CSFF Tour – North! or Be Eaten Day 3

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.

CSFF Tour – North! or Be Eaten Day 3

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.

CSFF Tour – North! or Be Eaten Day 2

On day 2 of our tour supporting the latest book from Andrew Peterson, North! or Be Eaten, you may wonder “Why North?” and “Why would they be eaten?” or perhaps even “Who’s eating who?”

Never fear, for your questions will be answered.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the first book in the series, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, the Igibys are running from the only home the children have known to avoid the dastardly Fangs of Dang. Janner Igiby now knows he is the Throne Warden of Anniera, charged with protecting the king, his younger and impulsive brother Tink. Along with his sister Leeli (the first Song Maiden in generations), his ex-pirate grandfather Podo (complete with peg leg and bushy eyebrows), mom Nia, and family friend Oskar N. Reteep, they are fleeing the grasp of the Nameless Evil that drives the Fangs (known as Gnag the Nameless).

Since the Fangs of Dang are green, scaly, and resemble walking lizards, the Ice Prairies in the North would be the ideal place to hide from them. That is where the Skreean resistance, lead by the mysterious Gammon, hides. Biding their time, they wait to find the key to rid their land of the terrible invaders.

Unfortunately, they have to survive the terrors of Glipwood Forest, make it past the thieving, murderous lot of Stranders of the East Bend, and even face the dark bowels of the Fork Factory.

Will the children, heirs of a lost kingdom, and their family make it past these woes and travails? Will Janner find what it takes to fulfill his position as Throne Warden? Will Oskar again be able to be the Appreciator of the Strange, the Neat, and/or the Yummy? And what of the new and terrible Grey Fangs? The Florid Sword? Bomnubbles?!

As you can see, there are many more questions about this young adult fantasy. Questions that may not be answered here, but you can be sure will be stoked as much as possible as I give my review of the book tomorrow, the penultimate day of the tour!

Oh, and see my pals on the tour for further strange and neat posts (doubt they will be particularly yummy…)

CSFF Tour – North! or Be Eaten Day 2

On day 2 of our tour supporting the latest book from Andrew Peterson, North! or Be Eaten, you may wonder “Why North?” and “Why would they be eaten?” or perhaps even “Who’s eating who?”

Never fear, for your questions will be answered.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the first book in the series, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, the Igibys are running from the only home the children have known to avoid the dastardly Fangs of Dang. Janner Igiby now knows he is the Throne Warden of Anniera, charged with protecting the king, his younger and impulsive brother Tink. Along with his sister Leeli (the first Song Maiden in generations), his ex-pirate grandfather Podo (complete with peg leg and bushy eyebrows), mom Nia, and family friend Oskar N. Reteep, they are fleeing the grasp of the Nameless Evil that drives the Fangs (known as Gnag the Nameless).

Since the Fangs of Dang are green, scaly, and resemble walking lizards, the Ice Prairies in the North would be the ideal place to hide from them. That is where the Skreean resistance, lead by the mysterious Gammon, hides. Biding their time, they wait to find the key to rid their land of the terrible invaders.

Unfortunately, they have to survive the terrors of Glipwood Forest, make it past the thieving, murderous lot of Stranders of the East Bend, and even face the dark bowels of the Fork Factory.

Will the children, heirs of a lost kingdom, and their family make it past these woes and travails? Will Janner find what it takes to fulfill his position as Throne Warden? Will Oskar again be able to be the Appreciator of the Strange, the Neat, and/or the Yummy? And what of the new and terrible Grey Fangs? The Florid Sword? Bomnubbles?!

As you can see, there are many more questions about this young adult fantasy. Questions that may not be answered here, but you can be sure will be stoked as much as possible as I give my review of the book tomorrow, the penultimate day of the tour!

