Original Books

Original Books is the blog where you will find the best of Christian fiction reviews. We hope you enjoy this blog and that you keep up with us as we continue to post reviews. Make sure you check the Elite List, the list of books we have rated 4 stars and above and the coming soon list to see what will soon be posted. If you feel we have forgotten about an author or a book or have any questions please email us at originalbooks200@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hadassah: One Night With the King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen

Haddassah has been taken by force to Persian King Xerxes' palace in order to undergo a year of treatment to be ready to meet the king and perhaps become the future queen. Hadassah did not choose this life: it chose her; but she is willing to do all she can win the contest she's been caught up in. She has had to leave behind her adoptive father and the only man she ever loved in pursuit of a new and greater love. She has to keep her identity a secret for fear of those who want to kill her. As the day draws near, everything in her life hinges on her one thing; one thing decides what she will do the rest of her life. It all is decided on one night with the king.

Tommy Tenney seems to enjoy fictionalizing Scriptural accounts, and perhaps he has found his place in life. A story like the story of Esther gives him room for creative licence, and he used this freedom in the correct way by making it realistic. Yet Hadassah fell short of the Elite List because of one thing-that thing being the most important thing an author can add to his book.

Characters are the most important thing, and Tommy fell short in this category. He retained the personality of Xerxes, for one can hardly ignore that, yet he resorted to stereotypical characters when dealing with the others. This is critical in such a limited plot as this, yet Tommy did not deliver, causing this book to fall below the Elite List.

Tommy expanded the story by adding background on how Haman was an Agagite and how Hadassah came to be named Esther. He opens the reader's eyes to what really went on in Persia using historical accounts. Many realistic things happen outside of the true story. The plot was as good as it could have been under the circumstances.

But adapted plots can never be five stars unless they are altered. There is a cap of four stars on an adapted plot because the reader already knows what is going to happen and because the author did not necessarily invent anything. Hadassah did not make this par because the characters are undeveloped. The only thing an author can do to improve an adapted plot save for changing it is adding good characters.

Yet Tommy Tenney shows promise as an author. It would be nice to see what he can do when he's not hiding behind borrowed plots, but again perhaps he has found his place in this world.

3.5 stars

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