Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Monday, May 14, 2007

THE RESTORER by Sharon Hinck

The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric, book 1) by Sharon Hinck

Susan Mitchell needed a change--any kind of change. Nearly twenty years of marriage to her college sweetheart, Mark, had given her two teenagers and two grade-schoolers, along with miles of unmatched socks, sticky countertops, and the ever-growing hum of sheer bedlam. When had she become so . . . insignificant? Hadn't God once had a plan for her?

Well, at least Mark had a plan: for an attic hideaway free of iPods and science projects and cookie crumbs. But before Susan can finish her first journal entry, she finds herself pulled through a portal into a world grappling for its soul and waiting for a promised Restorer.

Someone does have a plan for her--one she never would have imagined.

While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture full of unfamiliar technologies and taboos, she faces unexpected battles, mind-poisoning enemies, and a profound spiritual journey. Her adventure will forever change her family, her faith, and how she experiences love--from the One.

Camy here:

I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop--I finished it in two days.

I like the fact that the heroine is a soccer mom--it's such an unusual story premise and it made it easy for me to relate to Susan. There were a few times I didn't quite sympathize with her emotions or actions, but on the whole, I enjoyed following her through her story.

She's an ordinary woman whose faith enables her to do extraordinary things. She's not perfect, but she keeps trying. She picks herself up after her mistakes and keeps going. It's inspiring for any Christian woman struggling with purpose and worth.

The plot takes a lot of neat twists that I didn't see coming. I enjoyed the minor characters--they each seemed to have specific roles, and their differing personalities made for interesting dynamics.

The world itself isn't like your typical high fantasy world. It's a mixture of various types of technology, but nothing too high-tech, nothing too esoteric for the reader to grasp.

Unlike Karen Hancock's Arena, The Restorer is not allegorical. The world of the Restorer is unique in itself, and exciting to journey through.

Christians as young as junior high school age would enjoy this book, although younger readers might not relate to the older mom protagonist as much as their parents.

The great thing about this book is that it's a story both parents and kids can read and enjoy. Kids who read fantasy and speculative fiction will like the new world, and parents who don't usually read speculative fiction will like the everywoman protagonist, Susan, and relate to her all-too-familiar personal struggles.

I intend to hand this book to the kids in my youth group to see how they like it.