The Door Within, by Wayne Thomas Batson is a christian young adult fantasy from Thomas Nelson.
Now some may say, "why are you reviewing this book on P.O.D.LINGS?"
Well, to be honest, a good book is a good book and with few submissions I'm willing to review recently from the POD sector of self publishers and small presses, I figure people are still looking for a good book and this, my friends, is a good book.
First off, I have to say that all three books in this series, in the hardcover, are just beautiful to look at. I mean these are the kind you want to keep for years, for when your kids start reading. This should give a lesson on book design for small presses and self publishers. The cover and formatting and total book design is very important and goes that much further toward people seeing you as a professional and to be taken seriously. Now to the review...
The Door Within takes us on a pure allegorical ride with young Aidan who is described as sort of pudgy and an underdog, but when he gets into "The Realm" where glimpses dwell, he becomes a great hero. Now, the young underdog becoming a hero storyline is not new, but it can still be done well and Batson delivers. People say this is like the Chronicles of Narnia and what they mean is probably "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" but I've come to believe that people search for these archtypes of particular genres to compare new books to and perhaps for reference sake that's not so bad...so long as people don't automatically think "rip-off" of some other book. This book is it's own story and a good one. The pace is quick and although the knight-speak is heavy handed and seems stilted somewhat, the fact is, it's Knights that are speaking and so there you go. There's a rich world of wonderful characters, good knights, bad Knights, creatures you'd hate to meet in a dark cave and eerie places you'd be glad to read about, but would never want to visit. Wayne Batson is a world builder in this series and he's done a great job of helping readers to explore it with interest intact!
For any Christian with a decent knowledge of the Bible, the allegory will be very transparent yet handled in a creative and interesting way that only adds to the story. But even non-christians will enjoy this wonderful series because in the end it's fun and to be able to finish a book and say, "that was fun to read, I want to read the next" is what matters most!