A CSFF BOOK REVIEW: I received a free ebook of The Bone House from the publisher for review through the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour. Yes, I would love to have the hardback edition (and will most likely buy it), but I’m doing 100% of my reading on my iPad these days.

If Lawhead writes it, I read it.

Why? I haven’t completely figured that out yet, at least form a technical standpoint. And trust me, I’m trying. As a writer, you’re always “reading to write,” and glean what you can form the masters. But my hunch is simply this: Because Steve takes me somewhere.

Another reason is that while the markets are focused on authors who’re writing in publishing’s flavor of the month, Steve comes out and writes in something altogether un-trendy. And hits a home run. So add to the mystic equation his allure of “the other” and perhaps I’m a few steps closer to defining why I appreciate Lawhead.

The Bone House – picking up where The Skin Map left off in the Bright Empires pentalogy – is a unique sell. Not high fantasy, not modern sci-fi, it’s better termed – as son Ross Lawhead deemed it – Science Fantasy.

TBH (and TSM) reads more like classic literature than candy-written pop. Pacing is slower – and sometimes disjointed – and the main characters are not always the focus (or the point). Likewise, they’re surprisingly normal, which adds to the intrigue: what would I do in a situation where I’m flung across time and space simply because I walked a particular side-street in London at just the right meter?

Which adds to Lawhead’s great genius of answering my fundamental question as a creator: Is it plausible?

If I can’t see myself responding the way the characters are responding, I grow disconnected as a reader. And ultimately unconcerned – the worst possible state as a watcher. More fascinating is Lawhead’s ability to help me identify with both someone born in the 2oth century and someone born in the 16th century, all while having a conversation among themselves that makes perfect sense, due in part to the awkwardness of it all. Needless to say, a great deal of thought was put into character and historical development.

In TBH, ley-line travel is becoming more of a learned science – albeit fledgling – and the reader feels slightly more comfortable in the multiverse. I find Lawhead’s use of theoretical science of great value, much the way Michael Crichton implemented it (Timeline still being one of my all-time favorite novels).

And what Lawhead tome would be complete without some real life historical references, like famed multi-genius Thomas Young? Because the lines are greyed between what Lawhead has made up and what he’s incorporated from history, I always find myself saying, “Wait, this isn’t legit…is it?”

Definitely worth buying, reading, and pondering. But then again, I’m biased. ch:

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Jeff Chapman
Carol Bruce Collett
Karri Compton
D. G. D. Davidson
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Janeen Ippolito
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Katie McCurdy
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant


mooney · 24 Oct ’11 at 7:23 pm

Lawhead is incredible. I picked up a copy of this online not realizing it’s a sequel. You have a copy of TSM i can borrow?

    Christopher Hopper · 24 Oct ’11 at 7:56 pm

    For sure! Except I lent it out. I think Bekah Berthet has it.

      mooney · 24 Oct ’11 at 8:58 pm

      sweet. I think it was you who first introduced me to Lawhead’s work, and I thank you. His historical fiction is unparalleled.

Robert Treskillard · 25 Oct ’11 at 12:20 pm

Chris! Glad to see you back on the tour! I don’t know how you find the time to do everything. I heard book 3 of the Berinfell Prophecies is under works … woo-hoo!

    Christopher Hopper · 25 Oct ’11 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks, Robert. I don’t know, either. So if you figure it out, let me know. (Though I only pop up on CSFF for the occasional book, I wish it was more).

Rebecca LuElla · 26 Oct ’11 at 1:35 pm

I’m with Robert, Christopher — very glad you popped up for this tour. I like your assessment of Lawhead books. They definitely are not the flavor of the month, and I’m happy they continue to be successful, regardless.


CSFF Blog Tour – The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead, Day 1 « A Christian Worldview of Fiction · 24 Oct ’11 at 6:45 pm

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