Important Background Information:
The Door Within Trilogy actually consists of four books – The Door Within, The rise of the Wyrm Lord, The Final Storm, and The Blackwood. Granted, the first three books are the ones that follow a specific narrative, and the fourth book is just an extra unrelated story the author wrote afterward, but it’s still entitled The Door Within Trilogy: book 4. That makes me laugh. 🙂
What I Liked:
The author came up with some really clever world ideas. I liked how “the eyes tell the story” – if a glimpse follows King Eliam then his eyes flash blue, Paragor, they flash red, and if they haven’t decided, green. (but eventually, those whose eyes flash green will turn red if they don’t follow King Eliam).
I also liked how there was a glossary of characters and places in the beginning of the story.
The author did somewhat of a good job making you interested in what happens next – even though these aren’t my favorite books, I read the whole series because I wanted to know. 🙂
What I Didn’t Like:
How you and your glimpse are connect isn’t fully explained – if you and your glimpse die at the same time, but aren’t born at the same time, and if you do something horrid then your Glimpse does something horrid, how does it all work?
Sometimes the writing seemed stereotypical, and it wasn’t knit as tightly as it could have been.
Oddly enough, though the content concerns in this book aren’t large, there is a sizable amount. Much of what I’m talking about below is just mentioned once or twice in the series, too. It seems like a lot, but just remember it seems worse when it isn’t surrounded by the story.
Aiden has a bad attitude in the first part of the first book, and his parents aren’t supportive or nice either. In fact, they’re a little belittling (mainly in the first book). Also, he doesn’t treat his Grampin with much respect.
Robby is described as the “cool kid” and he has an earring. When we first meet Antoinette she’s hanging out with a group of kids known as the “trench coat clan”. All of them wear black (and make-up – even the boys), and it’s mentioned that some of the smoke. The author tries to portray this group as being a good group of kids who just act different – in his “lost chapters” section at the back of each book, he said he wanted to portray them this way because kids who dress like that tend to get judged and thought of a certain way. It’s mentioned that some characters are having a belching contest.
The Paragor Knights and everything that goes with them might scare some people as the book is intended as an allegory and they represent Satan and his minions. There is a lot of fighting, and a lot of people die – even characters that were main parts of the story.
The main characters are about fourteen, and the author has some who-likes-who stuff going on. It doesn’t get too bad and it isn’t the main focus of the story, but Aiden and Gwenne do kiss a couple of times, even though they’re only 14.
The trilogy is intended as somewhat of an allegory (at least that’s what I got from it), and I definitely think you need to remember that not everything you read is going to be allegorical. Also, there are a couple of times it mentions that the characters need to “trust their hearts” or “follow thier hearts.” We know from scripture that we shouldn’t follow our hearts, because “…out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:19, ESV)”
It’s implied/shown (slightly) that one character has an abusive dad and a broken family.
The fourth book is kind of creepy, as it’s a mystery where they are trying to figure out who is killing people in a disturbing manner. Grotesque wounds are described – it made me wrinkle my nose, and I kind of had to distance myself from that part as I was reading it do too absolute disgust. Nock and Mallik, who are the main characters of this story, visit a morgue and the smell is mentioned. The person in charge of the morgue wears a creepy mask. The bodies with the wounds are shown to Nock and Mallik, and for some reason, the author saw fit to mention that the first one they saw was female and that they had to move a covering to see the wounds. It was a kind of disturbing addition to the trilogy.
The story felt kind of like the author was writing for a much younger group of people, and then last minute decided to try and mature the story so that older people would want to read it too. I thought it was fun to read, and I liked how the “eyes tell the story.”
What is an allegory?
What allegorical aspects could you see?
What does the Bible say about the attitudes we should have?
What does the Bible say about families?
What does the Bible say about the fight between good and evil?
Who does King Eliam represent?
Affiliate Links and Book Summaries:
Book Summaries (from Amazon):
The Blackwood (This book seems to only be on kindle):
The Door Within:
“Aidan Thomas is miserable. Within two weeks, Aidan’s life is completely uprooted as his parents move the family across the country to care for his ailing grandfather. The quiet but imaginative Aidan is struggling with attending a new school and fitting in with a new group of friends. But when he begins having nightmares and eerie events occur around his neighborhood, Aidan finds himself drawn to his grandfather’s basement—where he discovers three ancient scrolls and a mysterious invitation to another world.
No longer confined to the realm of his own imagination, Aidan embarks on an adventure where he discovers a long-fought war between good and evil. With the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance, Aidan faces Paragory, the eternal enemy with unfathomable power. Will Aidan be willing to risk everything and trust the unseen hand of the one true King?”
The Rise of the Wyrm Lord:
“The Rise of the Wyrm Lord revisits favorite characters from The Door Within and opens with Aidan Thomas in trouble. Separated from his best friend by a thousand miles and unable to return to The Realm of Glimpses himself, Aidan needs a way to reach Robby with a message from King Eliam, the one true King. Enter Antoinette Reed, a bright but headstrong young woman who seems like the perfect person to reach King Eliam.
When Aidan discovers that Antoinette has been called to enter The Realm, he solicits her help to find Robby’s Glimpse before it is too late. But when she arrives in the Kingdom of Alleble, Antoinette finds the kingdom is in turmoil. Alleble’s allies are inexplicably beginning to turn away, renouncing former ties with King Eliam. And there are rumors that the dark Prince of Paragory, sworn enemy of the Kingdom, is seeking an ancient evil power—the Wyrm Lord—to crush the Alleble once and for all.”
The Final Storm:
“Pure evil collides as Paragor, the betrayer of the one true King Eliam, unites with the Wyrm Lord and the mythical Seven Sleepers to launch a full-scale assault on the Kingdom of Alleble. And while their enemies plot their next attack, Alleble’s remaining allies flee from the four corners of The Realm to safety within the Alleble’s walls. Once there, the allies find the Kingdom crestfallen, grieving a fallen hero. While Alleble and its allies prepare to face the coming onslaught, they cling to an ancient legend about three witnesses who have the power to bring victory. But is the legend true? And if it is, where are the witnesses?
Time is running out as darkness spreads over the Realm, and Paragor unleashes the final storm. But will anyone survive to see the dawn?”
“Something wicked has made its home in Yewland’s famed Blackwood Forest. Dozens of Queen Illaria’s finest soldiers have ventured in, only to meet hideous, violent ends. Now, it’s up to Nock and Mallik to hunt down the threat that lurks among the dark trees. But they will soon discover that they are not the only hunters in the Blackwood.
This Door Within Universe Novella brings back two fan favorites, Nock and Mallik, and puts them on a forest path full of treachery, peril, and mystery. ADDED BONUS: Many readers have written in, asking “What happened to Aidan, Antoinette, and Robby when they entered The Realm Beyond the Sun?” Included with this Kindle novella, is a short Epilogue that answers that question. Read on to have adventures “beyond your wildest dreams.”
In the time that transpires between Door Within books, there was “Realm Time” for lots of other adventures. Join Mallik and Nock for their second side quest. But after…you might want to sleep with the lights on.”