In general I read a lot of Christian non-fiction and very little Christian fiction. Part of that is choice, most of the fiction I read is spy, young adult, science fiction or fantasy. All of which are pretty rare on the Christian fiction market. Part my lack of reading Christian fiction is that there is so little that I have been really excited about in the past.
But I like to experiment. So when Tales of the Dim Knight was offered for free on kindle books I picked it up. When I noticed that there was an audiobook that was discounted to $1.99 on Audible because I had already ‘purchased’ the free kindle book, I bought it.
I listened to it all in three days. I really did want to find out what was going to happend and I liked it enough that I will probably read the second book in the series.
But there were problems. First, this is a book that has a hard time figuring out what it wants to do. There are lots of superhero fight scenes (these were mostly good, but occasionally not that important to moving the story along). There were the ‘I am a superhero, now what do I do’ and ‘I need to protect my secret identity from my family to protect them’ threads to the story. I get these parts and while I think the superhero is a little overly dumb (that is a consistant theme of the book) I can get the point of them.
There is one long scene where our hero meets up with several other superheros to save ‘Megaopolis’ from a nuclear bomb. It doesn’t really add anything to the story. There are three other superheros that also have some type of powers (which do not get explained and really detract from the idea that he is the only superhero because he has alien powers concept.)
But toward the end there is a hard turn in the book where his wife files for divorce and this become a book about his marriage.
Throughout the book there are lots of preaching scenes. The hero saves a pastor and we hear the presentation of the gospel. The preacher dies and we hear more presentation of the gospel. One of the other three superheroes is a Christian and gives our hero a tract right before a crucial scene and again the gospel gets shared. The marriage falls apart and we hear more presentation of the gospel.
I am obviously not against Christianity, I review mostly Christian books. But I don’t understand the point of the gospel presentations in context of the book. I get the ‘I can’t do everything and I need God’ idea. But the flow of the book is completely broken every time and it just doesn’t fit.
I really think the book has potential. I think a number of scenes could be cut. The gospel presentations toned down and integrated into the book a bit better. I think the marriage components could be strengthened (it is just too much to have a dumb superhero pay no attention to his family and a wife have father/trust/abandonment issues that the husband has never heard and the divorce lawyer is conspiring to destroy all the marriages in the area and… (it is just too much.)
I am a fan of independent authors. I want to encourage more Christian science fiction (especially science fiction that is appropriate for young adults to read.) But this is an example of a book that needs an editor to help clean it up, shape the story a bit and to ratchet back the Christian propaganda.
Tales of the Dim Knight Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook (only $1.99 with purchase of Kindle Book) – Kindle Book is Lendable, if you want to borrow it leave a comment below