Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Door Within Day 2

Okay so I did not sign up for the blog tour in time to get a copy of the trilogy (which was quite tragic as they are beeeeautiful, more on that tomorrow) but my ever so delightful mother did some speed reading over christmas so that I could take the first book home with me. Today we're going to talk about two things, the first being the use of allegory in christian fantasy and the second being YA books in general and what the target audience is.

The use of Allegory in Christian Fantasy
First off I'd like to pose a question. Why does every christian fantasy book seem to be an allegory? Is this the only way we can handle we can handle magic and dragons and whatnot? Are there still so many christians that think fantasy is the DEVIL so we need to be able to say "no no, it's not real! It's just a....parable...about Jesus!" Why is there no other way to get a message across and honestly...honestly does it have to have a message to be a christian book? Do we have to be so blatant? Can't we have a book where the story and the characters are the point of a book and not the message? This is why I don't read much christian literature, because you know what? I know the message. Most of the audience knows the message. GAH! Can't you just have characters who grow and evolve and learn things that could be insightful without THE AMAZING ALLEGORY ABOUT JESUS?

Okay sorry, didn't mean to rant so much there. If you must have an allegory (and we must...) then Wayne did a pretty good job. His allegory isn't so much about Jesus and how he died but retold as fantasy story as it is about sharing your faith with others and how people are influenced towards salvation. This is a good allegory for 12 year old christian kids as it's something they are actually faced with. Also, the story is fun and the characters are cute. And people die. Which is a good thing in a book full of battles, it gets a little silly in YA books when no one dies. My only gripe would be that there are a couple situations that I thought were a pretty big deal but the characters pretty much just shook their fists for a second and moved on.

YA Novels and Age Ranges

This is an excellent book if you are twelve. I'm not saying that sarcastically, I enjoyed the book, but if I were twelve I would have looooooved it. So here's my question. What's with christian YA books? My local christian book store doesn't have a YA section, there's a couple YA books in the two rows of adult fiction and then a kids section with picture books. So I really don't know much about it, but most of the christian YA books I've read seem to be for young teens or tweens or whatever we call them. Are there decent YA books for older teens? See when I was 12 or 13 I just stopped reading YA books and skipped straight to adult books and there didn't seem to be much in between. Now recently I've started looking at YA books again and there are a lot of books in the secular market for the 14 or even 16 to 18 range. Especially in the fantasy genre. And they're selling like hotcakes (I always wanted to say that....hotcakes!). Heck I'm buying them too, cause they're great books. Tithe by Holly Black, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer...all written by first time authors and all best sellers. AGATB and Twilight are #1 best sellers. Are there christian books taking advantage of this market? I'm honestly asking, can anyone recommend one to me? Because if we're not writing books at this level then we should be, everyone seems to think that the Harry Potter generation is still 12...and they're not.

Um. You should still buy these books, they're great, and sooooo pretty. I'm tempted to buy the set myself although I know it'll be a while before I have a kid of reading age, but so so pretty.