Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Crescent Stone, Sunlit Lands #1 by Matt Mikalatos

Book description:

A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . . 

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger name Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

My review:
  I'll admit this book sounded a bit weird to me, but I requested it because it also sounded interesting. And it is a bit weird, but a good weird.

 This is a fantasy novel written for teens, but I have found that books written for teens can be very enjoyable reads, and this one definitely was. I would put this book in the category of the Chronicles of Narnia. As with the Narnia books, one can spend too much time trying to find spiritual applications and allegorical truths where there are none. I simply read the book, and enjoyed it.

 That is not to say there are not truths and lessons to be learned and gained from reading the book. There definitely are....such as Jason's intense determination to always tell the truth, no matter what.

 The author came up with a great imaginary land to set his book in, along with a vast array of people and races that are in that land. Then he tossed two human teenagers into that land who had no clue as to the rules and what was really going on in that land. There were indeed many surprises in the book, and not is as it seems in the Sunlit Lands.

 The Chinese teen Jason absolutely made the book. Madeline is intended to be the main character, but the book would not have been nearly as entertaining and interesting without his antics. With his determination to tell the truth no matter what, coupled with his reckless habit of doing and saying the wrong thing at the worse times made me laugh out loud often while I was reading. He may be one of the funniest characters I have ever run across in all of my years of reading. I loved his antics and his fierce loyalty and determination to his friends.

 I would not call this a Christian book in the terms of the ones I usually read, but it is a great clean fantasy novel that has Biblical truths and lessons throughout it. I am hooked, and am looking forward to the next book in the series. This is a fantasy novel that stands above most I have read.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Matt Mikalatos writes books (surprise!). In the past, Matt worked as a high school teacher and a comic book clerk, but currently focuses on nonprofit work devoted to helping people love one another despite their differences. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, three daughters, two unicorns, a gryphon, a dragon, and three brine shrimp.

The Crescent Stone is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.