Teenagers Peter and Julia fall into a glowing pond in their grandparents’ garden and find themselves in Aedyn—a small, former paradise ruled for the past few centuries by a trio of masked tyrants. Hailed by the enslaved populace as chosen ones sent by the Lord of Hosts to throw off the oppressors, Peter and Julia participate in a secret communion ceremony (“Why do we eat salted fish on this night of the year and on no other night?”) then lead a successful rebellion. Along the way they learn to reject ritualistic temptations to choose personal safety or power over the greater good, and by the time they return to their own world they’ve also learned something about having faith—both in a higher power and in each other.
I love reading Alister McGrath. I wanted to love this book. I wanted to give it five stars.
But I can’t.
The plot is pretty simple, and is familiar to anyone who has read fantasy before. A world in trouble, children from our world transported magically to save it in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, one of the kids is very sensative to the magic of the place and the other isn’t ….
Halfway through this book, I realized that McGrath must have been reading a lot of Narnia lately. That was all I could think of as I read the book — “Wow … this sounds like Narnia.” And that would be a high compliment if the book measured up to the Narnia books. But it falls just a bit short; it seems like McGrath is trying just a little too hard to be C.S. Lewis. And nobody can be C.S. Lewis.
This is one of a very few books I’ve gotten lately that I just couldn’t bring myself to finish; there’s not enough there that I really care about. Very disappointing.