P.W. Stone and the Missing Kingdoms: A Christian Fantasy Adventure Novel by S. C. Easley. Wind Born Publishing. 387 pages.
This is the next to last in a series of speculative Christian books I am reviewing because of my contact with authors on Goodreads. I’ve had some good luck with the titles that I’ve read, and there has been a good variety of stories. This entry is a Christian fantasy directed at 8-14 year olds. Here’s the Amazon summary:
Sometimes the planets and stars do align. Enter the Kingdom Realms, where the unseen is seen, and battles must be won.On the verge of succumbing to a life of isolation, P. W. Stone, a quirky, misunderstood teen, discovers her identity as an heir to an abandoned kingdom. After a total solar eclipse aligns seven cities named Salem with the hidden realm, the event propels her into a garden paradise with six fellow heirs.
Paradise is not what it seems. Sinister adversaries lurk at every turn, attempting to take P.W. Stone’s life, prevent her dominion, and snatch the newfound Destiny Scroll before she and the other Salem Seven members unveil the secret to their defeat on Earth.
What occurs in one realm affects the other. If the teens don’t accomplish what their ancestors failed to do and claim their mountain of inheritance, life on Earth as they know it will come to a tragic end. Will P.W. emerge into whom she’s called to be and take back all that is rightfully hers?
P.W. Stone and the Missing Kingdoms is an excellent gift for 8-14-year-olds ready to embark on an identity-seeking adventure. Those readers interested in the afterlife, biblical symbolism, Creation, Christian fantasy books, cat books, compass, Dead Sea Scrolls, fantasy adventure, Garden of Eden, Heaven, Heavenly encounters, key to the Kingdom, Kingdom of God, Manifestation of the sons and daughters, Melchizedek, Mythology, near death encounters, potter, transfiguration, time travel, and trip to heaven would find P. W. Stone and the Missing Kingdoms a fulfilling read.
I probably should have read this description before I started the book. It would have helped me with my expectations of the book. As it was, what I discovered was a book somewhat similar to the Chronicles of Narnia series, filled with a lot of symbolism and parable. The story follows one main girl, P.W. Stone, initially, as she arrives with her mother at her uncle’s house into a less than ideal situation. But that situation doesn’t last long, and the reader is quickly taken on a surreal fantasy trip to save earth and the kingdom of God.
It’s told from the perspective of a young girl, and that’s what clued me into it being a children’s fantasy. But there are other parts that made me wonder if it was directed at an older audience. For example, much of the book is spent in exposition, giving pseudo-scientific explanation for the things that the children are seeing and experiencing. In fact, so much time is spent explaining that I felt that it took away from the actual story.
There is a lot of story, with a lot of details, much of which gets brought up, then dropped. In the beginning, there are details about where P.W. and her mother go to live, what is happening in their lives, and the family they join that are part of the story…then just aren’t. When we go on our Magical Mystery Tour through the Missing Kingdoms, there are a lot of things that are thrown at the reader as well, too many to keep track of. The author tries to explain and rationalize the crazy things they are seeing, but since this is a fantasy, I suspect that it would be better to spend less time in technobabble and more time just enjoying the story.
And finally, I had a hard time liking the main character. In fact, the seven heroes who go on the trip–referred to as the Salem Seven–for the most part argue, whine, and complain their way through the first three-quarters of the book. I could see what the author was trying to do, and wanted to show growth in the characters by the end, but unless the reader cares whether the main character lives or dies, the point is lost.
All in all, there’s a lot of creativity that goes into the book, the author spends a great deal of time trying to explain in rational, scientific terms things from the Bible that might otherwise be mysterious, and I think some kids would find it fun and interesting. I just think it would be better to focus more closely on the story, rather than explanations.
I give it three and a half out of five stars.