Monthly Archives: July 2010

What Others Are Saying About Starlighter by Bryan Davis

blackeggI thought I’d save you readers a bit of work and go through the blog tour posts to date on Bryan Davis’s novel Starlighter, the subject of the CSFF blog tour this week.

I found a variety of opinions, some very favorable, others more reserved.  There fun talk from Fred Wilsher about dragons and how writers have written about them, and a fragment of a tale from fellow dragon writer Donita K. Paul about when she and Bryan went to a secular DragonCon.

I found out that Bryan Davis is a former computer guy turned teen dragon writer, and his favorite literary character is Atticus Finch. Now, I’m pretty fond of Atticus too.

So, take a look at the blog posts linked below to see what others have been saying.  Note: the tour lasts through tomorrow, so I am missing some.

Brandon Barr
Beckie Burnham “In discussing Starlighter with my husband, we explored the reasons behind what I deemed cons in the book. We came to the conclusion that the audience for which this book was written, young adults, probably would have no trouble with what I found distracting. Youth today often are exposed to fantasy and modern technology in their video games, movies, etc. and would welcome the blending of the two in this novel.”
Jeff Chapman
Jeff Chapman
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
Andrea Graham” The prince in the black egg: his nature is kept, probably deliberately, mysterious for most of the book—a prophecy hints at a sinister intent towards humans early on, but he plays nice guy, (the egg can talk, too) trying to sound like Jesus, but actually reversing the Lord’s teachings subtly. In the end, the author highlights this without being preachy. It does occur to me, were teens as stupid as all the telling early on would suggest, they might miss this subtly and think he’s the wise counselor he wants others to believe he is. I think not, though.”
Tori Greene
Nikole Hahn“It is a book with all of the right elements of a good story, and though it is considered a book for teens, I would recommend it for all ages.”
Julie
Carol Keen “Starlighter is good to read, and leaves you happily waiting for the next book in the series. Many aspects of human frailties and strengths were shown where they were easy to understand, and compared nicely to the traits of the dragons.”
Krystine Kercher “Bryan Davis’s new book, Starlighter, should win some kind of award for most memorable artwork. I’ve had this interesting conversation several times over with teens I know here recently. ‘You have the book with the black dragon’s egg on the front! No fair! That is so waaaaay cool…'”
Leighton “I will tell you that the MAIN reason that I wasn’t to enthusiastic about this book is the ending. The ending not only solved NOTHING, but mixed and matched the wrong people with and separated them without any word as to what became of Adrian!”
Leighton “I had trouble seeing any specific purpose in the plot or anything. There were some ‘Pro-Life’ comments and/or sentiments. That was good.”
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rebecca LuElla Miller “Betrayal makes for intriguing plot elements. Thinking of Starlighter in particular, I soon found myself questioning who was on the side of right and who the protagonists could actually trust.”
John W. Otte “Davis’s characters were fun, that’s for sure. I liked Koren’s dramatic streak and Jason’s nobility. Tibber the Fibber made me chuckle on more than one occasion. And I especially liked Elyssa.”
John W. Otte “In some ways, the book is an odd blend of fantasy and sci-fi that doesn’t quite mesh well enough and I think that’s why I ultimately had problems really getting into the book.”
Donita K. Paul “I first met Bryan Davis in 2004. We were both braving the very secular DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the teen track.”
Donita K. Paul“I love names. Making up names for my characters is probably the most fun of writing a book. Here are a few names from Starlighter to arouse your curiosity.”
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Rachel Starr Thomson “Starlighter is an engaging story, made especially so by its cast of characters. It’s a clean read, appropriate for any reader who can handle a little (non-gory) violence and scariness. Davis writes with good humour and plenty of heart.”
Steve Trower
Steve Trower “It’s the Top Ten Starlight Songs!”
Fred Warren “As for the dragons, their prophecy of a powerful new prince who will usher in a golden age of prosperity is about to be fulfilled. Unfortunately, that shining utopia has no room for humans.”
Fred Warren Comparing the dragons in this book to a variety of other portrayals. “Davis’ dragons are actually rather human, underneath all those scales, and just as ethically conflicted.” “What is a race of creatures hobbled by limited fine motor skills and lacking any visible industry or manufacturing capability doing with all this advanced tech?” “My inner Frodo is okay with the mystery, but my inner Spock needs it all to add up. There are three installments of the Dragons of Starlight series yet to come, so I’m willing to wait for the explanation.”
Dona Watson
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
Jill Williamson interviewing the author: “You have the chance to spend the day with any character from one of your favorite books (not one you’ve written). Who would you choose and why?” Author: “I would choose Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a loving father who displayed the highest moral character in the face of hate-filled opposition. ”
KM Wilsher

