Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith

Book Description:

Chased by a vengeful witch, hunted by an undead corpse, and guided by a secretive preacher, a boy must protect a magical lantern that can either save Boston . . . or destroy it.

In October of 1730, young Rip Van Winkle sneaks into a graveyard and comes face-to-face with the ghost of William Blaxton, the first settler of Boston. Warning Rip that the city is in danger, Blaxton gives him a mysterious gift: a pumpkin lantern with power over life and death. Before fading into midnight, the ghost tells Rip to take the lantern to Feathertop, a mythical pumpkin-headed scarecrow.

Pursued by Mistress Hibbins, a witch of terrifying power, and hunted by the nightmarish Midnight Minister, young Rip must rely on the aid of Jonathan Edwards, a stern and secretive preacher, and Nathaniel, a talkative, know-it-all raven. Guided by the magical light of the lantern, Rip races across New England to find Feathertop, save Boston, and become a most unlikely hero!

From the bestselling, award-winning author Seth Adam Smith comes The Pumpkin Lantern--a fantasy novel influenced by the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lloyd Alexander, and C. S. Lewis. Loaded with humor, action, suspense, and fascinating American history, The Pumpkin Lantern is also a poignant fable about faith, family, and the power of life over death.

Andrea's Review:

This story was enjoyable in many ways. I was initially drawn in by the goodness of the Van Winkles and how they became foster parents. My husband and I became licensed for foster care this year, and although we haven't been needed yet, the touching accounts in the beginning of this book about the different children the Van Winkles took in helped to reignite the desire to help children in need.

I was very sad for Rip at the loss that took place, but that was really the beginning of his journey in this book. I loved the symbolism and the hope that was demonstrated throughout Rip's story. We all struggle with chains in our lives, but I love the hope that comes from knowing we are important and loved. That even in the toughest times our Savior is here to help us through. We need to do things that help our lights become brighter and help those that need a bit of our light to help them through.

This was a great story to read just before Halloween, although its message would definitely be appropriate at any time of year. I'll be passing this on to my thirteen-year-old to read.

Rorie's Review:

I didn't really know much about the Rip Van Winkle story - only that he fell asleep for a really long time - so I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. But even if I thought I knew Rip's story really well, that wouldn't have mattered with this story. It takes the fairy tale and turns it on its head. This is not my typical genre to read, but I was not disappointed. I found the story very entertaining and loved all of the recognizable characters and places (thrown in the story with a twist from how we've all typically heard their stories.)

I really liked Stormalong, as well as Rip's parents and what good people they were. Feathertop just gave me warm fuzzies. I really liked the underlying theme of looking towards the light.

I think this is a book that my two older children will enjoy as much as I have. I hope that book #2 comes out soon!

About the Author:

Seth Adam Smith is a best-selling, award-winning author and blogger whose writings have been translated into over thirty languages and featured on the Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, the Today show, Forbes, and many other news outlets around the world. In 2015, his book "Your Life Isn’t for You" was awarded a gold medal for inspirational memoir.

A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth is an advocate for resources and understanding concerning depression and suicide prevention, and he regularly writes about these topics in his books and on his blog. He and his wife, Kim, currently live in Arizona but have “belonging places” throughout the United States. He recently published "Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern," and is currently working on a series of historical novels set in Colonial America.

Title: Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern
Author: Seth Adam Smith
Publisher: Seth Adam Smith
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 0997511168
Source: We received a copies in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle