Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reflection's Edge Day 3

Not having anything further myself to say about the YA spec fic novel Beyond the Reflection's Edge, I'll point you to a few blogs that are more interesting than mine.

Stacey Dale posted an interesting interview with the book's author, Bryan Davis.

Another interview was posted by Shane Deal. I chose not to go to the direct link for you on that--the interview is on Day One--because Shane posted interesting content three days. On the third day he chose to analyze the names chosen by the author.

Ask Andrea discusses the reasons Christian parents might (or might not) want their young teens to read this novel.

At the blog Fantasy Thyme, Timothy Hicks looks at different aspects each day as well: the amount of research Davis put into his real-life settings, for example, and the character arcs for the major players.

Steve Rice also runs three interesting posts, today's post being about some of the theological conundrums that the novel raises. Personally, I'm with the camp that if the author can cause the reader to suspend disbelief, the story can work anyway. I don't think most folk, teens or otherwise, or suddenly going to start believing in alternate dimensions after reading this novel and its successors. Or start jumping through mirrors. My issues with the suspension of disbelief (as noted on Day One) were more to the line of the story continuing to bounce into reality, which loosened my grip on that suspension.

Interestingly enough, Chawna Schroeder asked Davis a question about the multiple dimensions and why he chose them. He says:
In the Echoes from the Edge series, I wanted to do a bit of time travel, but every time travel story I have read contains at least one paradox, and the impossibility of the situations always took away from the story. So, I invented parallel worlds that existed at different points in time, allowing my characters to travel, in a sense, through time. If they altered something in the past, it didn’t create a paradox, because their actions didn’t affect their own world.

These journeys fulfilled my hope to expand readers’ spiritual vision while exploring the great “what if” questions without an annoying logical impossibility. Alternate realms allowed for a generous dose of the coolness factor while still providing a sense of reality, because my characters kept going back to the real world. I think readers enjoy that, because the story does the same for them, providing a doorway to another world from the safety of their reading chairs.

Greg Slade says this: I'm trying to figure out a way to describe this book, and I'm really tempted to say, "take equal parts of Indiana Jones, Spy Kids, and the X-Files, blend at high speed, and leave spinning." He also comments on what he sees as the book's flaws: Do I have gripes? Well, yes, but they don't strike me as exactly fair: personally, I find the pace a little too breakneck, but I'm no fan of thrillers, and Davis is writing one, so complaining that it's too thrilling is, well, just showing my prejudices. I'm also frustrated that so much of the backstory remains untold, but this is only the first book in the series, and if it revealed all the mysteries, why would people even bother to read the second one?

Robert Treskillard asked his 14 year-old son to review the novel. Great idea, getting the goods directly from the target audience!


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

A good summary of key posts, Val. Thanks for pointing your readers to those sites.

BTW, I'll be putting up a poll later today, so sometime in the next week, I hope you and your readers will take time to vote for the CSFF October Top Blogger Award.


Andrea Graham said...

Actually, some teens might try, but they'll expect it to work only about as seriously as the teen expects to see bloody Mary in the mirror. Of course, if I had my choice between kids messing with the occult and trying to open a box in a mirror and such, I'd much rather they played with the latter.