CSFF Blog Tour – The Shadow and Night, Day 3

Is it me, or do these blog tours really get better and better? That’s a real question. I know I’m biased, but here’s what I see. Bloggers are genuinely entering into discussion about British author Chris Walley‘s Christian science fiction The Shadow and Night.

Once upon a time, the tour consisted mostly of standard reviews, with an occasional author interview. Now, bloggers are interacting with the book—”This is what the book made me think about” or “I noticed the author did this or that.” Then commenters are chiming in with agreement or disagreement or a new view on the subject. It’s … it’s … book buzz! 😀

I point that out because, as you may suspect, not all buzz is positive. When you start interacting with a work, you also voice the cons as much as the pros. I don’t view this as a black mark on the tour at all, especially in light of the standard PR quip: No PR is bad PR.

I mention this at all because as I’ve roamed about the blogsphere reading what others on the tour are saying, I see a consistent opinion expressed: the pace of The Shadow and Night is slow. Surprisingly, some look at this as a weakness while others view it as a strength. But even those who saw it as a weakness commented that they were so glad they stayed with the story through the slow parts because the pay-off later on was well worth it.

There have also been some comments saying that Walley has become a new favorite author or that the blogger has already ordered the next two books in the trilogy. Great stuff. The pace, for a good number of these bloggers, was not a factor that spoiled the story.

Another topic that has come up several times is the eschatological position of the book, since it starts off 11,000 years in the future and during a long run of peace after the Intervention that bound Satan. Sin still causes disease and death, but that’s about it. The opening chapters, then, portray characters at peace with one another and with God, not filled with gut-wrenching desires blocked at every turn. In other words, characters with next to no conflict. As tour participant John Otte said, he found himself rooting for evil—not to win, but just to show up.

At this point, I do want to interject, I thought the arrival of evil was foreshadowed appropriately. I thought there was an undercurrent of tension—change of some sort was on the way, but what exactly that would be … well, readers are going to have to be patient.

This reduced conflict, however, brings up another question. Are stories about Christians acting as Christians should, destined to be slow paced? Does evil always have to show up? Or can a story show in a gripping way the struggle with the evil that’s already there, in each character’s heart?

Some bloggers think that’s what Walley was able to accomplish. But my question remains. To pull this off, of necessity, must the pace then be slow?

Your thoughts?

Take time this week to see what other CSFF’ers are saying about The Shadow and Night: Brandon Barr Jim Black Justin Boyer Grace Bridges Jackie Castle Carol Bruce Collett Valerie Comer CSFF Blog Tour Gene Curtis D. G. D. Davidson Janey DeMeo Jeff Draper April Erwin Beth Goddard Marcus Goodyear Rebecca Grabill Jill Hart Katie Hart Michael Heald Timothy Hicks Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Kait Carol Keen Mike Lynch Margaret Rachel Marks Shannon McNear Melissa Meeks Mirtika Pamela Morrisson Eve Nielsen John W. Otte John Ottinger Deena Peterson Rachelle Steve Rice Ashley Rutherford Chawna Schroeder James Somers Rachelle Sperling Donna Swanson Steve Trower Speculative Faith Robert Treskillard Jason Waguespac Laura Williams Timothy Wise

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