Wizards, Wardrobes and Wookiees
Connie Neal

InterVarsity Press
Trade Paperback/229 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8308-3366-5
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". . . less a popular culture analysis and more a Christian guide to handling life in the twentieth-first century."

Wizards, Wardrobes and Wookies by Connie Neal is less a popular culture analysis and more a Christian guide to handling life in the twentieth-first century. It is not a book to pick up for a casual read—it is too complex and numbing in its repetition. Neal uses the stories and characters of the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia and Star Wars to lead into appropriate scripture and similar stories from the Bible.

Neal maintains this juxtaposition throughout the book. She highlights segments from one or more of the chosen series then reinforces the trait or aspect of life with quotations from the Bible. She emphasizes spiritual aspects in Star Wars, Harry Potter, or the Chronicles of Narnia in every illustration that she cites so that she can stress a corresponding reference from the Bible. But her citations are repetitive since the book deals only with the development of heroes.

She even elevates the characters in these stories from being personalities in books and movies, enjoyed for fun and escape, to guides that people in the “real world” look to for information on how to live their lives. That individuals, and most specifically children, actually behave in the real world in ways learned from these movies or books is stretching credulity and her premise a bit. As usual in a nonfiction work, there are other ways to interpret most of the “evidence” she cites from the films and books.

Her consistent point throughout the book is that the Bible, like the books and films that she choose to interpret, is all about overcoming evil with good. The story of the hero is all about overcoming evil with good. And our lives (a hero’s journey as we follow Jesus) will be a battle to overcome evil by good as we act as positive influences on others.

She ends the book the exhortation, “Live your adventure! Fight evil! Preserve that which is good! May God bless your journey and bless others through you!”

Reviewer: Denise Lowe