JenniferB (Canada) (2008/06/18):
Can Christianity and science fiction be successfully blended in one work? That is the question I found myself asking as I read through Beyond the Reflection’s Edge. Before my conversion I was an avid fantasy and science fiction reader; after my conversion I set the genre aside due to the extreme un-godliness of many of the themes. It was with interest that I read this entry into the Christian, young-adult, adventure-fantasy field (I think it would be better classed as science fiction however).
Bryan Davis is certainly an accomplished author, who draws his readers into the world that he has created and keeps them reading through a series of high-paced scene (and dimension changes). His main character, Nathan, is an honorable Christian young man. I appreciate the model that he provides for young readers when dealing with standards of modesty, respect for women and sexual purity. Nathan also has a heart for those who are lost, and do not know the love of Christ in their own lives. Examples such as this are difficult to find, and often lacking in contemporary fiction written for young adults. It is obvious that the absent father figure has trained his son well, as his influence continues to be felt on a daily basis in practical, real-life decisions. This is a father who has trained his son well. Nathan’s deep love, obedience and respect for his parents are also refreshing in the sea of youth fiction, where parents are either emotionally absent or disregarded by their children.
Some of the characters could have benefited from a deeper level of development so that readers could empathize with them more fully. At times when they found themselves in desperate situations I found myself feeling emotionally neutral in regards to their predicaments. Solutions to various conflicts involve physical force and violence, which is not discouraged, but rather lauded as skillful by other characters. I doubt that I would encourage young teenage children of my own to read it due to some of the darker events that occur.
After reading this novel I’m still not certain if Christianity and science fiction can be successfully blended. I am certainly thankful for the Christian character examples provided, as well as the acknowledgement of God as creator throughout. God is certainly never absent, and is often referenced by several of the characters. While I doubt this title will draw you nearer to Christ in your walk with Him; if you are interested in some light summer reading, that is quick paced and entertaining without compromising your Christian values, then this would be an excellent choice for you. I did find the reading enjoyable, and quick paced, I had a difficult time setting the book aside.
Ryan Petrie (USA: KY) (2008/09/28):
Beyond the Reflection's Edge is an amazing book. It is a cross between a fantasy and thriller/suspense novel. With many a twist and turn I couldn't put it down.
A must read!