Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review: Brothers at Arms: Treasure & Treachery in the Amazon by John J. Horn

Age Appropriate For:  10 and up for mild violence

Best for Ages: 10 and up

Description: Lawrence and Chester Stoning are twins, but like Jacob and Esau of old they have little else in common. Lawrence is a realist, fascinated by the study of science, mathematics, and history, while Chester longs for the knightly adventures of chivalrous times past — hard-fought battles, gold-filled caves, damsels in distress. When Chester’s impetuosity engages the unlikely pair as bodyguards to a Spaniard and his beautiful ward Pacarina, the twins quickly realize that the 19th century calls for a chivalry of its own. Protecting Pacarina’s secret leads all of them into the steaming jungles and dizzying mountains of Peru, a foreboding territory made all the more dangerous by Lawrence and Chester’s strivings against each other. Can the twins learn to trust God and work together before it’s too late? Or will they fall prey to the mysterious schemes of Pacarina’s enemy — an enemy they know nothing about?

Where was this book when I was 11? I remember not being able to find any historical adventures that were appropriate for me at that age. Every fiction book I could read was either fantasy, mystery, or had romance. I hated fantasy, was tired of mysteries, and disliked romance. That is why I read so many non-fiction books in my tweens and teens.

Brothers at Arms is almost the opposite of every kid’s book today. It assumes kids are not stupid; that they can handle big words like ‘foreboding’ and the like. This book also assumes that there are those of us that enjoy books that are not centered around romance. It also is filled with God honoring principles that are hard to find in most Christian fiction.

The story itself was a page-tuner. It was one of those thick books (304 pages) that you wonder in the first two pages how it is going to stretch out for that long. Before you know it, you are reading the last page and wishing it had been longer.

I loved how the brothers interacted. Their relationship felt so real and was the source of some of the biggest surprises for me. How it develops and the lessons they learn were so much better than anything I expected.
The lack of romance was refreshing for me. Now, there is a girl in the story, and at the end of the book you get a very strong idea of what is in store for her and one of the heros. However, unlike so many books today, there weren’t any real mushy scenes, no kissing, no heart-stopping moments. You could read this to your eight-year-old brother, and he wouldn’t roll his eyes. We need more books like this.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Just buy a copy today! If you enjoy adventure stories that have little to no romance and lots of godly character, this book is for you.

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I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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