Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wind Follower redux

I believe I promised years ago -- I can't find the post in my archive, perhaps I deleted it afterwards -- to give Wind Follower another chance and see if my opinion of it changed at all. In the meantime my life has changed -- I hardly read fiction at all anymore -- but I made time I believe earlier this year (or late last year) to reread the book and see if time made a difference in how I see things.

I can better appreciate now some of the ambition of this book: the numerous allusions to Abraham and God's special relationship with Israel were, I think, lost on me earlier. I also have more sympathy for Satha and her family's various personality traits and character flaws. The worldbuilding is distinctive and the political interactions are sometimes subtle and complex -- sometimes ridiculously so, but that hasn't usually stopped me from enjoying a book.

Nevertheless - even though I don't remember exactly what my earlier objections were, I find something off about the overall spiritual worldview presented here. I think part of that is the point: that these people, even if the Creator God of the story is reaching out to them, have a worldview based on lies and misconceptions about the creator and various other spirits -- and it's not so easy to separate the lies from the truth. The power demons are given in this book disturbs me -- power to physically restrain, injure and maybe even kill people.

Bottom line: I can better appreciate what was attempted here and the skill of the writer, but I disagree with some of the apparent message. Obviously other people disagreed and loved this book (the Amazon reviews currently average 4.5 stars) so your mileage may vary greatly. Also, it has apparently been republished; the edition I have is the Juno one from 2007 or so. I don't know if any substantial changes were made in the new edition.

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