Oh, and see my pals on the tour for further strange and neat posts (doubt they will be particularly yummy…)

CSFF Tour – North! Or Be Eaten Day 1


Ah, the CSFF Tour is back again! And we have an excellent book to discuss, the latest in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson, North! or Be Eaten. (Please note the exclamation point is part of the title…)

I featured this book in 2009 for another book tour (for which I did receive a review copy of the book, for disclosure purposes, see addendum on page 39084 subsection HK-47).

For those who missed out, let me explain the first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Wait, there is too much. Let me sum up:
– Fangs (they’re bad) invaded Skree
– The Igibys include Grandpa Podo, Mother Nia, boys Janner and Tink, and the youngest Leeli
– Nobody likes the Fangs
– The Fangs don’t like nobody either
– Peet the Sock Man is strange, but he seems to watch over the Igibys
– Nia makes great maggotloaf
– The Fangs are looking for the Jewels of Anniera, a far away land no one believes in anymore
– The Igiby kids don’t know what the Jewels of Anniera are…

(Spoiler for the first book)
– The Igiby kids are the Jewels of Anniera

– Watch out for toothy cows
– Finally, the Igibys are on the run from the Fangs

If you kept up with that, then you will be ready for more silliness tomorrow! Until then, enjoy my fellow tourmates, who should be able to provide some more useful information, and perhaps more silliness…

(P.S. I love ellipses…)

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Amy Browning
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Steve and Andrew
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

CSFF Tour – North! Or Be Eaten Day 1


Ah, the CSFF Tour is back again! And we have an excellent book to discuss, the latest in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson, North! or Be Eaten. (Please note the exclamation point is part of the title…)

I featured this book in 2009 for another book tour (for which I did receive a review copy of the book, for disclosure purposes, see addendum on page 39084 subsection HK-47).

For those who missed out, let me explain the first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Wait, there is too much. Let me sum up:
– Fangs (they’re bad) invaded Skree
– The Igibys include Grandpa Podo, Mother Nia, boys Janner and Tink, and the youngest Leeli
– Nobody likes the Fangs
– The Fangs don’t like nobody either
– Peet the Sock Man is strange, but he seems to watch over the Igibys
– Nia makes great maggotloaf
– The Fangs are looking for the Jewels of Anniera, a far away land no one believes in anymore
– The Igiby kids don’t know what the Jewels of Anniera are…

(Spoiler for the first book)
– The Igiby kids are the Jewels of Anniera

– Watch out for toothy cows
– Finally, the Igibys are on the run from the Fangs

If you kept up with that, then you will be ready for more silliness tomorrow! Until then, enjoy my fellow tourmates, who should be able to provide some more useful information, and perhaps more silliness…

(P.S. I love ellipses…)

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Amy Browning
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Steve and Andrew
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

Review of North! or Be Eaten

I’m piggybacking on another blog tour, the Children’s Book Blog Tour, because my wife does say often sometimes I’m just a big kid.

Actually, I’m reviewing the latest book from Andrew Peterson, second book in the Wingfeather Saga: North! or Be Eaten.

I blogged about the first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness last year, and it was one of my top books for 2008. Does North disappoint?

Andrew Peterson is a singer/songwriter in addition to his authorial skills (dude’s way too creative for his own good!), and he has created a memorable world that is immersive yet doesn’t take itself too seriously. Last year I likened it the the movie The Princess Bride, and that continues to be an apt comparison.

The three Wingfeather children (the two boys Janner and Tink, and the young crippled girl Leeli) have faced some harrowing times escaping their hometown of Glipwood after the Fangs of Dang attacked. Their family is trying to make their way to the Ice Praries of Skree, because everyone knows the Fangs, scaly beasts that they are, don’t like the cold. But they have numerous obstacles to overcome, such as snickbuzzards, Fingap Falls, and various other Woes.

