Saturday, May 3, 2008

Beyond the Reflection's Edge



Readers beware: there are NO dragons in this book! Bryan Davis proves to be an author with more than one angle and many more stories inside his head. Beyond the Reflection’s Edge, the first book in the new series Echoes from the Edge, is an intense tale of mystery and murder set (for the most part) in modern times in the Heartland of America.

The novel begins with a concert in Chicago. Sixteen year old Nathan Shepherd joins his mother, a world famous violinist, on the stage for their special duet. While Nathan is playing his solo section, his mother steps back and leaves the stage. As soon as he finishes the piece, Nathan searches for his mother and has the great shock of finding both of his parents dead in a back room of the concert hall. Then before his very eyes, the mysterious Dr. Simon is also murdered when a strange little man named Mictar uses his burns the eyes right out of his head and eats them. Mictar likes to eat eyeballs from fresh victims. Nathan and his long-time tutor, Clara, have to run for their own lives, a flight that will continue throughout the book. Their escape takes them to the home of an old college friend of Nathan’s father, Tony, who lives out in the country in Iowa with his teenaged daughter Kelly. A dazed and grieving Nathan tries to understand what happened to his parents and why. Oh, and by the way, his father was a secret agent of some kind who had been involved in a lot of heavy cases over the years. Just before that fateful concert, he had given Nathan a mirror that he called Quatro, stressing its importance to Nathan. Nathan and his new ‘sister’ Kelly soon discover that this mirror has very odd properties, somehow able to show people and images that weren’t there, sometimes that come true a few minutes later, but phenomena even stranger than that. The bad guys also want this mirror, and Nathan is convinced it may help them find out what happened with his parents.

As a result, Nathan and Kelly go on a voyage that includes parallel worlds, uber-evil foes, unexpected deliverance, and a lot of confusion. The reader is swept along with the mystery and adventure, compelled to decide whether the clues are red herrings or important pieces of this puzzle of many dimensions. Nathan is never sure who to trust or not, yet he and Kelly, with the help of some friends, eventually are able to unravel the incredible story.

While Bryan Davis is known for fantasy, this book is more like science fiction. It most certainly will appeal to young adults, both male and female. The constant action is most appealing, but it is full of spiritual content as well. Faith and love are two important elements that drive the action. There is a satisfactory conclusion to this portion of the story although it leads directly into a continuation. As further enticement (as if it were needed), the first chapter of the second book, Eternity’s Edge, is included at the end.

I couldn’t hardly put the book down. I admit to being thoroughly confused at times, so I had to do a bit of retracing and going back a page or two, but I think that’s because I start reading too fast and then miss some important points. It may be a book for and about teenagers, but many other adults will enjoy it as much as I did.

You can find out more about Bryan Davis and all his books at http://www.dragonsinourmidst.com/index.html . Bryan also has a page at http://www.shoutlife.com/echoes.

Beyond the Reflection's Edge can be ordered directly from the author's website and should be available at many Christian bookstores and other stores such as Barnes and Noble and Borders. It is also available online at christianbook.com (http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=715542&netp_id=511096&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=details)




3 comments:

XDPaul said...

Bryan spent quite a bit of time in the town (Newton, Iowa) where I work gathering research for the school featured in "Beyond." Had I known he was here at the time, I would have bugged him to death, so it is probably for the best that I didn't!

Galadriel said...

I had the great privilege of pre-reading this book. I am not allowed to spoil the surprise, so I will only say that after being enthralled by the world Bryan Davis created in Dragons in Our Midst and expanded upon in Oracles of Fire, I eagerly anticipated his new series, Echoes from the Edge. The characters, like those in his first two series, are realistic, relatable teens that readers of all ages can identify with. I see echoes of myself in Daryl, who constently alludes to and quotes from such favorite fantasies as Lord of the Rings and Narnia, as well as The Wizard of Oz.
My good intentions to read only a chapter of Beyond the Reflection's Edge daily evaporated. I read the whole book in less than four hours. The first chapter contained more emotion and action than some books ever reach. From there, the story builds in depth and action to an extraordinary conclusion. Unlike some books, Beyond the Reflection's Edge yields more excitement with each re-reading. I can't wait for the next installment!

cathikin said...

Galadriel, you wrote a better review than I did! Thanks for stopping in.

XDPaul, that's a cool connection. Yeah, Bryan has been blogging about the places he went to research the book. I was amazed at how much reality he put into it. I believe the release party was at the school.