Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Exotic Ingredients Combined To Produce The Crystal Portal Feast

A review of

Travis Perry & Mike Lynch The Crystal Portal (Splashdown Books, 2011)

318 pp $13.98 ISBN-10: 0986451789 ISBN-13: 978-0986451782

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

The best talk on literary craftsmanship I have ever heard was the one presented to our local writers group a decade ago. This speaker compared the author's creation of a story to a cook's preparation of a meal. For instance, just as a good chef will use fresh ingredients, so a good author will use fresh ideas. For me, the most striking feature of The Crystal Portal is the variety of exotic ingredients used to concoct this interesting tale. A list of these ideas and how the authors used them could be a topic for an English Professor to assign to his students.

I am hard pressed to decide which of these ingredients is the most exotic: the people with bodies of crystal, the intelligent worms, the "hollow Earth" location or the sun which turns itself off each day to provide night time for the inhabitants! A rather fantastic brew but quite appropriate for a fantasy novel! And, although when you think about them, these features sound incredible, the authors write about them with a verisimilitude which causes the reader to accept them as natural. And the action and dialogues are well paced, which carry the reader along.

Woven into the story are also some interesting spiritual insights and some fun with languages, which is to be expected since the authors are Christians and one of them is knowledgeable in Greek and Hebrew. Like the other sophisticated Christian fiction being written today, in this one the spiritual principles are foundational and interwoven into the story, not presented in a sermonic fashion. Biographical information on the authors is provided at the end of the book. More can also be learned by visiting their websites and and the publishers website

About the only criticism I have is that the hollow Earth is wrongly compared to a Dyson's Sphere, which is not a space habitat, but an array of solar energy collectors. However, this is not too serious since it is only space professionals and space activists who know what a Dyson's Sphere is!

I highly commend this book and wish the authors the best success in producing more of the same!


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