The three siblings learn the importance of family and staying true to who they are as danger assults them on every turn. But will they be able to outrun the reach of the Nameless Evil, whose name is Gnag the Nameless…

The book continues the lighthearted fun and adventure of the first book. There are many plot twists, and the reader never knows who Janner and his family can trust. Peterson seems to delight in cliffhanger chapter endings, which always makes my boys eager for the next night of reading. The book may be a little heavier on the action now that he had established his fantasy world, and there are a couple parts that could be a little scary for the wee ones.

Overall, North continues the great beginning from the Dark Sea of Darkness, and makes a poor fellow wait for the upcoming conclusion to a wonderful children’s series. I greatly enjoyed reading it for this tour, and my boys can’t wait for us to start it. I’m sure they will be panting for more by the end.

If you want more information, check out my tourmates below:

The 160 Acre Woods, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz, KidzBookBuzz.com, My Own Little Corner of the World, My utopia, Novel Teen, Olive Tree, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

Review of North! or Be Eaten

I’m piggybacking on another blog tour, the Children’s Book Blog Tour, because my wife does say often sometimes I’m just a big kid.

Actually, I’m reviewing the latest book from Andrew Peterson, second book in the Wingfeather Saga: North! or Be Eaten.

I blogged about the first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness last year, and it was one of my top books for 2008. Does North disappoint?

Andrew Peterson is a singer/songwriter in addition to his authorial skills (dude’s way too creative for his own good!), and he has created a memorable world that is immersive yet doesn’t take itself too seriously. Last year I likened it the the movie The Princess Bride, and that continues to be an apt comparison.

The three Wingfeather children (the two boys Janner and Tink, and the young crippled girl Leeli) have faced some harrowing times escaping their hometown of Glipwood after the Fangs of Dang attacked. Their family is trying to make their way to the Ice Praries of Skree, because everyone knows the Fangs, scaly beasts that they are, don’t like the cold. But they have numerous obstacles to overcome, such as snickbuzzards, Fingap Falls, and various other Woes.

The three siblings learn the importance of family and staying true to who they are as danger assults them on every turn. But will they be able to outrun the reach of the Nameless Evil, whose name is Gnag the Nameless…

The book continues the lighthearted fun and adventure of the first book. There are many plot twists, and the reader never knows who Janner and his family can trust. Peterson seems to delight in cliffhanger chapter endings, which always makes my boys eager for the next night of reading. The book may be a little heavier on the action now that he had established his fantasy world, and there are a couple parts that could be a little scary for the wee ones.

Overall, North continues the great beginning from the Dark Sea of Darkness, and makes a poor fellow wait for the upcoming conclusion to a wonderful children’s series. I greatly enjoyed reading it for this tour, and my boys can’t wait for us to start it. I’m sure they will be panting for more by the end.

If you want more information, check out my tourmates below:

The 160 Acre Woods, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz, KidzBookBuzz.com, My Own Little Corner of the World, My utopia, Novel Teen, Olive Tree, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

CSFF Tour – Review of Dark Sea of Darkness

What do you get when you take a talented songwriter, put him in a fantasy land, and allow him some whimsy as he tells a story? You would do pretty doggone good if you ended up with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Andrew Peterson has made several critically acclaimed albums, and now he turns his talent to a tale of adventure, peril, lost jewels, and the fearsome toothy cows of Skree. Edge is the first book in the Wingfeather Saga. It is being marketed as a young adult (YA) series, but it is such an enchanting tale it shouldn’t be missed by an adult audience.

The story features Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, and their crippled sister Leeli as they go to enjoy the Dragon Day festival in their town of Glipwood. These three children live with their mother Nia and their peglegged ex-pirate grandpa Podo, and they are greatly loved. Their life would be perfect, if not for the occupation of Skree by the Fangs of Dang, led by a Nameless Evil (called Gnag the Nameless). Janner, as the oldest, is tasked with keeping an eye on his siblings, but finds this duty is harder to fulfill than originally planned. Soon they are in the midst of great adventure and danger, such as haunted houses, aforementioned toothy cows, sock men, and giant Nuggets.

