James, S. (2006). Quest for Celestia. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.
Billed as a reimagining of The Pilgrim's Progress, Steven James' Quest for Celestia follows young Kadin as he journeys to the magical kingdom of Celestia. Though the premise sounds interesting, the writing falls flat with little time spent on plot or character development. The oblique references to the rape suffered by Leira, Kadin's companion, seem oddly mature for a book whose evils are otherwise decidedly magical in nature and may raise questions with perceptive readers. Given the inspiration for this work, the Christian allegory and imagery are not surprising, but do become quite overt at the end. Readers may enjoy the banter between Kadin and Leira, and Quest for Celestia makes a natural followup for those who enjoyed Narnia.
Grades 4 and above.
These reviews are drawn from my personal reading as well as from unpublished galleys available through NetGalley.com, and advanced reader copies. I receive no compensation for these reviews.