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. * * *


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@Barrie Summy

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