Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0

Noah's Ark, Minus The Ark

The Murray twins take the spotlight for the first time in this book, which actually seems to be taking place somewhere between book 2 and 3 (as Meg isn’t yet married, and Sandy and Dennys are supposed to be in high school during this installment.) After accidentally interrupting an experiment, the boys are thrown back to some version of the pre-global flood days. In a strange oasis, they encounter Noah and his family—just prior to the building of the famed ark—along with some of the more corrupt and deeply unpleasant inhabitants of the ancient world.

Of the first four books I’ve so far read in the series, this one comes in last on my favorites list. Like A Swiftly Tilting Planet, this story involves time travel and altering (or maintaining the balance of) the past. Unlike the third book, our young heroes actually end up living in—and learning to cope with—this historical time period in which they’ve apparently become trapped. It isn’t the premise that disagreed with this reader so much as the slowness of pacing paired with the author’s particular high-fantasy interpretation of the biblically referenced time period. While the 3rd book dealt with a completely made-up timeline and family history, in this book the author is pulling directly from a known source and warping elements of it to suit her own intent.

For some reason, L’Engle chose to portray ancient humanity as a loincloth (only) wearing desert-dwelling people who were incredibly small in stature. I gathered by the end, this was to imply that the cross-breeding with fallen angels resulted in the more modern height increase. (However, this doesn’t explain the miniaturized size or nature of the of the water-detecting desert mammoths, which were described as being the size of dogs. There are also manticores, griffons, and “Virtual Unicorns” (very unlike the unicorns in book #3) that only exist when you decide to believe in them… because reasons. >.>) Humanity’s massive lifespan was also suggested as cause for technical adulthood not being reached until around the centennial mark. As a result, Noah’s 100-year-old daughter Yalith—who becomes the love interest for both brothers—is depicted as a painfully naive teenage-minded girl. Talk about a serious case of arrested development!

To me, the twins weren’t quite distinct enough in their own personalities. While they do prove more intelligent than they’d previously let on, they are nonetheless the most “normal” (i.e. vanilla dull) of all the Murray family. I found I was reading on for the sake of learning the plot more so than out of concern for what might happen to either of them.
Sandy and Denny’s vague knowledge of the Old Testament means they eventually do figure out the significance of the Noah they’ve encountered. But their lack of study and/or interest means they are incredibly slow on the pickup regarding the fallen angels and Nephilim. (Apparently in L’Engle’s hyper mythological vision of the quickly summarized record, humans don’t comprehend what the “winged giants” they’ve been breeding with actually are.)

Content Note: Contextual nudity (and its effect on the modern boys) is addressed with tact and cultural frankness. But this is the first book in the series to repeatedly reference awakening sexuality, and that may come as a surprise for some readers. Lust and seduction are repeatedly depicted as they are used against the twins in a vie for information. Although, compared to some of the more recent trends in Middle Grade and YA, the situations are relatively tame in their graphicness and end result.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Crown of Amiriel
Despite her unstable powers, Warrior Princess Raynin is the most...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Darkest Legacy
The long-awaited new novel in the New York Times best-selling...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nightbooks
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Intoxic
When Alison Hayes walks into her storm-darkened trailer the afternoon...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Ranch Hero
Kid lit with a comic book twist! This is a...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
The Black and White Ball
In a lush and bountiful woodland, teeming with magnificent wildlife,...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Denis Ever After
Written by award-winning author Tony Abbott and perfect for...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
You May Now Kill the Bride
Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Hiding Lies
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shadow Wings
I will never be controlled again. A manipulative dragon...
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Into Darkness
Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer's life was not supposed to turn...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Kai's summer changes when she gets a summer internship at...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Zoe is just your average teenage girl expecting another average,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frango & Chicken
Some things seem impossible, but with the right attitude and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Lane
Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Little Shaq Takes a Chance
 
4.0
"Little Shaq is not at all excited about the upcoming school art fair because he doesn't feel that he is..."
Northanger Abbey
 
4.7
" “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." ..."
The Bone Season (Scion #1)
 
4.3
"I'm very upset with this book. So angry, seeing red in my vision. That level of angry. It's like RED..."
K-9 (Knightley and Son #2 )
 
5.0
"Now that Darkus' father Alan is back and conscious most of the time (after their adventures in book one), they..."
The Bone Season (Scion #1)
 
5.0
"Again I avoided this book because of the hype around it, but I regret not reading this book a lot..."
 
2.3
"I have to say I enjoyed this, but it's quite young and i could see the end too easily. I..."
 
5.0
Kat
"Coolz"
 
5.0
"The Declaration by Gemma Malley - what a book! Another futuristic novel it follows Surplus Anna, Anna Covey to her..."
The Bone Season (Scion #1)
 
4.7
"I knew writing a review for this book would be hard even before I started reading it. Just look at..."
Princess Academy
 
5.0
"I loved reading this when I was younger, and although some of the details are now hazy, I remember being..."
River Secrets (The Books of Bayern #3)
 
N/A
"Razo has to be one of my favorite characters, i love his personality. "
Flyte (Septimus Heap - Book 2)
 
4.0
"The Characters were extremely well developed. I knew which characters I was supposed to hate, and which ones I was..."
 
2.3
"Ok....I don't mean to sound mean but this author is SO stupid for writing that ending in this book. I..."
Need (Need #1)
 
3.7
"It's nice when you read a book and discover an aspect of fantasy that you had not read before. I've..."
Need (Need #1)
 
3.7
"This story starts off interesting with Zara arriving to live with her step grandmother. Zara is the sad new girl..."
This Is Not Forgiveness
 
2.7
"From the prologue, we gather that a guy named Rob has died and so have others. We know that whatever..."
This Is Not Forgiveness
 
N/A
" This is Not Forgiveness is darkly beautiful and draws you into this story with three..."
Between the Sea and Sky
 
2.7
"Between the Sea and Sky was a nice, quick read, but I’m sad to say that for me, it probably..."
Princess Academy
 
5.0
"On the surface, Princess Academy seems a silly tale, a story of a Prince choosing a bride, an obvious read-a-like..."
The Legacy (The Declaration, Book 3)
 
3.3
"I must say, I never want to live forever. To be able to feel yourself melt away, while you still..."