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

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5 thoughts on “Starlighter by Bryan Davis, a Review

  1. Bryan Davis

    Thank you for participating in this blog tour!

    It’s great to see a detailed review like this. I appreciate it.

    Regarding your final question, “Is altruism that strong a motivator?”

    I think it is. 🙂

    Bryan Davis

  2. Jill Williamson

    That’s a good point, Phyllis. At first I thought that Jason was motivated to find the other world because he wanted to find his friend Elyssa. But he found her in the dungeon and then still wanted to find the gateway. But these guys were trained to be heroes. Medieval knights would have died for people they didn’t know. I think most people today likely wouldn’t, but it’s good for us to read about people who would. Gets us thinking that we should be like that.

  3. Pingback: CSFF Blog Tour – Starlighter by Bryan Davis, Day 1 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction

  4. Rebecca LuElla Miller

    I like Jill’s spin–they were trained to be noble. But the truth is, apart from God’s intervention in our lives, we aren’t motivated to be altruistic. That trait in itself eludes us.

    If we have the trait of altruism, as Bryan must believe we do, then where did it come from? Not from our sinful selves.

    Jesus said that some might die for their friends but only He died for those who were His enemies, those who were sinners. So what would prompt another to give his life? I can see fathers willing to die for their children. But only the love of Christ could compel someone to sacrifice for a stranger, I think.

    Becky

  5. Bryan Davis

    You might remember that the final motivation for Jason was
    seeing Frederick in the Courier tube. His primary motivation
    became searching for him. Seeking to save his brother is still
    altruistic, but maybe more people will be willing to accept
    that added element.

    Becky, as you might know, I believe that God can and does
    cleanse us so we can have pure hearts and altruistic
    motivations. I know you have seen such characters drawn in
    my Dragons in our Midst and Oracles of Fire series. It’s
    pretty normal for me. 🙂

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