Book Review

As much as I'd like to be able to tell you this review is completely unbiased, I can't. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson was already a favorite of mine halfway through the second introduction. Of course I had a feeling that this would be the case even before receiving my advanced copy in the mail. (BTW - Thanks to Staci Carmichael of Random House for the free copies and the chance to have a sneak read).

In case we aren't friends (I've already confessed my deep admiration for Andrew Peterson on numerous occasions with my pals and to those who frequent this blog) and you are unaware of who Andrew Peterson is, let me quickly try and inform you. I first heard Andrew Peterson (along with his wife Jamie and fellow musician Gabe) at a Caedmon's Call concert in the spring of '98 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. My music world the previous year had a huge missing piece due to the loss of Rich Mullins, and I thought I'd never hear music like that again. Then Andrew opened the show. I promote Andrew Peterson as the artist who filled the void of Rich Mullins. I don't say this lightly.

So as you can read, I had a bit of a bias as I cracked the pages to On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Upon receiving the two copies (one I'm allowed to give away) I read the three introductions and first couple of chapters sitting outside the door to my apartment. I had accidently locked myself out, leaving my keys inside and my phone had just died on me. Surely those were the makings of a bad evening, but my laughter as I read the introductions removed all my day’s frustrations.

When my roommate, the Deuce, arrived we went to Chipotle with MyPhilip, where I read aloud to them the three introductions as well. They were hooked too and asked me to hurry up so they could borrow the book.

Now I'm a slow reader, somewhat dyslexic, but I devoured this novel. Well what I consider devouring, for many others you might have been able to read the book twice, but nevertheless.

I hesitate to compare this story with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or with the Harry Potter series, although it might be in the same vain as those, but it truly is its own story.

Here are three of things I initial appreciate about AP’s writing:

1. Timing – He’s takes his time with the story, allowing the story to build and the characters to develop without having to write an entire “year-in-the-life” story (not that I don’t like that either, this is just unique now a days.)

2. Humor – using wit, puns, and just clever wording

3. Built In Soundtrack - As I was reading I could hear Andrew’s songs in my head. Especially from the ablum The Far Country.

This is only Book One in The Wingfeather Saga, and I can’t wait until the next book comes out.

Here is how one person summarized the book:

In the quiet land of Skree, the Igiby children—Janner, his younger brother Tink, and their crippled sister Leeli—stumble upon the lost jewels of Anniera and determine to return them. Unfortunately, the scary-bad Gnag the Nameless seeks the jewels for his own evil ends… and so our band of friends, accompanied by their trust dog Nugget, must escape with the help of their mom and grandfather (who happens to be an ex-pirate).

Their journey takes them through an inventively fantastical world of wonders, complete with memorable characters (like Gnag’s evil minions the Fangs and Peet the Sock Man), fanciful creatures (like sea dragons, snickbuzzards, toothy cows, flabbits, and bomnubbles), and captivating places (like the Books & Crannies bookstore, Shaggy Tavern, the Dark Sea of Darkness that divides the land of Skree from Anniera, the Glipwood Forest, Ice Prairies, and the Stony Mountains).

Through fast-paced storytelling, little ditties, songs, and poems, side-splitting asides, sensory descriptions of time and place, and characters rich in heart, courage, and smarts, Andrew Peterson has created a wondrous tale you’ll enjoy and treasure—just like those lost jewels.

Seriously, bad guys named the Fangs of Dang, loathsome toothy cows, and a used bookstore. What an amazing book!

BTW - - On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness came out on Tuesday!!!

I want to encourage you to run out and pick up your copy. Try ordering HERE from Amazon. While you’re buying yours think about buying a second and giving it away to a pre-teen in your neighborhood. Even though I got my copy for free I still plan on purchasing one as well. I know exactly who I want to give it to. There is this one young guy at church who always has a book with him and I talk to him often to hear what I should be reading.

FYI BooksChristian.com, as of today, has the best price online.

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