Monday, July 8, 2013

What Came from the Stars

What Came from the Stars
Today’s post is on “What came from the stars” by Gary D. Schmidt. It is 294 pages long including a dictionary at the back for the alien words. The cover has a house with one window lit up with a boy’s shadow in it and a beautiful night with the necklace streaking down to him. The intended reader is children’s but it is a wonderful story so anyone can read and enjoy it. It is told in third person close when with Tommy and third person god when on Valorim. There is no language, no sex. There are fantasy sword fights between the bad guys and the good kids but nothing too intense. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- The peaceful civilization of Valorim in under siege… It’s about to fall to the dark Lord Mondus. In a panic, a few heroes bind all their world’s beauty into one precious necklace and send it across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion lighted stars… all the way into the lunch box of sixth-grader Tommy Pepper of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Tommy puts it on, and soon he starts doodling pictures of the twin suns of Valorim and hearing strange music. But at first, he is too preoccupied to notice; his mother died recently, his sister isn’t speaking, and his father is fighting a real-estate agency to keep their home. But when strange minions of Lord Mondus begin ransacking Plymouth, Tommy realizes he must protect his family from villains more dangerous than a vengeful realtor and her bus-stop-bully daughter. Gary D. Schmidt masterfully presents the epic story of a family trying to redefine itself in the wake of tragedy.

Review- This is a good, well written story. Tommy and family go from just making it back to living again from the death of their mother. It is told in two ways; there is Tommy on earth dealing his grief, his family, and then the villains; and Valorim where there is still fighting for freedom. Tommy is a likable character who learns to forgive himself as he blames himself for his mother’s death. It is not as moving as ‘A Monster comes calling’ but it is still a satisfying read and conclusion. His sister Patty has not spoken in almost a year but at the end of the novel she is humming with him as his father paints again. One thing that I found very interesting is the how scary the villains are. The main villain Lord Mondus destroyed from Valorim by using their servants, when they swear loyalty to him, he stole their faces. They are basically the muscle for the dark lord and they only have mouths. Long arms, legs, weapons, and open toothy mouths; have that vision for a moment because it creeped me out. But they are saved by Tommy and one of the aliens so they do not stay that way. There is so much about this story that I liked; I cannot give it all in this review. If you are looking for a heart-warming story about a family learning to be a family again after a loss then this is the one for you.

I give this one Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.