The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson
Whereas the first two books in The Wingfeather Saga Series was published by WaterBrook Press, this, the third book in the series, was published by Andrew Peterson’s own The Rabbit Room–a place for stories and creativity from the Christian perspective. The Rabbit Room is where artistic magic takes place for many musicians, writers, painters, sketchers, etc. Also, by purchasing resources from The Rabbit Room, you are better supporting the ministries and authors represented.
Tink (Kalmar) has undergone a change like no other. Janner still must protect his brother and sister though now he is finding that a bit more difficult since they have to go to school in the Green Hollows. What is more, both brothers are fighting against their new identities even if they are becoming accustomed to them.
For the first time since the Dragon Day Games, the Igiby (a.k.a. Wingfeather) children are able to settle into one place and not have to worry about running from danger. The only problem? The danger finds them. While it does make sense why the inhabitants of the Green Hollows, the reader is completely blindsided by what unfolds during the coarse of the telling of the story. Yes, there mother is someone to be reckoned with and there Grandpa (Podo) should have never boarded the ship, but the most important character of the entire series makes an appearance even if for a few pages. You will be kept guessing until the final page of the final chapter.
I am hooked. I was not prepared for the story to twist and turn the way it did. The surprises kept coming and the story continued to unfold right up to the final page. I have been fairly guarded in my past reviews of this series because I have published all three in consecutive days–it is a challenge to review a work of fiction without giving away any details!–as I did not want to be repetitive in each review. That being said, what I liked most about the entire series (thus far) is the foundation of the biblical ethics and the real-to-life struggle of pride and contentment that the characters must deal with.
If there was one thing I found lacking in this third book, it was the footnotes and the pictures. Certainly, the second book North! set the standard high in this regard. The footnotes have added much to the story line giving it a legitimate historical feel. The pictures added to the imagination of the reader as well. It must be stated, however, that by the time you read the third book, you have a pretty good idea who looks like what (or what looks like who).
Ultimately, the creativity of the story undergirded with the biblical truths of salvation and hope and grace and mercy and evil and sin will keep the readers attention through to the end. My biggest complaint is that I now have to wait until next year (or the year after!?) to read the next book in the series.
The Wingfeather Saga series must be read in order to be appreciated. I have plowed through this series in one week in order to review it this week. I am now going back and using this series for the read aloud time each evening with the family. What I wonder now is whether or not this is how people felt back in the 1950′s with the publication of the various Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings books. It is my estimation that the only thing keeping The Wingfeather Saga from being in the same league as Narnia or L.O.T.R. is time. a decade or two after this series is completed, I believe there will be one book shelf set aside for THREE great works of Christian fantasy–Tolkien, Lewis, and Peterson.