Brett Armstrong's Reviews > A Great Light

A Great Light by Jennifer  Ball
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it was amazing

I like to believe that I’m fairly well versed in what fantasy is and is not—adult or YA. The Kingdom to Come: A Great Light was not what I expected. I saw the romance between Faith and Karhiad building throughout the book and thought I could guess where everything was headed. Happy endings for the couple and dire consequences to be resolved in subsequent entries in the series. Which, while predictable, is enjoyable. A Great Light wasn’t that though. It is rare for me to be truly surprised by a book, but this one succeeded. I didn’t see the midway twist coming, though it was foreshadowed. When tragedy struck the characters reacted exactly how they should to be believable, complex people. Which is infuriating to a reader in all the right ways, because we, of course, know things they don’t and can see past their situation to what is of greatest importance.

Early on, some style choices in the writing that didn’t always agree with my sensibilities pulled me out a bit, but a few chapters in I was happily following Ms. Ball through each encounter between Faith and Karhiad. Their encounters become the basis for the reader’s understanding of their world, which was a really fun way to discover things. When the twist came I couldn’t put the book down.

Christian fiction is sometimes accused of avoiding hard realities. If it does face them it is sometimes criticized as being too worldly. I think A Great Light struck the right balance. It doesn’t force truths on the reader or make characters caricatures of real people. It tells a story, a fictional one that is filled with speculative elements so I wouldn’t try to say this is The Pilgrim’s Progress Redux. It is good and enjoyable and as respectful to both reality and Christian morality as any book can manage while still being an engaging story. The story leaves several threads to be tied in the next book, so I’m looking forward to seeing where Ms. Ball takes everything next.
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Reading Progress

July 19, 2019 – Started Reading
August 2, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 3, 2019 – Shelved

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