Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aurelia's Colors by Jeffery Overstreet (2/5 stars)

I was excited to read this book based on the reviews I had read. It is written in a lush and poetic style; which I usually love. However somehow this book managed to make the characters and setting somehow seem stiff and unreal despite the delicate prose of the book.

Aurelia was found as a toddler by a river. She is raised by the Gatherers, people who have been thrown out of the walls of the city for various crimes. Many years ago the Queen forbade colors; all color belongs only to the upper class. Unfortunately for Aurelia she excels in finding color in everything and the palace wants her for the their own. Will Aurelia succeed in giving the commonfolk back their colors?

As I said the writing is beautifully done. The story unfortunately did not grab me. The writer constantly switches viewpoint between tons of different characters and I found that very distracting. It was hard to get involved or really care about any of the characters. The writing style, despite its beauty, did little to bring the scenes in the book alive for me. I also found the story in general to be a very dull read, it moved forward at a very deliberate pace. I had a lot of trouble getting through this book.

The imagine my shock (not knowing Overstreet is a Christian writer) when the whole story drops any pretense of creativity and becomes just another retelling of the story of Christ. The parallels between the story of Christ and Aurelia were painfully transparent and the ending of the book had my eyeballs rolling as the characters and story were pushed aside to pull everything together into a perfect retelling of the classic religious story.

In summary, the story starts out beautifully written but the writing and characters are dry, the plot creeps along and is a bit schizophrenic because of the multitude of viewpoints it is told from. I had a lot of trouble getting through this book. Then when the whole pretense of a creative story was dropped to re-deliver a story of Christ that has been delivered a million times before it just added to my ire. I won't be reading anymore of Overstreet's books; they are just too boring and preachy for me.


  1. I just finished book 2! It was an is just as good as the last one.

  2. I am glad that you are liking this series. I have some friends that also really love these books. I just couldn't get into it. The writing is beautiful but, for me, the story and characters were lacking...