A Christian-fantasy novel by Wayne Thomas Batson that is entertaining for Christians and non-Christians alike. (Coming from a reader who does not typically read Christian novels.) The Door Within is action packed from start to finish and is filled with good morals and lessons.
The hybrid of Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings. The Door within is a magical fantasy read that is enjoyable for all ages. It is an easy read for children and tweens who might find The Lord of The Rings a confusing book to read at their age level.
The Door Within might feel too simple if you only enjoy reading at the level of Tolkien and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.
Easy reading page turner
Classically entertaining medieval fantasy
Very well written allegory
Some character clichés
Simpler story if you prefer adult fiction fantasy. (Not a problem for me, but for some it is)
Wayne Thomas Batson’s first novel has characters and plots similar to The Chronicles of Narnia, while being set in a real that show similarities to Middle-Earth. The story is just plain enjoyable, especially for a middle school boy. The realm that Batson creates is one than any imaginative boy dreams of going to himself; a place where you can go from an ordinary kid to a heroic knight.
Batson fills his story with a cast of likable and straight forward heroes. The villain characters are also very straightforward. Good is good and bad is bad; there is not as much in-between in this novel.
While the realm in The Door Within holds similarities to other reals, Batson creates unique concepts in this storyline. Particularly the main beings or the realm, glimpses, and their ability to change eye color based on allegiance.
This is a novel I did not want to end. I was excited and eagerly anticipated the second novel, which did not disappoint. (Review for that one to come!)
Aidan is the quintessential, average grade school kid. He has a relationship with his parents you have seen in novels before. His family uproots him from his new school to move to Colorado to aid his sick grandfather. He finds 3 scrolls that, after reading, bring him to a parallel realm called Alleble. He is chosen as the 12th knight in a quest to unite a neighboring land with Alleble to help fight the tide of the villainous Paragor.
Batson’s realm might feel a little lighter than Middle-earth, but contains very unique and original ideas as well. The inhabitants are called Glimpses, which are a humans’ other-realm counterpart. A human and his glimpse may not be in the same real at the same time. If one dies, so does the other. Some religions and past cultures have similar beliefs. Glimpses are a similar concept to Grimes from Moroccan folklore.
Glimpses have a good, neutral, or bad relationship with King Eliam (the god-like character.) A glimpses eyes change color depending on allegiance. Blue for good; green for neutral, and red for bad. I love this was to portray character affiliation. The concept felt original compared to other fantasies I have read.
Batson uses plenty of allegory in his writing. Most of the allegory flows very well, and some of it is unnoticeable to a reader who does not commonly read Christian works. Other Christian novels I have read fell to preachy to me. The Door within did not feel like this at any point. There is no doubt that Batson found a perfect writing style to satisfy Christian and non-Christian readers alike.
The writing is very appropriate for the 9-15 age level. Not too complex, but enough so that it can challenge a young reads vocabulary. There are lessons and morals woven throughout that teach valuable lessons while providing a likable story.
Batson’s character are mostly straight forward. With the exception of one or two, they are either clearly good or clearly evil. Batson’s characters are believable personas and feel natural despite the lack of internal struggle between good vs. evil.
Many of the hero characters will share resemblances to characters you have read before. Whether or not I believed some of the character were clichés, I found that I really liked who they were and how they acted throughout the story. Perfect examples would be Knock and Bolt, who share commonalities to elven archers such as Legolas. These 2 were my favorite characters of the 12 chosen knights of Alleble. I found myself wanting to visit the Yewland and meet this pair of archers.
Aidan Thomas- may come off as too unhappy a kid. He feels like an average 13 year old despite his unhappiness. Teen boys will be able to relate to his averageness. The move to Colorado feels like an occurrence that is believable in an everyday setting. He evolves into a heroic character throughout the novel.
Robby- Aidan’s friend from back home in Maryland. A popular boy who was one of the only good things in Aiden’s life until the move to Colorado.
Paragor- The villain character. He is a classical all-evil destroy everything for power type of guy.
King Eliam- the God/Jesus like character. Ruler of Alleble, the real of good. Believers of the one true king have eyes that glint green.
Captain Valithor- Captain of the 12 chosen knights, the Elder guard. A great character for Aidan to look up to as he develops into a hero. Valithor is a strong and dependable leader for the team.
Gwenne- The love interest of Aiden. She is a reliable Glimpse warrior on the Elder Guard team of 12.
This hardcover is one of my favorites. The pages of the novel are printed to look old and scroll-like. The extra effort for presentation makes this a great novel to have in hardcover displayed on a prominent shelf.
Knights, dragons, huge battles, a budding love interest, and a struggle between good vs. evil. All the makings of a great fantasy series. An easy page turner that has me excited for the next installment. I have suggested this book to most of my family, and everyone has loved it!
This was one of my first and favorite YA fiction reads!