Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Rise of the Dibor by Christopher Hopper
I've been looking for Rise of the Dibor for a couple of years, since I started running into the author, Christopher Hopper, online. He's a youth pastor in northern New York state and someone who loves and follows God with deep passion. He's also a worship leader and recording artist with eight cds.
I was intrigued by the premise for Hopper's novel: What if Adam and Eve had never sinned? Would Satan still have found a way to enter the world? This fantasy novel takes place on Dionia, a sister-world to Earth, and shows how evil enters a pure and beautiful world. Luik and a group of his peers are trained to be Dibor, an elite force trained to do battle against the deceit of Morgui.
The novel gets out to a slow start. This is both good and bad, because Hopper's intent (I'm sure!) is to show the world of Dionia before Morgui becomes strong there. And a perfect world, sadly, is a boring world. I found I skimmed parts of the first couple of chapters, especially a game of rokla sportscast in great detail. (If you want to know how rokla is played, read the novel!)
Even if you don't care (and I didn't), you'll likely enjoy this richly imagined tale. Once things get rolling, Luik finds himself in the thick of things that come to a head after various people disappear and Morgui's army prepares to attack the capital city of Dionia. The skirmishes and battles are described as thoroughly as the rokla and to much better effect :) I'm looking forward to reading book 2, The Lion Vrie, which just so happens to be at my local library waiting for me.
One negative I really noticed with this novel is that it badly needed a fine-toothed comb edit pass as it was full of the kind of errors spell check doesn't catch. I was constantly pulled out of the story with homonym errors such as manor for manner, to name only one that happened numerous times. Punctuation errors such as missing periods and quotation marks did little to help me relax into the story. Still, the plot and characters exerted their effort to pull me back each time.
The third novel is out soon (sorry, I can't remember the title!) and Hopper is also contracted by Thomas Nelson to cowrite a Young Adult fantasy series with noted author Wayne Thomas Batson. The first novel in this series is out in the fall of 2009.