KP Book Review: The Wingfeather Saga

If you are searching for a book that encompasses the wit and the humor of the Princess Bride along with the charm and imagination found in The Chronicles of Narnia, (and even if you weren’t) The Wingfeather Saga is just for you. wingfeatherreview

Andrew Peterson opens the series with the book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, where we begin in the town of Glipwood and are introduced to the three Igiby children, Janner, Tink, and Leeli. Peterson’s writing style is quick-witted, fast-paced, and—as I like to put it—bouncy, which easily draws you into the world of Aerwiar and its inhabitants, including, but most certainly not limited to, Quill Diggles, Thwarps, Skreean Snickbuzzards, and the most feared of them all, the Toothy Cow. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Christi Eaton
Christine Eaton is a college student who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

KP Book Review: Jude the Obscure

What do you do if you find that you made a poor decision in the person you chose to marry?

This is one of the main questions that Jude the Obscure is wrestling with, and one that dominates the main plot of the book.  The story focuses on two characters: Jude, a humble stonemason who dreams of eventually entering college and entering the world of academia, and his cousin Sue, who works as an assistant teacher in a school.  Both characters have large hopes and dreams before they both rashly enter into marriages with poor partners.  And so, after they both find themselves in miserable marriages, as they begin to fall in love with each other instead of their spouses, the question becomes: what do they do next? judetheobscurereview

Without trying to spoil much of what happens next, suffice to say that neither Jude nor Sue end up following biblical commands with regards to the permanence of marriage.  Thomas Hardy, the author of this book, wrote in a postscript to the book that:

“My opinion is that a marriage should be dissolvable as soon as it becomes a cruelty to either of the parties.”

And the book ends up playing that opinion out.  Both characters make rather scathing attacks on the institution of marriage and most of the book seems to view their immoral and foolish choices with approval, which automatically leads to a question:

What is the value of reading this book? [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.

KP Book Review: Dreamlander

What if, in your dreams, you enter into another world?  What if the world of dreams was set in a fantasy setting with some splashes of steampunk and a growing schism between two warring nations?  What if normally, you and your dreaming self can only remember snatches of the life that you live on the other side?  But what if, unlike all the rest of the populace, you were able to fully remember what goes on in both the waking and dreaming worlds? dreamlanderreviewpost

This is the basic premise of Dreamlander, K.M. Weiland’s third published novel.  The protagonist of the story, Chris Redston, has spent the past several years of his life running away from his responsibilities and duties.  But when he becomes the Gifted—the only person able to remember both worlds—and inadvertently brings destructive forces into the dream world, he’s going to need to learn to take responsibility and learn how to fight if he’s going to save both worlds from crossing into each other and destroying themselves. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.

The Great Gatsby

By Christine Eaton

If you are like most high school students, the Great Gatsby is on your reading list: why?  Is it to experience a masterpiece of literary genius or is there something more to this novel?  In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this story, which is a staunch example of the frivolity of life without Christ as the foundation. Wealth, power, vanity, and adulterous relationships are the four core elements that drive the characters and plot of The Great Gatsby.  GreatGatsbyThroughout the story, it is shown how the characters felt secure in their way of life, how they let their own desires and impulses lead them, and how they twisted the morals they did have to fit in with their sinful lifestyle. In the end, they found that their world had collapsed because they did not have a proper foundation. Matthew 7:26-27 says “and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell. And great was the fall of it.” [ESV] this verse is the perfect description of the life of Fitzgerald’s main character, Jay Gatsby. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Christi Eaton
Christine Eaton is a college student who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

KP Book Review: Northanger Abbey

If you’re like me, as an avid reader or writer, you’ve probably imagined what it would be like to be the hero or heroine of your own little story. northangerabbey

And that’s what makes Northanger Abbey such a fun and entertaining book to read.  The book’s protagonist, Catherine Morland, is essentially a protagonist who does just that: she grew up reading tons of books, and thus she now views herself as a sort of heroine whose story is currently unfolding.  Like any Jane Austen protagonist, Catherine is a single woman in search of a husband.  And so, as the book unfolds, Catherine tries to compare herself with the heroines of the books that she’s read as she tries to find a spouse. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.

KP Book Review: Sword in the Stars

by Wayne Thomas Batson

The book begins like a stereotypical fantasy novel: with a character who is prophesied to find the “chosen one” figure of this universe.  Only problem is, the prophesied finder of the chosen one is a drunkard and when all the other signs of the prophesy line up, he is unable to actually find the chosen one. Book_ReviewSwordinthestars

From there, we then proceed to the main plot of the story, involving a murderous hostile nation that is bent on destroying the main nations of the world.  But make no mistake: this novel is largely not driven by plot.  The gems of the book are found in the fascinating world that Batson slowly sets up over the course of this book and the different characters that dominate the main storyline.

It’s about a man who struggles against an addiction to drink, a sarcastic and virtuous maiden, an optimistic king who just wants to bring peace to the realm, and another determined king who always sticks hard and fast to obeying the commandments of the God of this fantasy world.  In a book that largely serves as a prelude to the rest of Batson’s planned-seven-book series, it’s a book that is driven by characters but has an entertaining and twisting plot nonetheless. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.