Review of The Ether by Laurice Molinari: A Young Adult Fantasy Novel

Fantasy is a popular genre in young adult literature right now. As the mom of two "young adults" I've read or skimmed Percy Jackson, Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, and other fantasy or dystopian novels. The Christian fiction market has picked up on this, and there are quite a few young adult books from Christian publishers in that genre.



The Ether is one of these. The plot's description sounded very much like the theme of the Percy Jackson books- a young boy who lives an ordinary life until he realizes that there is really much more to who he is, and then he finds out that he is destined for some great good versus evil task. When I read the description to my kids, my son caught the similarity right away.

Unfortunately when a Christian author decides to follow a popular secular fiction story so closely, the story is just not good. I've read a few other of these "spin off" novels. The Ether was another one of these.

The story was rather flat. It was occasionally confusing in the transition of telling about what was happening to Vero- our hero- currently and what happened in his past. I didn't feel like there was enough development of Vero as a person. I didn't feel like I knew him well.

My other problem with this story is one I have sometimes with other Christian fiction. I think if you are going to publish as a Christian author, you need to make sure that anything you write about or make up is Biblical. In this story, Vero finds out that he is a guardian angel. When he is in "angel training" there are many things that are so unbiblical or extrabiblical. As a parent, if I let my children read a secular story like Percy Jackson, I can discuss with them that it is secular fiction, that gods aren't real and that they don't have children who are demigods. But when I have a book like The Ether, truth and reality and make believe and fiction are all muddied. Yes, the Bible seems to refer to guardian angels. But never in the Bible are angels described in any way like The Ether. And some of the things that they angels did were contrary to what we do know from the Bible. For example, the angels "catch" prayers that they are supposed to answer. And Vero as a trainee, almost kills or injures two people in his attempt to answer a prayer. The Bible tells us that God hears and answers our prayers. God is Sovereign and doesn't make mistakes. He doesn't leave things up to incompetent angels who are in danger of messing up.

So, even though I wanted to like this because I have young adults and I want them to have good Christian fiction to read, I just couldn't like The Ether. You can read more about it below.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. all opinions expressed are entirely my own.



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Ether: Vero Rising
Zonderkidz (February 4, 2014)
by
Laurice E. Molinari


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laurice Elehwany Molinari, a veteran film and TV writer in Hollywood for over two decades, has penned over thirty scripts for various studios and networks. Her very first feature script, written while a fellow at the American Film Institute, became Columbia Picture’s critically acclaimed children’s classic, My Girl. She went on to pen The Brady Bunch Movie and The Amazing Panda Adventure. Laurice lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, where her lifelong love for our heavenly guardians inspired her to write a book about them in the ETHER series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Fiercest of Warriors? Vero Leland always suspected he was different from others his own age, ever since his childhood attempts to fly. But he never could have predicted the truth---or how much his life was about to change. Soon after his twelfth birthday, Vero learns he is a guardian angel and is abruptly transported to the Ether, the spiritual realm that surrounds the earth. Yet before he can be counted among these fierce warriors, Vero must learn to master his growing powers, competing with other angels-in- training and battling demonic creatures known as maltures as well as mythical creatures such as the leviathan. Until his instruction is complete, Vero needs to alternate between the Ether and his regular life. If he survives training and accepts his destiny---a destiny he did not choose---he must leave everything behind, including his family and the life he loves. Meanwhile, an evil is growing---the maltures are rising, and Vero appears to be their target.

Enjoy the book trailer:

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Ether: Vero Rising, go HERE.