A portal story with a strong Christian message, this young adult novel will appeal to fans of C.S Lewis.
Seventeen year old Ezra is an angry young man. Annoyed that he doesn’t know the identity of his birth parents, feeling unloved by his adoptive parents, and rejected by his colleges of choice, Ezra is in a bad place at the beginning of the book.
However, after plunging through a portal to the the alien planet of Chromvah, the angelic inhabitants teach Ezra about the Bible and how every life matters.
There is a lot to like about this book. Ezra is a believable character. His struggles are relatable and he is a likable young man. He has a strong character arc throughout the book, and I particularly liked his scenes set on Earth.
I loved the descriptions of the planet Chromvah. Full of colour, it’s a place I’d love to visit. Henderson does a great job of building a world that is different but still easy to imagine. The Kidimer, the inhabitants of Chromvah, were sweet if a little one dimensional.
Unfortunately, the narrative drive of the novel was lacking for me. For most of the novel Ezra is on Chromvah, and there is little conflict, everything felt safe and the pace is gentle. The plot is strong enough that there could have been greater tension leading to the climax with only minor changes.
I also struggled with the Christian elements. Angel stories make me tense, because I’ve rarely read one that tackles a spiritual entity in a satisfactory manner. The Kidimer come close, but I’m not sure if the author needed to link the aliens to the idea of guardian angels. Despite their knowledge of the Bible, they seemed very distant from God, were helpless to investigate the missing portals and needed to be saved by a human boy.
I did enjoy the emphasis on prayer and that every life matters, and Henderson has a strong imagination with a talent for description, so I would be interested in reading further novels by her.
It reminded me of Out of the Silent Planet by C. S Lewis, and I’m sure Viridian Dreams would appeal to fans of that other author’s work.
I award Viridian Dreams…
Viridian Dreams is available for $3.96 ebook and $9.85 print book on Amazon.
I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.