Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

Is it really the end of October? Seriously???

Okay, wow, sorry guys. I don't know what happened there. Stress, I spose.

Anyway, today I would like to share a book that has been on my mind for quite awhile. This post is LOOONG overdue, but better late than never right? (I think I should just go ahead and make that my life motto. Sigh.)

The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis is a sweet and heartfelt tale following Posy, a fifteen year old who is struggling with her parents' deteriorating relationship, and Kyran, a prince and a brother. When Posy is pulled into a book she was reading and is forced to take the place of a lead Character, she and Kyran form a reluctant team and run away to discover the truth behind the story and the lies. They meet centaurs, fight monsters, battle themselves, and slowly learn more and more about the mysterious and seemingly absent Author.

I've already said this, but this book was so sweet. It read like a fairy-tale allegory. At times, the messages and themes felt very obvious, like an allegory, but then I would read the words closer and find a deeper meaning in the subtext, like a fairytale. That aspect of the book was a brilliant parallel to the actual story taking place within the words, where the characters, who know they are characters, are trying to find the meaning of their story and their words. It was like a fairytale Inception! Totally awesome. 

The characters themselves were likable and interesting. They reminded me of Christian from Pilgrim's Progress, someone you like and relate to, but is still distant like Cinderella. While in most fantasy novels this might be considered a bad thing, it worked quite well in The Word Changers, emphasizing the fantastical and fictional elements of the story. 

The world at first glance seemed like a classic fantasy world, but upon closer inspection, like everything else in the story, revealed a depth and uniqueness I have not seen before. There were classic fantasy creatures like centaurs, but also new ones that were easy to grasp and understand (I have a peeve about fantasy authors who invent WAYYY too many new animals for their world, so this was a pleasant aspect to me).

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the themes and messages were sweet, true, and surprisingly deep. It is obviously a Christian novel, and yet, the messages are portrayed very gently and soothingly. Sometimes, though this is rarely the author's intention, I feel like I'm being hit in the head with a Bible during novels that are blatantly Christian. The themes came across, while obvious, in a very soft, lilting sort of way, like an old hymn or lullaby. 

The only part of the novel that was iffy to me was the romance between a fifteen year old and an eighteen year old. It was sweet and innocent, and it also fueled my curiosity and kept me turning pages to find out how it would work out, but it was still a bit odd at times. However, I'd say it's a pretty good book if that is my only complaint about it!

I've used this word so many times in the review, I suppose it is good enough for a one-word summary. Sweet. It was a very sweet novel that I am definitely going to encourage my younger sisters to read. Check it out on Amazon HERE.