Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kathryn Mackel - Outriders and Trackers Part Two

Yesterday I shared how quickly I was captivated when I picked up Outriders a few months ago. So I was thrilled for Trackers to come out.

It has all the same great qualities I described yesterday, and I was happy to dive back into the adventures.

It also reminded me how diverse the tones within a genre can be--from Randy Mortenson's upbeat children's fantasy to Karen Hancock's powerfully detailed high fantasy with realism aimed at adults.

Trackers, even though it contains youthful protagonists, carries adult themes. Rapes, disfigurements, and all sorts of violence are part of the story’s landscape. That violence is a perfect reflection for a painfully lost world – but would be intense for young readers.

I've said before (to anyone who will listen) that as Christians we need a variety of art forms in our struggle to express the inexpressible.

We also need a wide range of genres within the art form of writing.

AND within the genre of fantasy/sci-fi it's marvelous to have a variety of tones and themes. Each speaks about unique aspects of God's nature, each will resonate in different ways with different audiences.

As someone who loves to watch imaginations spin, I was enchanted by the creativity throughout Mackel's books: Allusions to Jonah (as the rooks are delivered through a whale). Sleeping Beauty imagery (as the city is protected by a wall of living (though morged) thorns). “Out of time” shroud that protects. Myriad fascinating details about the way things work in the story-world.

One of the joys of fantasy is discovering the connections. Outriders and Trackers are full of analogy and symbol for spiritual themes and issues. Beth Goddard's interview with Kathryn Mackel highlights some of these, so be sure to visit her blog to hear some of the author's thoughts.

Other blog tour participants are sharing their thoughts as well:

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Karen and at Karen’s myspace
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Terri Main
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Otte
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Chris Walley
Daniel I. Weaver

Sharon Hinck
The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany 6/2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany 2/2007)
The Restorer (NavPress 5/2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress 9/2007)

1 comment:

Beth Goddard said...

Hey Sharon,
thanks for mentioning the interview. I always love to hear an authors take on things:)