Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye

Main Character: Leven Thumps, a human boy with ties to the Land of Foo
Location: Oklahoma, Germany, Foo
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: J Fiction, Fantasy

I'm not one that necessarily notices the first sentence of a book, but this one jumped up and grabbed me. "It was at least forty degrees above warm." Maybe it's because I'm coming off of a long Texas summer where temperatures are routinely above 100 degrees, but I instantly knew what this sentence conveyed. There is a lot of lovely language in this book; very pretty turns of phrase that would just make me pause and savor them.

Leven Thumps is an orphan boy being raised, grudgingly, by his mother's step-sister and her husband in a trailer park in Oklahoma. Unbeknownst to him, he is watched over by Geth, a spirit trapped in a tree, and Clover, a sycophant. Meanwhile, Winter is not an orphan but might as well be one as her mother is one of the most selfish and lazy characters ever seen outside of a Roald Dahl story. Fate brings them together and they learn that they are the only ones who can save the land of Foo from the evil tyrant Sabine.

Fate plays a big role in this book; Geth is a lithen, a race that trusts completely in fate. That means that nothing is too coincidental or serendipitous to be believed--it's all just the workings of fate. This is a little frustrating to Leven, and I must admit that it’s a little frustrating for me, too. I became impatient with the story at times because of this dependence on coincidence, serendipity, and fate. However, I know that it has appealed to a number of my patrons, because they have told me how much they enjoyed it and urged me to read it.

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo is on the 2007-2008 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee List.

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