***Warning: There are SPOILERS in this post***
If you’re wondering whether or not I managed to finish the book last night – I did! My husband and two-year-old gladly ate leftovers for dinner so that I would have more time to read. And more time for reading is always a good thing.
Because I read the first book, The Curse of the Spider King, right before reading Venom and Song, it’s difficult for me to separate the two books. So my review will probably include some thoughts about both.
Firstly, I love the story that is woven through these two books. Classic with a new angle. I’ve always been a fan of the teenager-discovers-special-powers type of stories, and I couldn’t remember why this story felt so familiar until some of the other bloggers mentioned the X-Men. “Aha!” I thought, “That’s it!” Like X-Men, with a fantasy spin and a positive message. What’s not to like?
I felt pretty engaged with The Curse of the Spider King from the beginning, and I loved the books that come to life as a mechanism to introduce the characters to their true nature. When I read it often feels like the same happens to me – er, the book coming to life, not discovering I’m really an elf.
Venom and Song took a little longer for me to get into. I found the training hall sequences a little boring, and those took up a good portion of the first half of the book. But once Tommy and Kat discovered the complete history of Berinfell, then I got pulled along as they all continued on their adventure. It was definitely easier to follow the characters in the second book, maybe because I was already familiar with them, or maybe because there were simply less of them. Either way, it was fun to follow the progress of the teenagers as they shifted from seven individuals into one team.
Teamwork is definitely a strong theme in Venom and Song. While the first book was more the process of each teenager discovering not only that they are really elves, but the leaders of the elves gifted with special talents, Venom and Song is all about how they learn to use those talents together to overcome the evil of the Spider King. It’s clear from the discoveries they make that they have always been intended to work together, which reveals another theme – God loves each person and has a plan for their life. I think this is most strongly seen in Jimmy, who of all the children felt that he was the one who was most expendable. His realization that he is loved and cherished, not only as part of the team but in himself, is a poignant reminder that we, too, are loved by our God. It is important for me to remember that while I am part of the greater whole of Christ’s body on earth, He still would have died on the cross even if I was the only one who needed saving. And that goes for each of us.
Venom and Song seemed to end kind of abruptly, I presume because the story isn’t over yet. I think the shift of scene at the end – I won’t go into detail so as not to give it away - caught me a little off guard, so I’ll be interested to see where the story goes from here.
I would definitely recommend this book as a fun and wholesome read. Check it out!
And visit the rest of the tour:Angela - Brandon Barr - Keanan Brand - Amy Browning - Beckie Burnham - Morgan L. Busse - Melissa Carswell - Jeff Chapman - Valerie Comer - Amy Cruson - CSFF Blog Tour - D. G. D. Davidson - April Erwin - Tori Greene - Ryan Heart - Bruce Hennigan - Timothy Hicks - Becky Jesse - Cris Jesse - Jason Joyner - Julie - Carol Keen - Krystine Kercher - Dawn King - Leighton - Rebecca LuElla Miller - John W. Otte - Donita K. Paul - Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Sarah Sawyer -Chawna Schroeder - Tammy Shelnut - James Somers - Kathleen Smith - Rachel Starr Thomson - Robert Treskillard - Steve Trower - Fred Warren - Jason Waguespac - Dona Watson - Phyllis Wheeler - Jill Williamson
Disclaimer: In conjunction with the CSFF blog tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.