on July 24, 2013
I really, really wanted to love this book. It's written from a Catholic perspective, was touted on the Teresa Tomeo radio show, and the main characters live in my home state of North Dakota.
On the plus side, there is some strong Catholic doctrine and solid Catholic teaching in it. This mostly through Mr. Wolfe, a teacher at Jacob's school, and Shawn, a sort of angel guide.
I suppose it was mainly written for teens, and I am a 67-year old Grandma, but I do love fantasy literature.
The main character, Jacob Jerlow, is 14 if I remember correctly, and his father--a college anthropology teacher--has just died in a plane crash. From a letter his father leaves him and from looking through his father's writings, Jacob realizes that he must follow in his father's footsteps and try to retrieve the 4 corners of a mysterious Dalet that has great powers when assembled. Unfortunately, the bad guys also want this Dalet for their nefarious purposes. He must put clues together that have been collected by his father and ancestors for centuries and travel to the corners of the Earth to do this.
Amazingly, Jacob is able to do this task with very little effort despite his family having been unable to do it before. Oh, and did I mention that Jacob and others are descendants of an ancient "marrying" of angels and humans that resulted in these special Veritas, as they are called.
At the beginning of the story, Jacob immediately befriends and trusts a new girl at school, despite strong warnings from his father to be very careful whom he trusts. She becomes his confidante and traveling companion (very chaste).
Along the way, Jacob must go to special schooling and training at a Hogwarts-like school. There is even a Yoda-speaking goblin there, and Jacob has a medallion that makes him invisible instead of a cloak. One of the complaints about the Harry Potter books was that Harry and his friends often lied and disobeyed and used magic in our world. Jacob is guilty of the same things.
So I had some issues with this book. Some good Catholic teaching, so not-so-good. It might be confusing for a teenager as to the right and wrong of some things. The story itself was ok, though contrived at some points. An average first novel, Mr. Peltier.
on July 30, 2013
Jacob Jerlow combines themes of adventure, mystery, magic, family unity, and Christian faith. Jacob is the young hero who grabs you with his loyalty to family and friends. His world wide adventures to complete his father's quest to save the world were interesting to follow. I am looking forward to his next quest.
on August 15, 2013
I could not put this book down. It was original, and well written. I have read a lot of the young adult books, being employed at the Henderson Public Libraries in Henderson, NV. This one was special and I recommend it to any young person who loves adventure, intrigue and good guys finish first but not easily!