This book reminds me of the movie and book The Princess Bride. Peterson creates a well-thought out fantasy world that has a wink and a nod to it. The reader can tell he had fun writing it, and the enjoyment comes out in the little goofiness sprinkled throughout. He creates little touches like fake references to Skreean literature such as “Taming the Creepiful Wood” (in footnotes, of all places!), and having examples of the shovel request form in the appendix.

The characters resonate, from gruff Podo to the bookish Oskar N. Reteep. The action moves along with 51 short, well-paced chapters. The tone is often kept a little light, but the tension areas will still have the kids holding onto a pillow and begging for one more chapter. The story is not an allegory, and there is not a strong overt spiritual tone (keeping in line with books like Narnia), but the underlying theme is potent for those with eyes to see.

I greatly enjoyed the book overall. It was a quick read, yet I can still pick it up while preparing for this post and find myself delighting in the story. There are a few points where he jumps into another character’s head, making me as a reader stop and wonder what just happened to the perspective. However, these are few and minor overall. I must state a warning though: reading this book in public may cause you to be the recipient of funny looks from people, as you read a clever passage, process it, and giggle like you just got a joke.

If you want to read a witty, light-hearted, yet poignant tale from a talented new author, then pick up Edge and enjoy the ride. When you’re done, you’ll be saying along with many others it’s “jouncey as a two-ton bog pie.”

CSFF Tour – Review of Dark Sea of Darkness

What do you get when you take a talented songwriter, put him in a fantasy land, and allow him some whimsy as he tells a story? You would do pretty doggone good if you ended up with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Andrew Peterson has made several critically acclaimed albums, and now he turns his talent to a tale of adventure, peril, lost jewels, and the fearsome toothy cows of Skree. Edge is the first book in the Wingfeather Saga. It is being marketed as a young adult (YA) series, but it is such an enchanting tale it shouldn’t be missed by an adult audience.

The story features Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, and their crippled sister Leeli as they go to enjoy the Dragon Day festival in their town of Glipwood. These three children live with their mother Nia and their peglegged ex-pirate grandpa Podo, and they are greatly loved. Their life would be perfect, if not for the occupation of Skree by the Fangs of Dang, led by a Nameless Evil (called Gnag the Nameless). Janner, as the oldest, is tasked with keeping an eye on his siblings, but finds this duty is harder to fulfill than originally planned. Soon they are in the midst of great adventure and danger, such as haunted houses, aforementioned toothy cows, sock men, and giant Nuggets.

This book reminds me of the movie and book The Princess Bride. Peterson creates a well-thought out fantasy world that has a wink and a nod to it. The reader can tell he had fun writing it, and the enjoyment comes out in the little goofiness sprinkled throughout. He creates little touches like fake references to Skreean literature such as “Taming the Creepiful Wood” (in footnotes, of all places!), and having examples of the shovel request form in the appendix.

The characters resonate, from gruff Podo to the bookish Oskar N. Reteep. The action moves along with 51 short, well-paced chapters. The tone is often kept a little light, but the tension areas will still have the kids holding onto a pillow and begging for one more chapter. The story is not an allegory, and there is not a strong overt spiritual tone (keeping in line with books like Narnia), but the underlying theme is potent for those with eyes to see.

I greatly enjoyed the book overall. It was a quick read, yet I can still pick it up while preparing for this post and find myself delighting in the story. There are a few points where he jumps into another character’s head, making me as a reader stop and wonder what just happened to the perspective. However, these are few and minor overall. I must state a warning though: reading this book in public may cause you to be the recipient of funny looks from people, as you read a clever passage, process it, and giggle like you just got a joke.

If you want to read a witty, light-hearted, yet poignant tale from a talented new author, then pick up Edge and enjoy the ride. When you’re done, you’ll be saying along with many others it’s “jouncey as a two-ton bog pie.”