Monthly Archives: September 2011

CSFF bloggers like The Monster in the Hollows

Checking around on the websites of others on this blog tour, I’m finding that others really like or love this book too: The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson, Christian fantasy for middle grade and up.

Often, the third book in a sequential series will meet flagging interest. After all, to fully enjoy it, readers should also read Books 1 and 2. But in this case, many readers are saying they really like the book even though they haven’t read the first two books.

It’s the aspect of heroism, I think. The heroic deeds that are mentioned really resonate with us. And of course the book is very well written!

In the words of fellow blog tour blogger Gillian Adams,

“It is a tale of great depth.  … It is a tale that sings… It is a tale that rings true.”

See source

The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson, a review

The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson
Book 3 of the 4-book Wingfeather Saga
Published 2011 by Rabbit Room Press, 348 pages
Genre: Christian fantasy, age 10 and up

Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga tells the tale of the widow and three children of the King of Anniera, a blessed island kingdom overwhelmed nine years before by the dreaded fangs of Dang.

Read my review of the first book in the series. And the second book.

We learned in the second book that the fangs, which look like beast-humans, are actually recycled humans. In fact, the bad guys nearly succeeding in turning young Kalmar Wingfeather, the 11-year-old next king of Anniera, into a wolfish fang. He was rescued, but not in time. So he’s not quite a fang, but not quite human either. He looks a lot like a wolf, in fact.

Now the Wingfeather family is fleeing for refuge across the ocean to the Green Hollows, original home of their mother. The folk of the Hollows live in fear of the neighboring fangs, but somehow have managed to stay free, thanks to a mechanical barrier in their harbor and natural barriers at the edges of their lands. Because Kalmar looks like a fang, the Wingfeathers don’t get a welcome.  But because the mother agrees to take any punishment that Kalmar earns alongside Kalmar, the Green Hollows grudgingly lets them stay.

In this hostile land, will Kalmar be able to behave himself, or will he push the tolerance of the Hollows folk too far? And what of the monster that lurks at their house?

What do I think?

The Wingfeather series is getting better and better with each book, in my opinion. The series with this book has moved its center from humor toward serious themes. The book is fast-paced and contains lovable characters and great plot twists. Heroic deeds make it an emotional read, too. And it’s so cool to have such a flawed young hero as Kalmar. The book has a solid Christian foundation, a creator God who loves his people. You’ll love this book. I did.

This post is part of the Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy (CSFF) blog tour. Please take some time and look at what others are saying about this same book, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

Series Web site – http://www.WingfeatherSaga.com/
Author’s Web site – http://www.andrew-peterson.com/

Whales On Stilts by M.T. Anderson, a review

Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson
Published 2005 by Beach Lane Books, 188 pages
Genre: Middle grade “urban” fantasy

This book was the first in the popular Pals in Peril series and got a lot of awards, including the Publisher’s Weekly Best Children’s Book. My daughter loves these books and wanted me to read this one.

Lily accompanies her father to work for Career Day, sees his workplace in an abandoned warehouse (complete with secret laboratory), and soon suspects that her father’s working for someone who wants to take over the world. Her dad, though, is oblivious to all the clues around him. She enlists her friend Katie Mulligan, herself the heroine of a book series, and Jasper Dash, a techno-savvy hero of a book series from the 1950’s. But this is Lily’s book. She’s the one who does most of the thinking and figuring out.

It takes some thinking and figuring out to connect the dots on the wild and wacky stuff that’s going on. All the adults are oblivious to the danger posed by a bad guy with a grudge against the world, who mysteriously dumps buckets of brine on himself and wears a burlap sack over his head all the time. Jasper earnestly tries to come to the rescue with vintage machines, such as the photocopier powered by a mule, and the rocket car that might go as fast as 35 miles an hour.

Will there be an invasion of whales on stilts? If so, will Lily and friends be able to thwart the invasion?

What do I think? I thought this book was very silly and fun, and even had some suspenseful parts. The characters are well-drawn, and I enjoyed that.  Jasper, the gadget guy who’s a flop, is particularly funny. The book is not written by a Christian, though. There was just one jab at Christianity in it, which wise parents might want to discuss with their little readers. It’s on page  79, where Katie is about to be left at home alone by parents who clearly aren’t worried about any threats. Katie’s mother says, “I made you some Rice Krispies Treats, and there’s garlic on the door, and you have your crucifix and your ankh, right?”

There were no other stumbling blocks in that book. But the first chapter of the next book in the series is included. In it, Katie says “Oh, lordy,” while thinking about something bad that might happen. So the writer sprinkles in a few comments that are offensive to Christians. You could discuss that with your young readers, too.