The Blue Door, by Christa Kinde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
BOOK DESCRIPTION: On an ordinary afternoon in late July, fourteen-year-old Prissie Pomeroy stumbles into an adventure on her way to the mailbox. Koji—a strange boy in shining clothes—claims to be an angel, and she’s stunned to learn that there are others living and working in her hometown. None of them can explain why she’s suddenly able to see the unseen, but with God, nothing is impossible. The only problem is, Prissie refuses to believe any of it! However, with a little good advice, a lot of patience, and a nudge in the right direction, she learns to accept the truth. Koji and his teammates answer her questions, change her perceptions, and strengthen a faith she’ll soon need… for danger lurks in the darkness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (from her website) Head in the clouds. Feet on the ground. Heart in the story. Christa Kinde is a cheerful homebody whose imagination takes her new places with every passing day. Making her home between misty mornings and brimming bookshelves in Southern California, she keeps her lively family close and her trusty laptop closer. Christa has been writing for more than a decade, but The Blue Door is her first novel.
SERIES: The Threshold Series, Book 1
MY THOUGHTS: What a refreshing book this was, in the middle of a swarm of books about the supernatural! The innocence of a young girl's first crush, the sweetness of a family that lives in harmony and looks out for each other, the curiosity of a teenager learning about the spiritual world. I loved the descriptions of the small town they live in and the not-so-common intact and loving family.
The story is dealing with angels, which seem to be involving themselves in love triangles and shady business in most books currently. However, The Blue Door seems pretty theologically sound and reflects their employ in God's service, describing the various distinctions in their characteristics and purposes.
Lots of character development lends to a slow start, but we really get to know Prissie and these trustworthy angels who are defending her and her sleepy little town as she struggles to believe that these people could really be angels. As she learns to trust them, we learn about what sort of beings angels really are. This book is geared to the 11 and up audience, but I found myself constantly reminded of God's love and protection through Prissie's adventures.
A few themes began to develop that seemed a little out of place, but I think the author must be laying the groundwork for the next books in this series. For example, Prissie's classmate takes a job with her dad, and she and this guy she's written off as a troublemaker have a handful of awkward exchanges. Her friends stir up some drama, as well, by leaving her out of their end-of-summer activities and seemingly replacing her with the new girl in town, who already seems to have something against Prissie.
The end of this book is a definite cliff-hanger, not really resolving anything except Prissie's acceptance of the angels. Now that she is aware of the spiritual battle around her and realizes the danger she is in, the real adventure begins! Let's hope book 2 comes out soon and poor Prissie isn't hanging in the balance too long!
PARENTAL RATING (may include spoilers): G - PG. I would love to give this a G, but there are a few very quick scenes where an angel captured by the enemy is being tortured, as well as several references to other angels' scars from being "prisoners of war." At one point, the captured angel's eyes are removed by his torturer, who is trying to extract some secret from him. The actual removal is not described, but in chapter 16, we hear a scream and the bad guy returns with "two pale orbs", which he says will keep the angel from doing his job as an observer (194).
Overall, I'd recommend this to older children, youth, and even adults. It's definitely going to be added to my girls' bookshelf.
Buy it as a hardcover or ebook.
**I was provided a copy of this book by netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review.