Truer Than Truth and Front Street Reviews paint their impressions of “Auralia’s Colors”

December 3, 2007

God bless Jason Panella, who’s blogging at Truer Than Truth. His response to Auralia’s Colors makes me feel better about all of the editing that still needs to be done on the sequel.

… when I say Auralia’s Colors is a different sort of fantasy novel, that’s meant as high praise. Even though it took a few chapters to draw me in, I fell in love with everything about the book. I’m already impatient for the sequel, slated for next fall. … It’s hard to believe this is Jeffrey’s first novel.

The review of Auralia’s Colors at Front Street Reviews says a little more about the conclusion of the story than other reviews. But I’m grateful that Susan Helene Gottfried is so pleased….

We’ve seen this before: the unique child with the power to change the world. It’s not a new story — until it is deposited into Overstreet’s hands. In Auralia’s case, the change she brings doesn’t save the world in one fell swoop.

This isn’t the only thing that sets Auralia’s Colors apart from the rest of the fantasy genre. In fact, the twist on what has become a familiar formula isn’t even the most exciting and ground-breaking.

Rather, it is the emphasis that Overstreet puts on the use of color. From the shades of grey in the storyline to the bold, vibrant colors that surround Auralia, this book — and, hopefully, this series — is defined by this one simple element.

It’s interesting that Gottfried picked up on this. Yes, color is central to the story… even more central than Auralia herself.

In my mind, Auralia’s just the messenger to her world. She’s wide awake, and she directs our attention to look closer at what she sees.

One reader commented that Auralia’s colors are the closest thing to a “savior” in this story. I thought that was interesting.

And another reader shared that he thought it was the first story he’d read in which the Main Character of the Story is, in fact, a city: House Abascar, and what is going on in Abascar’s “mind” and “heart.” That caught me by surprise too.

I don’t consider Auralia a savior — to me, she just seems to be an artist who’s exploring complex questions through art. Nor did I give much thought as to who might be “the main character” as I wrote. (The first draft of the story did not let us see Auralia much at all, but focused on how her presence had affected those around her.) But now that I stand back and look at the finished story, I can understand why some people might conclude she’s a “Christ figure.”

Finding out the many and varied ways people are interpreting Auralia’s Colors is proving just as much fun as writing it.

But now, I gotta get back to writing the second one. Reading something like Gottfried’s comments reminds me how challenging it will be to complete what Auralia’s colors has set in motion. I’d better not drop any of those loose “threads” of the story along the way…

*You can also read the review here, at Gather.


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