On the 600th post of this blog (whoa), I’m happy to finish off this CSFF Tour with my review of our feature book North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson.
The last two days have been my take on a whimsical overview of North! and the previous book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Whimsical, because that’s the tone that Peterson has used for this series. You can tell he has a lot of fun writing these books.
North! is actually a lot more intense than the first book. It is a little dark at times. In Dark Sea, he probably had fun setting up the fictional world of Aerwiar, while the second book takes on the tone of an Empire Strikes Back. The Igibys are forever being chased, hiding, or escaping some impossible situation. The short, punchy chapters keep the action going, and the almost non-stop cliffhangers always leave my boys howling for more (as we have been reading it at night the last couple of months).
Peterson has a wonderful imagination, and it shows in his characters. They are deep characters for a young adult novel. Most of the viewpoint is from 12 year old Janner, who feels a burdening responsibility for his family, in the midst of all the peril. He is a noble young man who has faults, loses his temper, and makes mistakes.
Also, Peterson is a noted songwriter/singer, so there is a lyrical nature to his prose. You can tell he takes care with the words he uses. The result is a finely crafted book that is entertaining and offers some deep insight into the human nature, sin, forgiveness, and rising up to your potential.
As I said, I’m reading it to my boys, ages 9 and 8. My eight year-old thinks it’s the best book he’s ever read, and he’s a good reader. I think it is a great book for reading out loud, because it’s fun enough to really get dramatic with it. It is well-written enough for adults to really enjoy it as well.
If you’re wondering if there is quality Christian fiction out there for your children, then this would be the first place I would recommend. And if you want more information, go to the bottom of Becky Miller’s first post, where she has a list of all those who have posted for the tour.