CSFF Blog Tour – The Door Within Trilogy

What a happy blogger I am! 😀 Another fantasy blog tour! And this is one I’ve been anticipating for some time now … for a number of reasons.

First, we are featuring, not one book, but three. Yep, author Wayne Thomas Batson made available to CSFF BT reviewers twelve sets of his Door Within Trilogy—a very generous offer.

Second, these books are beautiful!

    Door Within
  • The Door Within
  • Rise of the Wyrm Lord

  • Rise of the Wyrm Lord
    • Final Storm
  • The Final Storm
  • Third, this story—and it is close to a true trilogy, with three books telling one story—is one of the best I’ve read in a while. Mind you, Batson is a new author, and there are a few writing glitches, so I’m not talking here about craft. I mean the STORY is excellent. It is far from predictable, has moments of brilliance, is certainly imaginative, and deals with spiritual truth in a way that is not sugarcoated.

    I had anticipated reviewing each book separately, one for each day of the tour, but because of the nature of the trilogy, I have a hard time separating the books. Still, I’ll give it a shot.

    One thing I particularly liked about the series was that each book was better than the one before it, which tells me, Batson is not resting on his laurels, or content with being just an OK writer. He’s willing to study and to learn which results in better and better writing.

    All that to say, yes, there are flaws in The Door Within, but nothing that prevents a reader from enjoying the story.

    The protagonist Aidan, a youth who has struggled for peer acceptance until he met his best friend Robby, must move across country with his family because his grandfather is gravely ill. In the midst of his frustration and anger at having to leave a situation where he has finally begun to gain acceptance, he discovers a set of scrolls, and with his grandfather’s help learns how to enter the door within.

    Then his adventure begins.

    Strengths. The Door Within is an inventive story, with an intriguing concept of glimpses—twins of each human, residing in the Mirror Realm, separated at the Great Schism.

    Batson’s story is filled with action, easily followed, and abundant good-versus-evil conflict. The world he creates is interesting, if not particularly unique, and he populated it with believable characters, some more likeable than others. His most amazing creation, in my opinion, is Falon, an unpredictable creature that is foreshadowed well, with proper hints of the power and danger of which she is capable.

    Weaknesses. Most of the writing/craft problems are minor irritants—repetition, especially of names, some dialogue that exists to inform the reader rather than fit with who the character is—but there is one problem that pulled me from the story. Some things happen without foreshadowing or motivation. Happily these occurrences are more and more infrequent as the trilogy continues.

    Considering The Door Within as a stand-alone, I recommend the book to all ages, Christian and non-Christian. As the first book in an outstanding trilogy, I’d push that to Highly Recommend.

    Be sure to take time to drop in on other bloggers participating in this month’s tour:

    Published in: on January 22, 2007 at 10:37 am  Comments (8)  

    8 Comments

    1. Great review, Becky. I can’t wait to read the books aloud with my daughter. (This is only my second blog tour, and I’m still waiting for his books to arrive from Amazon!)

      The weaknesses you mentioned actually intrigued me. What I’ve read and heard from the series already is stylized, but not necessarily what I’d consider a weakness. But then, I’m still waiting on my copies.

      Most of all, I’m just glad that a major CBA publisher is putting some weight behind a writer like Wayne. From the little amount of time I’ve spent with him, he definitely deserves it!

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    2. Interesting, and good notes about the weaknesses – I find this happens often in an authors first novel or so. It’s good to hear that he progresses past that stage – some successful authors don’t (yikes!). I’ll definitely be tuning in to see what you have to say about the rest of the series! 🙂

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    3. Always informative, Becky! I hate to say that for me personally, I think the story took too long to walk through the door. I was really impatient to just get into the real story if you know what I mean. LOL

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    4. Great critique, Becky, and thanks! (oops, I used another exclamation point.) 😉

      And a HUGE thank you for noting improvement through the books. I really do want to get better at the craft. My editors have taught me much, but I still have a LONG way to go.

      And Beth, I mention what you said to my editors. If I had had it my way, it would have been three more chapters before Aidan entered The Realm. My editors pushed it along. Thank God for editors.

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    5. Hey, Wayne, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree with Beth and your editors. In a fantasy, it’s apparent to those of us who have read much that something fantastical has to be a part of the story—most often in the protagonist entering another world (unless the story takes place entirely in another world, a la Karen Hancock), so naturally we’re expecting and waiting for that element.

      I wasn’t particularly happy with Aiden’s treatment of his dad or Grampin either, so that increased my desire to see him enter the door.

      Mark, I’ll be interested in your thoughts about the books when they come. If you post a review, I’d appreciate you letting me know.

      And I agree with you, Kait. (It’s actually one of the advantages of NOT having published my first novel, because now that I have more experience as a writer, I can fix some of those things.) That Wayne is making each of his books better is a real credit to him as a writer.

      Becky

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    6. Again, thanks. I owe a lot to my editors at Nelson: Beverly Phillips and June Ford. They are both very good at what they do. I find myself thinking like them as I write. lol

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    7. Heh heh heh—you’re an editor’s dream, then. 😀

      Becky

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    8. […] Thomas Batson, author of The Door Within Trilogy, The Isle of Swords, The Isle of Fire, and Christopher Hopper, author of The White Lion Chronicles […]

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