Tag Archives: Batson

The Last Stored by Sonia Poynter- Review

Here, learns some more stuff about this book:

Will’s winning chapter: 14-Jessimn the Healer, (Honorable mention: 31, 31)

Will’s winning character: Lin

Will’s worn out word: giggle

The 1-line Review:

An enjoyable quest/destiny high-fantasy that would have been perfected with just a touch more depth in a couple places.

The longer review:

I would specifically recommend this novel to girls that enjoy or are just getting into fiction fantasy. The Last stored has adventure, tension, some mystery, and a few budding romances mixed into an excellent high fantasy. The story has a Lord of the Rings meets Immortal Bones kind of feel. (Don’t read that as two stories blended into one, more like little ingredients similar in feel blended together in a new recipe)

The book would fall under the christian high fantasy genre. I enjoy christian fantasy when the allegory is more subtle. Poynter does an excellent job at incorporating her faith in subtle, enjoyable ways. (Subtle vs not subtle christian authors: Wayne Thomas Batson:subtle, Christopher Hopper: NOT subtle.)–hopefully this gives you a perspective on what I mean if you enjoy christian fantasy yourself.

Sonia Poynter’s novel The Last stored is a great debut novel for a new upcoming novel. She creates an alternate world filled with color and dimension past what can visually understand here on earth. Her character cast in not overly large or too small and I enjoyed many of the supporting cast. My favorite character was the supporting protagonist Lin; I actually think i found her and her relationship with Chaney(another support protagonist) more exciting that the main characters Amber and Cree. (Adventures of Lin spinoff!)

The main characters Amber  and Cree alternate chapters in first person to give a great perspective on the same story. the characters really evolve as a team as they journey together through the story.  Amber is the unsuspecting destiny child with great potential power. She is protected by Cree, the highly trained and sworn protector who has the ability to ride the wind, be invisible, and sense others energies. Cree is called a “Wind Rider” and his ability is called “blowing out,” very cool name for a power 🙂

The book culminates to a great  fight seen in the end. I found it to be the high point of the book (The end should be the most exciting part). Some fantasies have a lack luster ending, but this is not the case here!

Bottom Line:

The Last Stored is a great new high fantasy that I would highly recommend for girls on any age that enjoy christian fiction-fantasy. Very worth the read and I would suspect more in this series to come.

If you want my critiques of the book read on….

Where the book lost a star:

For this book it was all minor points and not a major plot issue. (That is a good thing!)

  • I think the very colorful world became less descriptive as the story went on. The world is vastly different from earth and I wanted to here more of the settings.
  • Much of Amber and Crees feeling toward each other were explained very staccato-like. Ex. “I love that about her.”  I wish there was a bit more poetic-ness about it, and that the the character relied more on there actions portraying there affections rather than there thoughts on each other. I think this is why I enjoyed the Lin-Chaney romance more, because we could only see in through Cree and Amber’s perspective.
  • The characters do much traveling and avoiding conflict. I would of liked to see one or two more Moriavis(dragon) or Ague(mindless soldiers) attack on the traveling group.
  • Amber was consistently referred to by her full name and the people of Tali said that is how they do it, but Fej, Dartlin, Fink, Lin, Chaney, Lorthis were never referred to by there full name from what I can remember.

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The Door Within (The Door Within Trilogy: book 1) Review

 4/5 stars

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.

Pros:

Easy reading page turner

Classically entertaining medieval fantasy

Likeable characters

Very well written allegory

Cons:

Some character clichés

Simpler story if you prefer adult fiction fantasy. (Not a problem for me, but for some it is)

The Long:

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!)

The Story:

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.

The Writing: 

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.

The Characters:

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.

Conclusion:

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!

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