Review: “The Vanishing Sculptor”, by Donita K. Paul

So I’ve heard about Donita for a little while now, and wasn’t sure what to expect.  Too often things don’t live up to the hype.  But I was very happy I had the chance to read her work, and after reading it I found I wasn’t disappointed.

I’ll start with the bad stuff.  There isn’t much, and I’d like us to end with the good things in mind.  The first problem I ran into with the book was that it wasn’t living up to the name… but I must qualify that.  See, instead of really paying attention I quickly glanced at the cover and read over the title whenever I saw it.  So I thought the book was called “The Vanishing Sculpture”.  And as I read on in the book, getting deeper and deeper, I was feeling like I was either misled or not catching the clues about what was to come.  Thankfully the beautiful cover finally got my attention enough to draw me into it… and I realized just how fitting the title was.  I also realized I need to pay more attention.

The other problem I found was that the descriptions were too flowery for me.  I couldn’t get into the scenes because I had to piece together so many descriptive words.  My guess is that’s how Donita writes in all her books, and that it’s one of the main things that attracts so many other readers.  For me though, it prevented me from becoming completely immersed.  That’s not to say I wasn’t into the book, I definitely was.  But I was drawn back out enough to notice.

Other than those two problems I found the book to be entertaining.  It definitely struck me as a book directed at young adults, though it provides a wild ride for those who’s bodies are no longer up to the task.

The action really picked up towards the end.  Very exciting, I thought.

I’d like to see more in the series.  But even more than that I’d love to see an adult focused “Dragon Lady” Donita book.  One that envisions a more intense experience with dragons.  I want to see the extreme of the dragons she envisions.  Maybe she’s already written one?  If so it’d be great if someone could post the title in a reply here.

Again, a good book that’s, as the cover says, “for All Ages”.

Don’t forget to read down to the bottom of this post for the book giveaway!

For more on “The Vanishing Sculptor”, visit…

The Vanishing Sculptor http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400073391

Donita Paul’s Web site – http://www.donitakpaul.com/
Donita Paul’s blog – http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com

For other reviews from the tour, please visit the following blogs…
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Rachel Briard
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
Nissa
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Crista Richey
Cheryl Russell
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

…………..

And now for the first book giveaway!

On my desk here I have a copy of Robin Parrish’s “OffWorld”.  You can find my review of the book here.  To be eligible you must quote 3 positives and 3 negatives about “The Vanishing Sculptor” from the blogs listed above.  Quotes should be 1-2 sentences long, and must be accompanied by links to the original posts.  I will pick from the eligible names at random, and the winner will receive this month’s giveaway copy of Offworld.  This giveaway is only available to residents of the United States.  Shipping will be paid by me.  I’m not responsible for lost copies in the mail, and I retain the right to amend the terms as I see necessary at any time.  Eligible replies must be posted by 11:59PM PST on 10/09/09.  I think that covers all the bases.

Part 2: more information on AP and N!OBE

Here’s a bit more information on North! Or Be Eaten, and Andrew Peterson.

Warning, you may find spoilers throughout the rest of this post!

North! Or Be EatenJanner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.

Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what FantasyBookCritic.com says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”

Author bio.:

APAndrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the Wingfeather Saga, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in a little house they call The Warren near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit his websites: www.andrew-peterson.com and www.rabbitroom.com

Review: North! Or Be Eaten, by Andrew Peterson

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while!  Normally things I wait this long to be entertained by end up disappointing me.

Not this book though!

From the very first chapter I was caught back up into the excitement of the Wingfeather Saga.  It took a few chapters for a few details from the last book to come back to me, but that wasn’t the book’s fault.  Whenever Andrew dropped a hint from the past the memories flooded in like a welcome tide.  It made me want to read the first book all over again.

So on the story went, in directions I wasn’t expecting.  There were many pleasant surprises, though they weren’t all pleasant for the characters to go through.  I did see a few surprises coming, but I think it’s because I’m familiar with AP through his music, and because he’s a fellow Christian.

The characters are deepened and developed more in this book than in most of the books I’ve read.  Take in where they started from in the first book, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”, and it’s amazing to think of where they are compared to where they started from.  I have a feeling that the next book will do even more with them than both of the first two books combined.

I’m loving the setting of the books, the world of Aerwiar.  It’s a land of excitement and epic epochs.  Every image of Aerwiar that the book conjures up has filled my mind with bright vibrant color and overwhelming life (except those places in which life is snuffed out, color is erased by the wicked, or where all is dipped into the darkest black).  The pictures he scattered throughout the pages definitely drew my interest deeper.  I doubt Andrew will write enough books or draw enough pictures to fill my mind with all there is to the world he has created, and the world he is still creating.

The adventure of the book was thick throughout.  It was always one notch more exciting than I expected at any given time.  The drama of the tale unfolded naturally through the course of the journey, leaving NO time to wonder if the pace was too slow or too fast.  After reading the book I feel like I should have a torn up traveling outfit hung on my wall for a display to all.

And while I know I should have seen it coming, the power that filled the last part of the book blew me over.  There was one line in particular that broke me down.  My eyes flooded and my heart stole my mind away for well over ten minutes.  After that I was able to get back to the book.  There were a few more parts that caused my soul to pause and reflect, to soak it all in and breathe deeply the truths of the Living God.  I was compelled to think on Christ’s love, and it was so easy to comply.  The power lasted long after the last words, and I was assured that it goes back farther than the first book.

It was all strengthened by the fact that the next day I read a verse in the Bible that reflected the same truths written in that line that took my breath away.  I don’t know if Andrew had that Scripture in mind, but I’m sure he had the Author of Scripture in his heart as he wrote.

I really want to thank Andrew for writing this book and series.  I want to thank his family too.  As a writer myself I know the impact a wife can have on one’s writing, and I know about some of the sacrifice a wife has to make to let her husband immerse himself in the world he’s making.  And I can’t help but think that his kids are adding light and color to almost every corner of Aerwiar.  Thank you Petersons!

North! Or Be Eaten is an amazing story, and an amazing sequel to an awesome beginning.  I recommend the book to anyone of any age.  I’m truly hoping for many more books in Aerwiar, set in anytime in its history.

Thank God He has made people in His creative Image!!!

For more on the Wingfeather Saga, visit http://wingfeathersaga.com/

For more on Andrew Peterson, check out http://www.andrew-peterson.com/index.php  and  http://www.rabbitroom.com/

For more from the publisher, go to http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/