Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors ~ Reviewed

Auralia's Colors
Jeffrey Overstreet
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 4, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400072522
ISBN-13: 978-1400072521

Visit Novel Journey for an interview with Jeffrey Overstreet. (11-07-2007)


As a baby, she was rescued by thieves.
As a girl, she has a dangerous gift.
Called before the king, she might bring down the kingdom.

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 classic fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful lot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Review # 1:

Jeffrey Overstreet, author of the non-fiction book, Through a Screen Darkly, makes an incredible fiction debut with Auralia’s Colors. Perhaps it is his knowledge as a movie critic that allows Overstreet to create such a magical and imaginative world. In the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien, readers will be swept up in a vast landscape filled with people and magical creatures that surprise and entertain.

Auralia’s Colors is filled with convincing heroes and is one of those stories that inspires greatness. It is truly a tale that one can get lost in where the fight for good reigns supreme, but Overstreet also surprises the reader with thieves capable of great integrity and queens and kings capable of massive thievery.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the imagination of Auralia’s Colors, it is essentially Overstreet’s writing skill that ties the epic story together. Not many writers today are as gifted at the tricky omniscient point of view that abounds in the novel as Overstreet is.

More discerning readers will note the compelling religious symbolism and imagery in this book where God is never mentioned, but His presence prevails. This wildly creative and intelligent tale will thrill lovers of fantasy, as well as readers who crave excellent storytelling and exceptional writing.

Reviewed by: Tina Ann Forkner

Review #2:

From the first chapter, Auralia's Colors reached out and grabbed my imagination. As I read it I felt, smelled, heard and saw Auralia's world. Overstreet writes with poetry, weaving senses in and out, twisting and wrapping details around the art of classic storytelling. I don't know that I've read a book with more beautiful and unique descriptions.

Omniscient point of view is my least favorite. I feel that it robs intimacy or cheapens it. Auralia's Colors falls into this a bit. I know that it would be impossible to enter as many characters' heads as Overstreet has created, but I missed the intimacy of seeing the world through limited characters eyes. Those of you who love classic storytelling shouldn't have an issue with this, but those who don't delight in this art, probably will. Overstreet does a good job of adding bits of personality and uniqueness to his large cast of characters, but I still missed an emotional connection.

Overstreet has done a remarkable job of creating House Abascar and keeping all the details straight. However, sometimes I scanned those details.
The spiritual elements were allegorical and not heavy or overdone.

Overall, this is not a sit down and read in one session thriller. Imagine that Auralia's Colors is a clear, early-April stream swollen with winter snow-melt and tiny passengers. As the water moves toward its destination it dances and skips over glossy stones, swirls with an occasional leaf or twig and is redirected by the hoof of a deer as it bends to slake its thirst. A tight, thriller fantasy would be a white water river crashing over boulders, logs and an occasional unlucky passenger tossed from a raft. If you are a white water kind of person I don't know that Auralia is for you. But lovers of poetry and storytelling need to look further into Auralia's Colors.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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