Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CFBA: Landon Snow & The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson

Song Stuck on the Brain: "Oh the weather outside is frightful..." Rather apropos since today is our first day of winter weather and their calling for an ice storm. Brrr! It was 65 yesterday, we should hit 20 by five o'clock. And, I forgot to turn the heat on before I left the house today, so I'm going to freeze tonight until the heat catches up.

I know I've been terribly lame and haven't blogged since the holiday. I'll just say it's been HORRIBLY busy and I've got no other excuse. I will have a review of Hugh Jackman's The Fountain coming up. I'll try to do that tomorrow. But today, I have a CFBA post.

This week the CFBA is doing a blog tour for Landon Snow and The Island of Arcanum by R.K.Mortenson, published by Barbour Publishing (October 2006). I know this one came up earlier with CSFF, but this time I'll post my review.

In the latest adventure of Landon Snow And the Island of Arcanum, Landon, once again visits his grandparents in Button Up, Minnesota. If your familiar with the first two books, Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle, and Landon Snow and The Shadows of Malus Quidam, you'll know that Landon's adventures always start at the Library in Button Up.
This time, Landon's most dangerous journey yet, begins in a rowboat-shaped tombstone that floats. And it's lucky for him that it floats because a few drips from the library ceiling turns into a powerful waterfall.
The stone turns into wood. The stone book propped up in the prow of the boat turns to paper. The left page says "ANCHOR". The right page says "AWEIGH".

"Anchor aweigh?" said Landon.

Holly whispered, "Did you hear that?"

No one has time to respond, however. The next instant saw the water before them dropping away as the water behind them grew into a giant swell, pitching them headlong into the abyss.

Landon will have to protect his two younger sisters, Holly and Bridget, who wind up in the boat with him headed towards The Island of Arcanum. On the Island, the animals of Wonderwood are imprisoned and the evil shadows of Landon's nemesis, Malus Quidam lurk!

With the help of some old friends, a horse named Melech, an odd fellow named Hardy, a girl named Ditty, and the poet/prophet Vates--Landon seeks to unlock the island's dark secrets and escape with the animals intact.

But first, he must navigate his way through unchartered waters and battle the villainous Archans...Can Landon and his friends rescue the animals from deep within the island's stronghold?

My Thoughts:
A lot of people are comparing this to Harry Potter and I think that is a poor comparison. Mostly because, other than the fact that they're both fantasy adventure stories starring pre-pubescent boys, the stories are nothing alike. At all. Even the writing style is different. (Not that kids notice those kinds of things.) I suppose the idea is to convince Christians that their kids should read these in place of Potter. And if your kids like Fantasy Adventure, they'll probably like Landon Snow. Just don't expect it to be the same kind of story. Landon is good but not a replacement for Harry.

Of course this is all my own personal opinion, and besides, I love Harry Potter and I admit that I'm anxiously awaiting the last book.

As for Landon Snow, I think he's best taken at face value with no comparison to any other books. I'll be honest. I love the book. It's fun and a great adventure. Kids are sure to love it. I kind of wish I'd read the first two books in the series first, because the characters would have made more sense, but even at that, the story was captivating. So much so, that I plan on getting the other two in the series to read. And hopefully hook my nieces and nephews on them in the process.

I'd definitely recommend the series for children and adults - whether you're a Potter fan or not.

About the AUTHOR:
R.K.Mortenson is an ordained minister with the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. He has been writing devotional and inspirational articles since 1995. He currently serves as a navy chaplain in Florida and lives with his wife, daughter and son in Jacksonville.

This page at Barbour's site provides a few good links, two as recent as last week: The top link there goes to a story about Randy's adoption experiences, the second link goes to the Landon Snow short at Clubhouse magazine.

Randy got the idea for this series one late night, when flute music woke him from a sound sleep. As he stood at his window, trying to locate the source of the sound, he spied a library across the lawn. Suddenly, he envisioned an eleven-year-old sneaking out of his bed and stealing to the library in the dead of night...And thus Landon Snow was born.

No comments: