At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I met author Emily Golus, whose young adult fantasy, Escape to Vindor, won the Selah Award for its category. I was instantly drawn to her sincere, winsome personality and looked forward to reading her novel.
Last week, I read it. Yes, the story is incredible, but beyond that, I was moved by how much it personally challenged me.
Megan Bradshaw can defeat a sphynx when she’s imagining her alter-ego Selena in the fantasy world of Vindor, but in real life, she bombs oral speeches and dreads the idea of moving to a new school. If only she could be Selena all the time!
But when Megan gets her wish and finds herself transported to Vindor, she’s in over her head. Vindor faces a growing threat from a mysterious Shadow, and unless she can find the real guardian Selena, Vindor might perish. She, Megan Bradshaw, is a sham, and it’s only a matter of time until everyone finds out.
When reality hits that there is no other Selena to rescue Vindor, Megan must confront the Shadow and her own fears to save the world and creatures she loves.
Review and Take-Away
Golus’ writing, world building, and characterization are masterful, but what I loved even more was the theme for readers to apply to their own lives. When Megan discovers that the Shadow feeds on fear, she sees how fear controls her life and the lives of others. She develops self-awareness for the root cause of her fears and the lies they tell her.
We readers have seen the theme that love conquers fear before, but the way Golus develops Megan’s journey of discovery, climaxing with her understanding of the ultimate Love, truly touched me. It challenged me to identify and confront my own fears and take them to my God who is so much greater than them.
The spiritual thread runs seamlessly through the story in a quiet but confident way. Middle school and older readers will enjoy this book. I’m adding Golus to my favorite author list.
Return to Vindor
Perhaps the best Instagram news from last week was Golus’ post that there’s going to be a sequel. Readers can return to Vindor in 2019! You can follow the author for updates and more at worldofvindor.com.
What’s your latest favorite read and why did you love it? Share your thoughts in the comments. Happy reading!
Fighting Fear through Fantasy – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
Escape to Vindor: YA Fantasy Book Review by @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)