By Amanda May Bell*
The Blue House, book 1
Category: Teen Fantasy
Overall Rating: 4.3
- Captivation: 4
- Imagination: 4.5
- Unique: 4.5
- Enjoyment: 4.5
- Literacy: 4
Book Description: When Jack, the driver, leaves Sophie at the blue house, she joins the other teenagers who wait there. Welcomed by Henry, the leader of the group, she is introduced to a world where they move unseen throughout the nameless city, riding on air. With the help of the operator, an ancient map and anything else they might need, they always manage to be at the right place at the right time. But someone is seeking to interfere with their work, watching and planning, and when something important is taken from the blue house, it is up to Sophie to get it back. As she struggles to retrieve the stolen article, she is reminded that her growing relationship with Michael, who is also waiting at the blue house, is against an unspoken rule that involves the one thing they can’t seem to control…their destiny
Captivation: This is an interesting story incorporating a teen-friendly fantasy view of philosophy and theology. The story is catching, and holds attention. I was initially weary of this book, as many in any genre can be quite off-putting when involving theology, but this one is quite well done, not really verging into specific religions, but more of the philosophical portion of theology.
Imagination: I really like Bell’s interpretation of the fantastical potential behind angels. It is a truly sweet, realistic view, and incorporates a great view of teenagers and the different emotional and social phases they go through as they age.
Unique: Bell used a combination of different theological views of after-life and how/what Angels are to create this world, and the conflicts in it, while keeping it relatable.
Enjoyment: I have to say I really like this book. It has just enough conflict to keep the reader hooked without being overwhelming or getting beyond the plot of the story. The characters are extremely well-developed, and their relationships are fairly fascinating!
Literacy: There are minor, somewhat common editorial errors throughout the book, occasionally causing distraction, but nothing more than standard.
Overall, This is really a great book for age 13 and over. It’s truly a wonderful book with a good view of philosophy and theology without being overwhelmingly so. This is genuinely one of my favorites in the genre and a recommendation for any looking for a good, lighter read of any Teen or Adult age. This book goes not only into my Read Again bookshelf, but my recommended book shelf as well. Really well done!