Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Review: Sword in the Stars, Part 2

So, here's Part 2 of my book review on Sword in the Stars.  (Read the first part here.) I'm just listing random thoughts about the book, more or less in the order they occurred to me as I read it.

* Throughout the book, Batson uses a lot of strong, powerful, universal themes. I thought they were very effective in making the story more real and relatable. Some examples: judgmental and legalistic religion, the "evils" of drunkenness, forgiveness, love, (those two went hand in hand), healthy marriages, redemption, sacrifice/heroism, thirst for power, parenting/growing up/family.

* I actually didn't like the cover (shown above). It was a really good book (especially once you get about 1/3-1/2 of the way through), and I somehow didn't feel like the cover really represented that. But, there is some fun symbolism on the cover. It was fun when it suddenly clicked for me, after I had begun reading the book: "Oh, that's what that means on the cover!"

* The romance in this book I actually liked. That means a lot coming from me; I'm normally very annoyed with romance in books. In this book, the romance is not cheap, it's not obnoxious, it's not silly, it's not pointless, and it's not sensual or focused chiefly on appearances or feelings. On the contrary, it is quite the opposite. It is not about a couple kids or teens becoming infatuated with each other; it's about two grown people who are old enough and mature enough to get married. It is a picture of what a right, healthy romantic relationship should look like, in my opinion. It does not feel like it was just thrown in there JUST for the sake of adding romance; it very much has to do with the story, and again, it is a picture of a good relationship. It actually helps illustrate one of the biggest themes -- if not THE biggest theme -- of the book (that being redemption). It is about true love; true love for who someone is, for the honorable traits in them; true love that develops slowly. 

* Allastair (the main protagonist) is such an amazing, heroic, sacrificial, honorable character! He embodies a strong, STRONG roll model that is painfully, sorely lacking in many books and movies today. (You just have to keep reading the book before you realize what a good character he is... he certainly isn't perfect, just like any real person isn't perfect, and some of his imperfections stand out strongly at the beginning of the book. But you have to keep reading... I found myself admiring him at the end.)

* Just gotta say, if you're a fan of Wayne Batson's writing, you should definitely read this book. :-)

* The ending is awesome. There was a realization at the end that had to do with the evil in the book... it left me stunned and disturbed... quite a bomb to drop on the reader right as the book ends. :-)

Conclusion: This books successfully passes my strict book-critiquing standard. I label it: highly recommended.  5 out of 5 stars. *applause* *cheers*

Over and out,