Author blog for Bryan Davis

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xjy/3518111488/

Starlighter by Bryan Davis, a Review

starlighter

Starlighter by Bryan Davis, a review
First book in the series Dragons of Starlight
Published 2010 by Zondervan, 400 pages
Genre:  Christian fantasy/sci fi, Young Adult appealing also to adults

This tale is told in two different worlds, neither one of them our world.  One, the home of dragons, is a place of woe and slavery for humans; the other, the home of humans, is under tyranny, at least in the location we are told about.

At some point in the past, the dragons found a gateway between the two worlds and stole some humans to start their slave colony. They required the work of human slaves to do what they could not: mine deep into their ground and release a gas that the dragons need for life, which was dwindling in their atmosphere.

In both worlds, the story of the Lost Ones is considered a fable; the human slaves think they have always been slaves on the dragon planet, and the world they left considers their story to be a fable as well.

The writer develops heroes on each world, focusing on Jason, a teenager from the human world, and Koren, a 15-year-old girl from the slave world. Jason and his two older brothers are trained warriors who want to bring the Lost Ones back. Jason risks his own lives repeatedly for the mission.  Koren, meanwhile, has amazing storytelling gifts, and so is called the Starlighter on her world.  There is  a  black dragon egg, and prophecies about great or terrible things that will happen when it hatches.

Is this science fiction or fantasy? The book contains many classic fantasy tale elements: sentient dragons, skilled medieval-style swordsmen, a gateway between worlds, and so on. It also contains science fiction elements: gadgets such as a photo gun that doesn’t work very well, and a recording device that allows Jason to see a video of his older brother’s message from the dragon world.  There’s also some kind of gas lighting that lights up homes of the nobility.

The Christian worldview? It’s there. Koren, at least, has a strong faith in a creator God.  There are some references to the Code, apparently a version of the Bible which Koren and her fellow slaves pass around and memorize. Jason’s faith, in contrast, isn’t drawn as strongly. Perhaps it will develop more in future books.

This opening book in the series doesn’t have a major resolution, but points to the books that will follow. Eventually I got into this book and did not want to put down–it has plenty of suspenseful moments. My only objection to it is that I found Jason and his brothers’ obsession with helping the Lost Ones to be a bit unrealistic.  They were risking their lives big time to rescue some people they had never met. Is altruism that strong a motivator?–Phyllis Wheeler

This review is part of the Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy (CSFF) Blog Tour. Please check out what others on the tour are saying:

Brandon Barr
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
R. L. Copple
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Leighton
Jane Maritz
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
SarahFlan
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher

Author blog for Bryan Davis

American Christian Fiction Writers conference coming up

I will be going to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in September. I’m all excited about it!  As my readers of this blog may or may not know, I am an aspiring fiction writer.

I’ve got a story I’m working on writing, hoping to have a good strong draft ready by time for the conference.  There are many like me.  Three of us from Missouri are going to drive together over to Indianapolis.

I joined ACFW last October and bought the conference audios from last year. I’ve listened to them many times over now. What a wealth of information for a beginner like me! I also have gotten a lot out of the email groups that ACFW offers for free.  It’s a great organization for aspiring Christian writers, no matter what your genre.