I thought a lot about Harry Potter and X-Men when I was reading this, but I loved the emphasis in this book on the true source of special powers and the real heart attitude the author states is necessary to keep these powers under control and growing. People can use or misuse gifts like Emaline’s but there are clear, hard-hitting consequences. Everybody’s tempted to use the powers for personal gratification. But nobody gets away with keeping secrets or lying or doing end-runs around authority for long.
I was also an average, invisible girl in my school days. But Emaline spends very little time in self-pity. She helps her mother, takes care of her baby brother, and the difficulties of their life really don’t affect her attitude. I do wonder a little what happened to that milk she went to the store for, but what happens to Emaline totally eclipses the errand.
Micah was my favorite character, since we have a hard-of-hearing daughter who signs. I also appreciated the window into Secular Humanist philosophy, just enough so that real-life teenagers should say, “Hey, that’s what we’re learning everywhere, every day… ”
I hope there’s another book in this series already, because this one was mostly introduction and setup. Not that nothing exciting happens, because it sure does, but I need to get busy and read more.
We have a daughter who had Meningitis at age 9 months. So it was easy to relate to this story of a sick child. Matt Patterson’s perspective as a father is both strong and tender, just as it should be. And that’s what makes it so hard, to convey how much needed this story is, when it was so hard to read, and even harder to get around to writing the review. God spared our daughter and she is a lovely Special Ed teacher, hearing-impaired but perfect in our eyes. God didn’t let Matt keep his precious daughter, but instead gave him a wealth of comfort and sweetness to share with all of us. However it falls out when a child is sick, God is good.
Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and a dozen other classic cowboys would be proud to stand toe to toe with Nathan Ryder, “the Preacher” who has learned skills for survival in a spiritual and physical sense from his wise and colorful grandfather. You might be surprised by some of his grandfather’s lessons, and for sure you’ll throw your hat in the air when you understand all that “Nugget Nate” and other wise cowboys have to teach Nathan. This is more than a western saga. It’s a Pilgrim’s Progress for the Wild West, with burdens to lay down, places to fall on your knees, and some sagebrush Beulah Land moments, too. The armor might include a Stetson and the sword might be a six-gun, but you’ll get the message of this pilgrim preacher’s journey.