Sunday, August 16, 2009

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

North Or Be Eaten

North! Or Be Eaten
by Andrew Peterson

Trade Paperback: 331 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
First Released: 2009

Source: Review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest,(1) the thieving Stranders of the East Bend,(2) and the dreaded Fork Factory.(3)

But even more dangerous are the resentments and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart.

1. All possessing very sharp teeth.
2. Murderous scoundrels, the lot.
3. Woe!

North! Or Be Eaten is a young adult fantasy. Logic need not apply. (My poor, logical brain kept frying every time a sword or dagger was lost during a fight only to mysteriously and without comment show up when the owner needed it during the next fight.) There was a lot of happenstance and accidental good and bad fortune used to stir up the plot.

This is the second book in the series, and I haven't read the first book. I strongly suspect this book would be more understandable if I'd read the first book and learned the family's "normal" dynamics from it. As it was, I couldn't understand why the family members didn't seem to care about the odd behavior the others were showing.

The book starts out humorously, but quickly turns grim, sad, and full of guilt and shame. It's a world with very little beauty, trust, safety, or mercy. It was just so bleak and cruel, especially to the thousands of children in the book.

This book came from a Christian publisher, but the book showed no hint of Christian beliefs or religion. I can't even think of any good lessons found in the book.

The world was very imaginative, and what the new plants, animals, and objects looked like was always clear. The pacing was excellent.

There was no cussing, no sex, and no magic (in the sense of casting spells). I wouldn't give this book to a child under fourteen (unless I wanted to depress and frighten them), but some older teens or adults might like it. Overall, it's clean reading.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Chapter One
"Toooothy cow!" bellowed Podo as he whacked a stick against the nearest glipwood tree. The old pirate's eyes blazed, and he stood at the base of the tree like a ship's captain at the mast. "Toothy cow! Quick! Into the tree house!"

Not far away, an arrow whizzed through some hanging moss and thudded into a plank of wood decorated with a charcoal drawing of a snarling Fang. The arrow protruded from the Fang's mouth, the shaft still vibrating from the impact. Tink lowered his bow, squinted to see if he had hit the target, and completely ignored his grandfather.

"Tooooothy--oy! That's a fine shot, lad--Cow!"

Podo whacked the tree as Nia hurried up the rope ladder that led to the trapdoor in the floor of Peet the Sock Man's tree house. A sock-covered hand reached down and pulled Nia up through the opening.

"Thank you, Artham," she said, still holding his hand. She looked him in the eye and raised her chin, waiting for him to answer.

Peet the Sock Man, whose real name was Artham P. Wingfeather, looked back at her and gulped. One of his eyes twitched. He looked like he wanted to flee, as he always did when she called him by his first name, but Nia didn't let go of his hand.

No comments: