Sunday, January 4, 2009

Boomtown Review (Again)

So, here I am (again) reviewing a Thomas Nelson book. And technically, I'm reviewing Boomtown again.

Since this Thomas Nelson book is juvenile fiction, I initially reviewed it at Finders and Keepers, my kid's blog. I guess if you don't like this short review, you could read the longer version over there. But the opinion's more or less the same.

Boomtown's such a great name for a kid's book, right? I mean, c'mon, what kid doesn't like the idea of things that go bang!? And the cover's terrific, too. So, when I started this novel, I expected a booming good time. But unfortunately, the story fell a little flat.

It begins with promise, when a preacher and his family move to Boomtown and two of his kids proceed to blow something up. But since the narrator of the story is this stuffy preacher, all the joy of that occasion gets sucked right up. I know "joy" may not be quite the right word, but you know what I mean.

I cannot imagine why the author chose to write a kid's book from the preacher's POV, especially since this particular preacher is rather dull and stuffy. The mystery plods along in his voice, with an awful lot of telling and rather a small amount of showing. And honestly, there seemed to be quite a lot of people thrown in who had little or nothing to do with the story at all.

The Hopontops (a Native American group) popped up for a chapter or two. And a foundling appeared so that the preacher could adopt her. Why these characters dropped in to the story I'll never know. Because I just couldn't stand another book with that preacher. (Not that I have anything against preachers. Just this particular wimpy one.)

So, to sum up Boomtown (again), I'd have to say it was a bust.