In the second installment of the Shadowside Trilogy, titled The Owling, author Robert Elmer explores the miracle of Jesus in the setting of an entirely different world. His main character, a teenager named Oriannon (Ori), lives among the people from the light side of the planet Corista. They have been mining the water supply of Shadowside, the dark side of the planet, for centuries, ignoring its animal-like inhabitants called Owlings. But Ori and her friends know that the Owlings are much more than animals. They strive to keep the peace between people groups that are growing more and more hostile. To do this, Ori must chose between following her mysterious teacher, Jesmet, who seems to have been raised from the dead, or a charismatic new leader, Sola. What results is an inspiring story of growth, pain, hope, and faith.
Elmer’s characters will vibrate within every reader, though there are a few times when they seem slightly forced. But Ori and her friends are excellent examples of how Christians should behave in relationships. They stick with each other through thick and thin, going so far as to risk their lives for one another. These teens are not afraid to confront each other when one makes a mistake, and they readily forgive hurts. Ori and her father love each other deeply, and although their relationship is strained, they both work to protect one another.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV). Deep down, this is what Ori and her friends desperately want to be, and they have the Maker’s (God’s) blessing to be so. But Ori lacks patience and has a will almost too strong for her own good. When she is told by Jesmet to wait until the Numa, or Holy Spirit, comes upon her to take action, she ignores him. Instead, she goes her own way to get things done and makes plenty of mistakes in the process—big mistakes! But in the end, she learns her lesson, repents, and gets another chance.
The Owling leaves its readers encouraged and inspired to follow God and do what is right. It will also leave them hungering for the next book in the series. Though the story starts off somewhat slowly, readers will find themselves hooked before long. I recommend this book for teens who are looking for an exciting plot and a new way to view their God. – Kate R. Miller, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
This is the story of Oriannon, a very human-looking girl with an extraordinary gift: the ability to record what she sees and experiences like the hard drive of a computer. When the mysterious Jesmet, thought to be a Magician in the Old Order, begins to connect with Oriannon, he is banished to Corista’s Shadowside.
On another planet, the new faith of its first Believers is tested in the shadow of evil
In book two, readers can contemplate how biblical truths translate in another world. The planet of Corista has been thrown off its axis, and the bright side has been plunged into perpetual darkness. Are the Owling people of Shadowside to blame? With both sides of the planet in chaos, the world becomes even more confusing for 15-year-old Oriannon when her former music mentor Jesmet miraculously returns from the dead and promises his followers a special power called the Wind. But his is not the only offer of hope. Sola, Corista’s charismatic head of Security, proposes the “ultimate solution” for peace, and she recruits Oriannon to help her carry out a seemingly perfect plan. But Oriannon’s closest friends are skeptical and try to convince her that the plan involves evil acts against the Owling. Should Oriannon trust the feelings of her friends? Will she embrace Sola’s solution as the answer to the world’s dilemma? Or will she believe the promise of an Owling holy man before she can no longer discern between light and darkness?