Monday, August 13, 2012

Review - Giants in the Land: The Way of Things

"There must always be giants in the land..."

-- About the Book --

What would you do if one morning you woke up and the one thing you had relied on your entire life had disappeared? How would you react if everyone around you was falling into hopeless fear? Would you be able to take a stand and believe even when there was nothing visible to trust?

These questions are what Thomas has to answer when he awakens to discover that the giants are gone. The giants have helped his village for generations--farming, building, and clearing.  They have also protected their land and caused the people to live in perfect peace.  

Now, the village is in pandemonium. Who will step up to seek the giants and bring them back? Thomas volunteers, not because he is the bravest person in the village, but simply because he knows it is the right thing. His journey begins an adventure that will teach him the true meaning of courage, faith, and hope.

-- My Thoughts --

~I wasn't sure what to expect from Giants in the Land: The Way of Things by Clark Rich Burbidge. It is classified as juvenile fiction, but I definitely found it to be an interesting, thought provoking read. The symbolism the book drew between the giants and the people in our lives that are our leaders was really interesting and deeper than I was anticipating.  I couldn't help but compare this book to a Ted Dekker novel, and while it did not go into quite as much backstory or spiritual metaphor, I definitely would say it is a meaningful, action-genre book (especially for pre-teens).

~Trying not to give too many spoilers, I'd like to share two amazing quotes from the book: 

"While the way if things is the only path worth taking, it is not an easy one. Other paths may seem easier at first, but...they lead to nothing... selfishness, self indulgence, and useless distraction pretend to be freedom at first."

"All people grow up with giants in their lives on whom they depend...this learning environment is important in every society. But if carried to far, people tend to become overly dependent on their giants." Instead, the story encourages us to discover "the power of hope, which leads to the exercise of faith, which becomes knowledge, inner strength, and wisdom."

~You may be wondering where God is in the story.  Like The Chronicles of Narnia (I did think of The Silver Chair reading this book because of the giants), Giants has a parallel to God, named "Worldmaker." The giants serve this God, and have a received a promise from Him that they will live forever to serve mankind and help them serve Worldmaker (who the people call "by another name" sound like Narnia?).  This reminded me of angels in the Bible as well, so I wonder if this is an intended parallel.

~The illustrations in the book were really fun, cartoon styled images that really set the scene for each chapter!

~In the end, this book left me excited for the next installment in the series (the ending was a great cliffhanger!) and I would readily recommend this book to pre-teens, teens, and adults looking for a wonderful, easy read about becoming who you are meant to be.

I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my unbiased review.

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