Thursday, September 16, 2010

My review: The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson


I had not read any of Kathi's work before, so when she contacted me to do a review I have to say I was excited.

First, a description of the book: Sixteen-year-old Tag can't believe he's in this much trouble. He's not actually a member of the gang known as the Primes-all he did was spray paint some graffiti that caught their attention. In all honesty, ever since his dad and brother left, Tag just wants to be alone. And it's certainly not his fault that the Primes nearly beat up his goofy cousin, Ethan. But his mom is furious about these gang-related activities and insists that Tag spend the whole summer at his grandpa's lakeside cabin, which is not Tag's idea of a good time. So he does what any self-respecting teenager would do: run away. But he doesn't get far before he encounters three strange men carrying an even stranger object-a stone that glows with radiant light as bright as a thousand sparklers. Tag doesn't steal the stone-not exactly. He feels like he is supposed to take it. But he doesn't expect the stone to transport him through space and time to a place he's never seen before-a place that looks an awful lot like the ancient lands described in the Book of Mormon. And he definitely doesn't expect to join Sabirah, the entrancing daughter of Samuel the Lamanite, on a quest to rescue her father and brother from the evil King Jacob. And he absolutely doesn't expect to be captured by Jacob's minions and prepared as a sacrifice to the evil idol of the city. But just as Tag faces his death, a terrible storm begins to break, and the ground cracks into jagged pieces. And he's not sure which event will impact his life more: his captor's knife coming at his body, the violent tempest sweeping the land . . . Or the men who later appear, glowing even more brightly than the traveler's stone.

My thoughts: I found this book to be quite engaging. I knew Tag had a deep, dark secret that he'd blocked out, but it was hard for me to be patient until near the end to find out what exactly he'd hidden from himself. And Sabirah, who is also a primary character, was absolutely delightful. I found her completely believable as a young, righteous woman fighting with all she had to bring her father and brother home.

The Stone Traveler felt real. I could picture Tag, how he saw himself and how others saw him. I understood Sabirah and her struggles. I saw the evil and it creeped me out. And in some parts, where the characters weren't sure which direction was right, I found I wasn't either. And, of course, for those of you looking for it, I did cry at the end--okay, near the end. There were a couple of very touching scenes that made my eyes leak.

I did find a section near the end where it seemed like Tag was speaking formally and it didn't sound quite like him, but overall the book had good character distinction. Most of the time I didn't need to check at the top of the section to know which--Tag or Sabirah--character's thoughts I was reading. And I will say that I found one particular section dealing with Christ to be difficult for me to read. Not because of any failing on the part of the book or author, but a personal preference and feeling all my own.

Those things said, I had a great time reading The Stone Traveler, and I bet you will too.

Don't forget to click HERE and take part in Kathi's exciting contest! Contest ends September 30!

24 comments:

Ben Spendlove said...

Every piece is different, and I can't speak to this one specifically, but I think I agree with you in general about Christ as a character in fiction. I'll just say that's not something I would ever attempt, because I'd never be happy with the result. Nice review.

redhead said...

Ahhh I finally finished the book and I totally understand not being able to wait for the secret. Kathi acts like she is going to have tag spill the beans and then he doesn't. Love it now it goes onto my wall of books!!!

carolsnotebook said...

Tag sounds like a wonderful, engaging character. Nice review.

MT said...

What a sincere review, Cheri. Thanks very much. As I've followed this blog tour, it's been interesting to watch the unique qualities that come out at each stop.
Have a great week!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thanks so much for the review. I'm excited to look through your blog and see what other fun titles you have!

Christina Dymock said...

Thank you for the review and the stop-over on teh blog tour. Good luck with your novel!

Cheri Chesley said...

Thank you! You all leave such great comments!

Laura Marcella said...

I'm anxious to find out what Tag's secret is all about! Great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

brendajean said...

I enjoyed your review. Each stop on the blog tour has had such different insights. I liked your comments very much.

bchild5@aol.com

emfawcett said...

Good review!! The Stone Traveler was really engaging!! I love your blog!

Tracy Loewer said...

I love to be warned about teary parts. I'm a bit of a sap. :) Great review.

Taffy said...

Tag does sound interesting. I cried at a stupid commercial today :)

M.R.Bunderson said...

Fun to read all the different reviews.

Krista V. said...

Thank you for this genuine review, and good luck with your book! The title font looks fabulous.

Elizabeth Morgan said...

The review is really good!

Annette Lyon said...

This is the first review I've read that has made me perk up and wonder what Tag's secret is!

Peggy Urry said...

This blog tour has been so much fun - lots of different opinions and information on each stop.

Glynis said...

I trundled over from Kathi's place again. Blogger issues wouldn't let me leave a comment before. Kathi has given me a heavy rucksack to carry but, phew. I made it. Love your review!

Jenn Wilks said...

I love your review. Can't wait to read the book. :o)

(by the way, on a side note, my son loves the bracelet from our LUW table. He collects them - he's wearing 7 on his arm at all times now, and yours is one of them. And most of them are pink for some reason, so he's especially glad to have a darker colored one in the mix.)

Catia Nunes said...

I really liked the way Kathi switched between the viewpoints of the characters. Great review!

By the way, I love your site. It's absolutely beautiful. :)

Jilly Bean said...

I liked it! Can't wait to read the actual book. I love this blog tour!

flsongbyrd said...

I love your blog page. Good luck with you book. Your review was great and I love that your eyes leak when reading.

Lori Bottomley said...

I enjoyed your blog and appreciate the tissue warning for the teary spots!

Valerie Ipson said...

Tag is a great character.