‘The Monster in the Hollows’ by Andrew Peterson is part of his Wingfeather Saga series of books aimed primarily at ages 9 – 12. Peterson is best known for his work as a Christian singer-songwriter, and his music and blog posts often reflect his love of Christian fantasy authors, so it was no surprise when he decided to follow suit and write a fantasy series with Christian overtones. What was a surprise was that I enjoyed ‘The Monster in the Hollows’ so much.
Christian Fantasy Not Always the Next Tolkien, Lewis or Rowling
Let me be clear — I am a huge fan of Christian fantasy, but having received a countless number of Christian fantasy books to review in recent years which came with promotional materials comparing them to books by Tolkien and Lewis and promised to be ‘the next Harry Potter,’ I had grown weary of mediocre, or worse — sub-standard work by authors trying to follow in the footsteps of Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling. Even well-known authors like Ted Dekker have sometimes left me a bit disappointed with books like ‘Green.’ But Peterson succeeds where others have failed or only partially succeeded. The only other modern Christian fantasy series I have enjoyed as much is the Guardian King series by Karen Hancock.
The Monster in the Hollows Story
Keeping in mind the book is for young readers, and therefore filled with silly names for people and places, the story itself is entertaining, suspenseful, humorous and inspiring. Janner Wingfeather (formerly Igiby) and his family have fled to the Green Hollows to escape the Fangs of Dang. So close to their ruined home of Anniera, the Wingfeathers hope to find peace and a home at last, but they soon find not only are they not welcome (because Janner’s brother has partially turned into a Fang), but there are dark secrets at work in the Hollows that may ruin them all.
Connection to Characters
Although I missed the first two books in the Wingfeather series, thanks to Janner’s memories in ‘The Monster in the Hollows,’ I was soon caught up on the major characters and plot, and it wasn’t long before I felt a connection to Janner. After a few chapters, I could hardly put the book down at night. ‘The Monster in the Hollows’ left me eager for the final book as well as inclined to buy the first two just so I can spend more time with the Wingfeather clan and the interesting world they inhabit.
The Monster in the Hollows Morals
The Wingfeather books are definitely suitable reading material for young readers and the young at heart. While the books were written by Andrew Peterson, a gospel music artist and Christian author, there is no overt, heavy-handed Christianity in ‘The Monster in the Hollows,’ although there are several references to the Maker. However, the themes of Good vs. Evil are crystal clear: self sacrifice for those we love; standing up for what is right; turning away from what is Evil; and the fact even the ugliest monster can be saved by love.
- Legends of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock is Great Christian Fantasy – Book Series Review
- Green Latest Novel from Ted Dekker
- House a Supernatural Thriller by Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker – Book Review
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