Monday, July 20, 2009

The Enclave 2: Good points

Karen Hancock's The Enclave has various good points. Some involve the writer's craft; others derive from content.

Characterization. The characters are well-defined and credible. I suspect that a skeptic would find at least some of them stereotypical, but stereotypes usually have a factual basis--otherwise they wouldn't endure. And the stereotypes are certainly the credible sort that arise from personalities and traits we've probably all encountered. In any case, I cared about the characters more than I usually do.

Pacing. On the whole, the story is fast-moving. I bogged down a little early on, but I think that was just me: the detour into the Enclave threw me. But after I got past that, the story was a fast read.

Faith-based systems. There's a place where Cameron gives a defense of Christianity that has its good and bad points. One of the good points was that he identifies evolution as a faith-based system. This is true: given the disciplinary breadth of evolution, hardly anyone knows enough to critique the whole thing properly. A geneticist probably can't truly follow the paleontology, a paleontologist probably can't altogether understand the genetics, and so on. (Similarly, someone with a good grasp of Biblical languages and cultures may not really get the theology.) At some point you have to take things on faith, whether evolution or the Bible, though you can get a feel for the relative probabilities and explanatory powers involved.

Divine guidance. I liked the way God got involved with the characters and did a little intervention when the going got tough. That was my favorite part; it demonstrated a God-orientation that ought to be typical of Christian fiction. Yet it's not a simplistic deus ex machina gimmick: Hancock sets it up so that it's believable when it occurs.

Tomorrow I'll look at the negatives, which unfortunately are more complex, being theological, philosophical, or scientific. Try to bear with me...

Meanwhile, check out what the other CFRB bloggers have to say:
Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Heather R. Hunt
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Mike Lynch
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Crista Richey
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Elizabeth Williams

1 comment:

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I have to admit, Steve, I like your serious posts more than the ones you write with tongue in cheek. You've made some good points.


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