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Sunday, January 29, 2012

BOOK REVIEW and AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Light Under the House




Title
Light Under the House

Author(s)
Aaron L. & Donna Dawson

Publisher
Ravensbrook  Press, 2011, 361 pages

My Review


Wow!  I very much enjoyed reading this book.  Truthfully, I couldn’t put it down!  It’s filled with evil, mystery, intrigue, murder, dysfunctional families, sinful lives and a few shocking twists; all over a time period that spans millennia in an incredible story of the struggle of good verses evil.   We get to see how sinful lives and bad decisions can impact not only our own future’s but the lives of those around us as well.  I very much appreciated the symbolism that represents following a life of worldly things and evil forces creates a lifeless and soulless being out of us; and takes away any hope or happiness.  A fine example was given through the character of John about how our struggles can lead us to a change in our hearts that gives opportunity and hope. 

I’m not normally one to enjoy fantasy fiction, and much of the evil scenes were just that; or at least I would hope so.  There was an large portion of the story dedicated to the darker side of the plot.  The main evil character was Jezebel and I felt that it seemed that she was ‘the’ big-cheese in the underworld.  The idea that she could be reporting back to Satan or anyone else was never brought up.

I was anxiously awaiting to see the Christian content and see how Jesus fits into the story.  It wasn’t until close to the end that a Christian message was implied.  Jesus wasn’t part of the story, which I found to be a huge letdown.  All we get are a couple of symbols (a lamb and a stone) that seem to represent Him, but His name was never mentioned.  Of course I only know these symbols because I am already a Christian.  This would likely be lost to a non-Christian reading the book; as would the symbolism that I mentioned earlier.  As Christians we know that following a life of worldly or evil things also takes away any hope for salvation, which is the most important symbolism.  The descriptions of the scenes, though, helped me to have a very clear picture in my head of what was happening, as though I were watching a movie.  So for fantasy fiction lovers this would be a appreciated.  There was also one scene about a man struggling to get through the desert alive by avoiding temptations that I feel was a misplaced loose-end in the story.  I fail to see what purpose it served.

Despite the triumph of God over evil, and the wonderful example we in the end of a father stepping up to finally do the only honorable thing by his children; I didn’t get the feeling that the characters had truly discovered Jesus, or had begun a relationship with Him.  As Christians, we know that our heart longs to live every part of our lives on a daily basis devoted to Jesus and becoming an awesome disciple for Him.  We do this because we are just so head over heels in love with Him that it excites us.  A non-Christian reading this book, would not close the back cover having received the message of salvation.  If neither the reader or the characters come out in the end discovering this, that what was the point?

I think this new author has a good future; but I think to sell in a Christian market there needs to be more about Jesus, sharing the message of the gospel, and developing a relationship with Jesus. 

My Over-all Rating



Author Interview
 
Author, Aaron L
What inspired you to write this story?  
I feel very strongly about the breakdown of the family and fatherlessness and how there is much dysfunction and despair because of it. I wanted to tell a story to shed some light on the situations that many face and hopefully bring some type of reversal to the current dynamic in whatever small way I could. I wanted to challenge men, fathers especially, to be who they were created to be ... its certainly a challenge I face myself daily. A challenge that I often fail at but keeping picking myself up to start again. 

Did you model any of the characters after people you know?  
I used many things to model the characters ... people I know, other literary figures, actors, biblical characters, celebrities ... the characters are a combination of all of these. I wanted them to be new and familiar at the same time, universal.
  
Why did you choose the Dallas/Ft Worth area as your primary setting?  
First of all, the south has a certain reputation for is deep spiritual roots (bible belt and all). I patterned the book in part after GONE WITH THE WIND (another book set in the south) ... not in the sense of a love story but in the sense of "here is civilization that is about to cease to exist, come see it before its gone". In the case of my novel it is a spiritual civilization on the brink. Dallas just seemed to have everything I needed to make the story work from both a symbolic and technical standpoint.  

Do you have plans to write more books?  
I have an idea or two floating around ... nothing concrete yet.  

What sort of research did you do for the historical portions of your book?  What did you like best about the research?  The least?   
My co-author and I researched deeply into ancient history for some aspects of the book ... I learned a lot of things ... some things I'd rather forget but most of it was enlightening. What I liked best was that it confirmed for me mostly what I already knew, there really is nothing new under the sun. 

Where can we find out about more opportunities for a free copy of this book?  
Follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter

    I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).



    Check out the Light Under the House virtual book tour on the Christian Speaker Services Facebook page (click below on the CSS Virtual Book Tour photo)

    Logo for Christian Speaker Services Facebook Page for Virtual Book Tour for Light Under the House by Aaron L and Donna Dawson