Wednesday, January 27, 2010

‘North! Or Be Eaten’ by Andrew Peterson – Book Review

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Full Disclosure Fact # 1 – this is the first time in a long time that I have read a book in the Fantasy Fiction genre.  Full Disclosure Fact # 2 – this is my first encounter with the talent of Andrew Peterson, the author of the latest novel I've read, ‘North! Or Be Eaten.’  In addition to his writing credits, Andrew is also a singer/songwriter and recording artist in the Contemporary Christian genre who has ten albums (I will be checking into his music next!). 

This is Book Two in Mr. Peterson’s The Wingfeather Saga.  Book One is entitled ‘On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.’  The Wingfeather Saga follows the adventures of the Igiby family; the children are Leeli, Janner and Tink.  Other characters in this interesting tale are the children’s mother, Nia, their grandfather, Podo (a pirate in his younger years), and Peet the Sock Man (aka Artham P. Wingfeather), among many others.  

The story is full of amazing – and scary! – creatures such as the Toothy Cow, the Horned Hound (the horn is on his forehead), the Fangs of Dang, the Snickbuzzard (complete with a belly button!), the Chorkney (a large flightless bird), the Bomnubble, the Bumpy Digtoad and the Quill Diggle.  Many of these creatures are featured in illustrations in the novel – several by the multi-talented Mr. Peterson! 

There are many allegorical themes which can correlate to the author’s Christian faith.  The main characters regularly pray to the Maker.  The adventures of the Igiby family are a constant battle between good and evil.   The family’s ultimate destination is Kimera, which can be likened to Heaven.  It is ultimately a story of redemption. 

This novel is geared to the Young Adult Category, which is listed as ages 14 to 21.  Although I am well past that age, I still think it is valuable to read books which spark our imaginations.  And this novel does that very well. 

Despite the fact that fantasy fiction is not my favorite genre, I still found this novel to be both entertaining and compelling.  Admittedly, it did take me quite a few pages in for it to grab my attention.  I think it would have been helpful to have read Book One, ‘On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness,’ in order to more easily catch on.  Once I did catch on, I can favorably compare it to C.S. Lewis’s ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series and J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy, both of which I read many years ago.  Mr. Peterson has the ability to create a fantasy world with characters that we ultimately root for, no matter our age.

In addition to the two titles in The Wingfeather Saga, Mr. Peterson is also the author of ‘The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats,’ a book explaining the lineage of Jesus to children ages 4 to 8.     

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher, WaterBrook Press.


Anonymous said...

Sounds interexting. Love Sci-Fi!

Fantasythyme said...

Thanks for blogging this month with the CSFF Blog Tour. North or Be Eaten is a fun read for all ages, though it's geared to young adults.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Great review, Andrea. And I agree that reading the first book (which is delightful and fun in its own right) would make this second book easier to get into.

Thanks for taking part in the tour.


Andrea said...

Hi Diane, Tim and Becky -

Thanks for stopping by. It was a fun read!

Blessings -


Krysti said...

I enjoyed North! Or Be Eaten too, even though I haven't read book one either!

(I most especially enjoyed growling, hissing, hollering, declaiming AND exclaiming at my kids, "NORTH! Or Be Eaten!" :D I love getting them to laugh with me.)

Andrea said...

Sounds like a fun way to make a book come alive to children, Krysti! Thanks for stopping by - and for sharing!

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