Friday, July 20, 2007

The Spectrum Chronicles, Part I

Title: Light Weaver

Series: The Spectrum Chronicles #1

Author: Thomas Locke

Genre: YA (13-16) Alternate Reality/Allegory

Chapter 1 of Light Weaver:

Dan flung open the van door and slid inside on legs both wet and numb. He fumbled with the keys, then had to stop and blow on his hands before he could fit the right key into the starter. The motor ground slowly, as cold as he was. “Please,” Dan muttered. “Just this once, okay?”

Resentfully the motor grumbled into life. The heater threw out fitful breaths of stale air. The windshield wipers smeared great fat snowflakes into wet streaks across his vision. As far as Dan knew, the van had not been driven since the early summer. When he had been assigned the van three days ago, he had discovered a banana peel in the back, left long enough to have turned black and hard as coal. The van was old and cranky and should have been scrapped long ago. But somebody at the head office had decided it was fine for part-timers working the Christmas rush.

Dan checked his schedule of pickups and deliveries, using a pocket flashlight he had thought to bring along. The van’s own inside light had about as much power as a firefly. Even though it was barely past mid-afternoon, the day was already dimming, gray and sullen. Dan hit his turn signal and checked the flow of traffic as best he could through the steamed-up windows. He gunned the motor and drove off.

A car accident flings a college student into an alternate world where he is mistaken as a knight on a great quest to save the land.

The Writing: The writing in Light Weaver is okay. The plot is straight forward, even if a bit predictable, but the climax felt like a let-down—the protagonist achieved his goal too easily. The points of view are clearly defined, which is nice. The characters, though likeable, strike me as flat.

The strongest point of the writing is some of the dialogue and the delightful humor sprinkled throughout, especially as it is contained in a secondary character by the name of Napoleon.

The Story: Light Weaver is clearly marked and intended as an allegory, where everything in the in the alternate world carries a parallel in ours. This can make for some preachiness, but it is also considered the “safest” form of fantasy/sci-fi, since the biblical principles and spiritual aspect is especially clear.

Summary: A safe story with mediocre writing—it makes for an entertaining afternoon read that may or may not be worth your time.

Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars

Still interested in Light Weaver? Click here.

(Click to see reviews for Book 2, Book 3, and Book 4.)

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