Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern, by Seth Adam Smith
2016, 346p, YA Fantasy/Adventure
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

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. 

"Seth Adam Smith is the American C.S. Lewis." -Charlotte Ashlock,

"Be warned, Smith has crafted something you won't want to put down." -Jason F. Wright, New York Times Bestselling Author.

I thought this book started out strong. Abigail Van Winkle has a dream about a baby in an open grave and wakes up her husband, Josiah, so they can go rescue him. They go and find the baby but Josiah has reservations about keeping him. The Van Winkle's can't have children but have plenty of money and a nice home (he's a Judge). They are able to keep Rip and raise him as their own. Over the next several years, their family continues to grow and I loved hearing about each new addition.

Then, something happens and Rip sets out on an adventure, which is the majority of the book. He's sent on an important mission and isn't sure who he can trust. At this point, the story slowed down and took me a while to get back into it. Rip met some unique characters and it was interesting to see how they each fit in. As his mission made more sense and more of the story was revealed, it became hard to put down again. It's pretty deep and I loved the thought-provoking life lessons that were included.

This is one of those books that I would say I enjoyed, but feel that there's a lot more to get out of it. The author wrote it to help people who are struggling with feelings of depression, grief, or discouragement. I love how this story ended and definitely want to read it again. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!

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.


Unknown said...

I am glad you enjoyed this book as well! Great review! I don't think I got out of it what the Author planned on, but it was a good book

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