Thursday, May 19, 2011

He can write too - A review of "The Monster in the Hollows" by Andrew Peterson

"I'd rather be sick for a week than read a book." - Anthony Tongin

I can relate to that sentiment; and had I been clever enough for the comparison it would have well described my childhood through college reading; instead I lifted a quote from a college Bible study some years ago.  Currently I can't find enough time to finish off my stack of "to be reads".

I had a work trip to Canada which gave me a nice chunk of time to read a book that showed up at my doorstep - The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson.  Available via the Rabbitroom.

This is book three of the Wingfeather Saga.  It is aimed more towards the 10-14 y/o market but they'd have to rip it from my cold dead hands.

No secret that I am a fan of Andrew Peterson music going on 13 years now.  When he wrote the first book (On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness) I was sceptical.  I didn't want my favorite singer to be tarnished by a lousy book.  My fears were for nothing.  The story was funny, great twists, and just a roller coaster that I never wanted to exit.

I also greatly enjoyed the created world.  I place this firmly between "Chronicles of Narnia" and LOTR.  It has the imagination and detail of LOTR without being heavy or overwhelming.  It doesn't come off as convenient as Narnia sometimes felt to me.  Then add two scoops of humor and you're in for a good time.

Then second book (North or Be Eaten) was another roller coaster that was very enjoyable.  Picks you up just after catching your breath from the first ride.

Onto the latest installment - The Monster in the Hollows.  Basically it was the easiest 300+ pages I've ever read.  Even on 4hrs of sleep and stuck in a tin can at 30,000ft for 2 hours, then 3 hours; I was reading rather than sleeping.  I tried reading 1-2 chapters and then putting it down.  Didn't work.  This thing was as addictive as yummy popcorn.

I was expecting a good book (well written, tight) and it did not disappoint.  What I was not expecting were the continual plot twists.  I had one of them pegged but the others were just stunning.  And they just kept getting shot at you.  I kept thinking "okay, there can't possibly be anything else to toss out there" and then like a never-ending quiver of arrows +3 out comes another shot that strikes its target.

I think the story has matured with each installment and the emotional battle of the characters are compelling. I felt wrapped in the anguish and joy of each of the Wingfeather children.  I was hooked in the story, not just reading it.

The story seems written to be read out loud.  Most chapters wrap up leave you hanging for one more sentence.  I can imagine my brood yelling for me to read another chapter, then another.  I know the feeling of tension.  It'll probably be another year until the next book.

So if you can't tell.  I liked it.  I think it is best as a third installment (i.e. read the other two first).  But there is plenty of background where I didn't need to brush up and it is probably sufficient that the story carries on its own.

Also these would make wonderful cinema.  Now, who could do a soundtrack for such a movie series?

1 comment:

  1. Since I haven't read it yet, I can't compare them, but I think the last Harry Potter was a very quick read for a 300+ book, too. Maybe I should skip listening to Orthodoxy & read this instead for our 8+ hours of driving that is coming up.