Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour

Wow, it's that time again already, and it's the last day of the tour and I'm behind. But I'm here now. This month, the book we're pimpin' is D. Barkley Briggs's The Book of Names. This handy little guide can help any expecting parent pick out a name for the little one on the way. It gives a complete breakdown of popular names, including their origins and meanings, but also features a lengthy section on excellent but less common names. After that, it gives thorough lists and brief information on common names from various countries around the world.

For reasons unknown even to me, I happen to be fond of Astrid for girls and Rex for boys, but you may have a different opinion.

We should all thank Mr. Briggs for putting together such a handy guide...

Oh, wait. My bad. It turns out The Book of Names is a fantasy novel and I temporarily got this mixed up with my other blog.

You can see Briggs's website here and his blog here.

In sum, the novel features two adolescent boys who follow four ravens through an ancient gateway that leads into another, magical universe. The Christian Fantasy Review compares it to Lewis and Tolkien (yawn), but the premise sounds to me more reminiscent of George MacDonald's Lilith. This alternate magical universe, Karac Tor, is being overrun by the forces of eee-vil, led by a witch who's stealing names from a sacred book. Still reminds me of Lilith here, but I mean, names from a book? Can't we maybe suck blood or steal babies or something cool like that?

Okay, I admit I'm having trouble locating a plot summary that really grabs me (note: give me a concrete hook with less touchy-feely), so maybe I'll have to read it and decide for myself. One thing we can say is that is has really cool artwork by Brian Toy, so that's a plus. You can also get the first three chapters for free.

Let's check out chapter 1, shall we? First, after a rather nice map, we find a lengthy poem. Not really a very good poem.

Skipping the poem, we get down to the chapter itself, which focuses on Hadyn Barlowe, a young lad busy with his chores, which happen to include clearing a briar patch. The chapter focuses largely on Hadyn's attempt to describe the weather. He finally ends up with the metaphor of "A three-day-old slice of cheese."


The chapter picks up toward the end as the plot gets underway. It isn't especially compelling and spends too much time with the protagonist brooding before I know him well enough to care what he's brooding about, but on the whole it's not bad and might be worth a further read.

Here's Your Tour:

Sally Apokedak
Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Alice M. Roelke
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Timothy Wise
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