Sunday, May 5, 2013
Book Review: The Guardians Series
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I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the new movie Rise of the Guardians. It is now a very popular children's movie, and rightly so. After watching it I was so impressed that my sister Aarathyn and I looked up the original book series off of which it was based.
William Joyce's The Guardians is a series of three books so far, but the next book, Sandman and the War of Dreams, will be released in September. Although written for young audiences, it is extremely entertaining for even older teens, such as myself.
The Guardians starts out telling the story of two main characters, a little girl named Katherine who lives in a magical village under the protection of the Wizard Omrbic, and Nicholas St. North, a dashing young bandit from Russia.
When North has a mysterious dream about a hidden village filled with treasure beyond imagination, he immediately sets out with his men to find it. However, at the same time, the dark and evil menace known as Pitch (or the Boogeyman) has reawakened and is now threatening to destroy that very village.
Faced with a choice between gaining infinite riches, or defending the innocent children from Pitch, Nicholas proves himself honorable and makes the right decision. And, after he has temporarily warded off Pitch, the people of Santoff Claussen (as the village is called) welcome him to their community, where he does indeed find treasure- but not the kind he had first imagined. He finds the treasure of friendship with the girl Katherine and the Wizard Ombric. And, when the world is once again threatened by Pitch, Nicholas St. North and his new friends make a brave stand to defeat him.
The next two books tell similar stories, but each time, Pitch has a new plan, and each time, a new member is added to the original group of friends. So far, we have Nicholas, Ombric, Katherine, E. Aster Bunnymund, and Toothiana. In the next book, we expect to see not only Sandman, but a particularly wayward young boy named Jackson Overland Frost. ( XD )
The Guardians series is an excellent series of books for children and teens alike. There is almost no violence, and certainly nothing graphic. The positive views of friendship, family, innocence and wisdom are represented well, and the classic struggle between Good and Evil plays out again and again.
While they do not go into the story of the Creation of the universe, it is implied that it either evolved, or that certain planets were constructed by other finite beings. (As an example, Bunnymund claims to not only have helped shape the Earth, but also made the continent of Australia.)
The latter example, of course, is perfectly ridiculous, and is mainly meant for comedy. The implied evolution of the universe is certainly not uncommon in today's society. We as Christians know the truth, that God created the world in six days, and since this book series is presented as a work of complete fiction, I don't think this is a problem. I just thought I'd mention it for the sake of anyone who would.
I recommend this series to any and all readers out there. It doesn't matter whether you like fantasy, or steampunk, or not, this series is a great and entertaining piece of literature. If yo do read it, I would also suggest reading the short children's storybooks that go with it- including Sanderson Man Snoozie and The Man in the Moon. These colorfully illustrated storybooks have surprising depth for bed-time stories, and they provide interesting background stories for the characters. The artwork is absolutely beautiful.
I anxiously look forward to the publication of Sandman and the War of Dreams, but until then, I'll content myself with writing this book review... then re-reading the books I already have!