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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Spirit Fighter

Note: This is not only a Middle Grade book, but also a book with a Christian basis, so if that's not something you're interested in reading feel free to read any number of my other reviews.

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Author: Jerel Law
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Length: 256 pages

Your mom always said you were an angel. What if she was right?

Jonah Stone has always thought of himself as average, but in seventh grade he learns a fascinating family secret, and his world turns upside down. Jonah’s mom is a nephilim, the daughter of a human and a fallen angel, which makes Jonah one-quarter angel. When his mom is kidnapped by fallen angels, it’s up to Jonah and his sister Eliza to rescue her. Guided by prayer and a guardian angel, Jonah and Eliza embark on an epic adventure through the streets of New York and come to understand that God plans in ways they never could have imagined.

Spirit Fighter, Book 1 in the Son of Angels: Jonah Stone series, is an imaginative adventure that is based on scripture in the book of Genesis.

Review:

Protagonists: This book focuses on Jonah and Eliza Stone who find out that they are descended from a fallen angel and that they have inherited angelic powers, which they need to use to rescue their recently captured mother. Their family has always been a God fearing one and when the children are tasked with this mission they go into with knowledge that with God on their side they cannot lose. The character development of these characters mainly comes from the doubt the children get in God and His plan, and they need to learn that whatever God does or lets happen he uses that for the greater good.

This is exclusively Middle-Grade: Unlike other Middle Grade series I've reviewed and featured on this blog, such as the Ascendance trilogy or a Rick Riordan series, this series is not something that I would consider "all-ages." While overall I found the story enjoyable, the writing is most definitely geared towards children between the ages of seven and thirteen. This really sucked as I was hoping for something a bit more universal.

World-Building: Like I said above this book is based largely in Christianity with some angel lore thrown in to create this fantastical adventure. In this world, when a Fallen One has a child with a human that child is a nephilim, and if that nephilim has a child with a human their children become one quarter angel, and so on. This is the first series I've read where the nephilim trait can dilute and become less powerful with each generation.

Predictability: With this being a Middle Grade book, the surprises planned for the reader were fairly easy to guess ahead of time. This didn't necessarily ruin the book in any way, but it would have been great if there were a few more complicated twists, or more cleverly disguised ones. There were a few moments that I was surprised by some more spontaneous moments.

Ending: The ending was fairly predictable as it fits with most Middle Grade formulas, where the initial threat is gone, but there are storm clouds on the horizon that can threaten the Stone family and the world as a whole. The lesson learned in the series is that there's nothing to fear with God by your side, so the ending has a pretty triumphant ring to it.

Rating:


This was a great example of Christian literature mixed with fantastical themes, but it was hard for me to be fully engaged in the story I;m not sure if this is because it was too exclusively marketed to a younger audience, or if the writing wasn't great, either way if Middle Grade books aren't your thing I'm sure you could find a child in your life who would thoroughly enjoy this book and the subsequent novels in its series.

P.S. This week is "Not So YA" week here on Zach's YA Reviews as in the next few days I will be finishing out reviewing this series to date and finishing the week off with a review of a highly anticipated adult novel that I just so happened to get an advanced copy of a few months back.

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2 comments:

  1. I find that even though Thomas Nelson is a christian publisher many of their books can be read by those who aren't necessarily spiritual.

    I think this book sounds cute and something my kids would probably like. At the very least it's something I can recommend to people when they ask for MG books, lol.

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  2. I enjoy a good middle grade. This one looks interesting tho I'm not sure it's up my ally. I'll have to look into it more. I see it's a series.

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