability to determine what on earth this has to do with anything remotely Christian. I realize the bad guy – one of them anyway – gets what he deserves, but did we have to endure a scene with him making out with someone else’s wife? Come on! I understand that Christians can write fiction that has a covert message, and that’s fine. But truly, this went too far.

While I was earning my BA in English, I had to endure the task of finding “meaning” in some pretty weird stuff, and this book sort of took me back to that lovely exercise. I looked, but I found little content with meaning. I have read an interview with this author since writing this review, and I’m convinced he’s doing something meaningful to him. That’s great. For me, I’m going to leave fantasy to those who understand it better than I do. No offence to the fantasy crowd, but I just don’t get it.


kc said...

I appreciate your honesty. That's how I feel about romance and historical novels. Still, Jeff has some great thoughts and great ways of making us think about life and love and sacrifice and friendships. Perhaps he thinks he shouldn't have to be blatant about it, that we have the brains to figure it out for ourselves. I have an interview coming up with him at later this month. You ought to check it out.

Kim said...

Thanks for the comment! I guess I came off sounding kind of harsh, but I didn't mean to. I did try to read like it, and I did read the entire story. I thought it was very well written! I just don't "get" fantasy I guess. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to read Lord of the Rings!

I did donate the book to our local library though, because I know there are those who really enjoy the genre. I will be looking for your interview! Novel Journey did an interview with Overstreet recently that went a long way in helping me understand his viewpoint.

Thanks again!


Unknown said...

We all have our own tastes...I don't care for historical novels. We need to be honest in what we think about books we read...and by blogging together, we present a well rounded viewpoint, I think.

Personally, I loved it, but I'm just getting into fantasy:-)

Scrambled Dregs said...

Oh, taste is such a subjective thing.

I loved Overstreet's poetic wordsmithing but the story moved a little slow for me. A few times I thought, "who cares!"

And I usually like slow reads-- a book you can grab and curl up with on a warm summer afternoon or icy winter night and then savor the language and the story.

I'm still not sure why I didn't do cartwheels over Auralia. It might be the omniscient POV thing. Or it might be the fantasy thing.

I can't get through Lord Of The Rings either, but LOVE Narnia. But then I can't read Jane Austen (shhh, don't tell anyone) but on the other hand can't stand cardboard characters dancing through a crazy plot.


Hey, maybe that's why there are so many books and movies since we all think just a little differently.

So that was pretty much a really wordy, confusing way of saying what Deena said. : )

Kim said...

Kelly, thanks for stopping by!

The main reason I was able to read this entire novel to start with (besides the fact that I was determined to try something new) was because Overstreet really is talented in painting word pictures. I could "see" his story! I just didn't particularly care for the story once all was said and done.

If you promise not to tell, I can't finish a Jane Austin either no matter how hard I try!! Alas!