Book one of the Berinfell Prophecies, Curse of the Spider King, by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper, is the November feature of the CSFF Blog Tour. A couple of observations about the tour and the book.
From what I’ve read so far, this may be one of the most popular books we’ve toured. While we have an average number of participants–thirty-eight–more than average are posting multiple times. The reviews aren’t tepid appreciation but closer to enthusiastic (see for example, Robert Treskillard’s first post). A number of participants say the book transcends age, that it is a must read. There are even hints that it may become a classic.
The authors have been very involved in the tour, giving interviews (see for example, an exclusive in two parts with Amy Browning) and leaving comments at a number of posts, which segues into another observation: these two authors are respected, maybe even admired. They are busy people but take time to participate in tours for other authors as they are able. They’re involved in ministry, through their writing and their every day lives. Their core values come through in their stories. They speak and tour and love Christ.
But back to the book. There also seems to be a common criticism of the book. Yes, criticism of a book we love.
One of the strengths of the CSFF Blog Tour is the fact that we aren’t a promotional arm of anything. We are an independent collection of bloggers interested in highlighting the best of Christian speculative fiction. Certainly our tastes differ. Some prefer adult fiction and others young adult or middle grade. Some like science fiction, some would rather read an urban fantasy and others classic stories reminiscent of the hero’s journey. Some want stories with overt Christianity, others prefer a more subtly inclusion of faith themes.
So when this group of eclectic readers review the featured books, we often have criticisms–which holds true for Curse of the Spider King. And yet, perhaps the harshest critic still praised the book, saying “This didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. It’s still a great adventure.”
While John (the above mentioned “harshest critic”) zeroed in on something few others mentioned, there was near universal criticism about the number of protagonists–a small thing, as it turned out. Nearly all of us, while confused at times, still felt the story overcame this weakness.
All in all, readers need to decide for themselves. Start by taking a closer look at what the tour participants had to say, the check out the book for yourself.
Brandon Barr/ Justin Boyer/ Amy Browning/ Valerie Comer/ Amy Cruson/ CSFF Blog Tour/ Stacey Dale/ D. G. D. Davidson/ Shane Deal/ Jeff Draper/ Emmalyn Edwards/ April Erwin/ Karina Fabian/ Todd Michael Greene/ Ryan Heart/ Timothy Hicks/ Becky Jesse/ Cris Jesse/ Jason Joyner/ Julie/ Carol Keen/ Krystine Kercher/ Tina Kulesa/ Melissa Lockcuff/ Rebecca LuElla Miller/ Mirtika/ Nissa/ John W. Otte/ Donita K. Paul/ Cara Powers/ Chawna Schroeder/ James Somers/ Robert Treskillard/ Fred Warren/ Jason Waguespac/ Phyllis Wheeler/ Jill Williamson/ KM Wilsher