The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, a review

The Book of the King (2007), by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, tells a tale full of the supernatural. Its young protagonist, Owen, is one courageous guy.

Owen evades violent bullies and comes home to the bookstore where he lives with his indifferent father. It’s full of malevolent happenings, scary stuff for middle schoolers if it weren’t for the existence of a narrator, who adds some distance.

Someone who looks like a bum gives Owen an amazing book and then loses his life to the malevolent beings. Soon all kinds of people, including Owen’s father, are after the book. What’s Owen to do? How can he even find time to read it for clues?

There are of course Christian themes in The Book of the King. But is it a good read? I find Owen’s courage in the face of terrifying circumstances to be a bit far-fetched, and I am not seeing the connection between the prologue and the rest of the story. Maybe it shows up in later books in The Wormling series. Having a narrator isn’t unusual in middle-grade novels, but this one I find intrusive.

In short, I’m not a fan of this book, but there’s nothing glaringly wrong with it. I’ll give it three stars. * * *


Click icon for more
book review blogs
@Barrie Summy

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade series opener, involves two worlds. In one, young Sirin Sharma is in the slow process of losing her only parent to illness (and her cat to hard-hearted caregivers). It seems to be the same … [Continue reading]

So, what’s happening with your book, Phyllis?

Getting published take time when you're not indie publishing. Which I am not. So, I have five book manuscripts in various states of finish. I'm hopeful for all of them, of course! And so glad to have an agent, Bob Shuman! I went to two writers' … [Continue reading]

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin, a review

The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin, a series of two books published in 2016 and 2017, provides a dystopian Jurassic Park tale for middle-graders. Plucky Sky Mundy, in an underground colony in what once was northern Indiana, is just one of a few … [Continue reading]

We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, a review

One thousand refugees from Earth, likely the only survivors, are in a spaceship orbiting a populated planet, hoping for permission to land. If they can’t live on Choom, they’ll perish --their food and fuel are nearly gone. They came because they were … [Continue reading]

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, a review

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012), tells a middle-grade whodunit with the unforgettable Southern voice of a rising sixth-grader, Mo. Mo lives with the eccentric proprietors of the town diner, Lana and the Colonel. No matter that the … [Continue reading]

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, a review

Sal Vidon, able narrator, is somehow calm when outrageous things are happening. And plenty of outrageous things do happen in this book, so the result is hilarious. Carlos Hernandez' middle grade novel Sal and Gabi Break the Universe focuses on … [Continue reading]

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a review

I really enjoy time-slip novels--where two stories are told, one in the past, one in the present, alternating chapters. So I was glad to find this middle-grade mystery novel with time-slip, published in 2018. Also, it focuses on race issues, a topic … [Continue reading]

Big Foot and Little Foot: The Squatchicorns, by Ellen Potter, a review

This chapter book, The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter, tells a yarn just for that young reader who likes gentle, fantastic stories. Engaging illustrations by Felicita Sala bring it to life. It's the third book in a series about a friendship between … [Continue reading]

How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, a review

I couldn't put this book down, and it's been a while since that happened! How I Became a Spy by Deborah Hopkinson, published in 2019, gives us a gripping middle-grade mystery about World War II. Thirteen-year-old Bertie starts volunteering as a … [Continue reading]