Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review - Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll

Beyond the Dead Forest: The Bizarre Adventures of Carter and Kat
By: Steve Groll
ISBN: 978-1-61566-436-8
Published by: Tate Publishing
Released on May 4, 2010
420 Pages

Back Cover (Description from Amazon):
It just appeared one day out of nowhere--a dead forest that the partners had never seen before. Carter and Kat think they know every tree, river, and rock within five miles of their homes, but this section of wood, completely devoid of life, was not supposed to exist. Stepping through a doorway into a bizarre world filled with darkness, terror, and death, they embark on a quest to discover the greatest treasure of all. Aided by a strange old man they called the Guardian, and armed with spiritual weapons, their wits, and a growing arsenal of wisdom, they battle against forces of darkness that are determined to destroy them. Hitch a wild ride with the arrogant Mr. Stewborn with a raving madman in hot pursuit. Come stay awhile in the inescapable People Rule Inn and experience a place where nightmares are real. Travel through the depressing Valley of Shadows, and meet dark creatures you have never imagined. Join Carter and Kat as they venture Beyond the Dead Forest and discover, with our heroes, the unsurpassable riches of wisdom that can empower you to change your life and your world.

This story is unlike any I have ever read before. I feel like if I had known Steve Groll, it would have been a whole lot of parables manipulated into this plot. Kat and Carter get into the weirdest, most imaginative, and craziest situations that I couldn't have possibly thought up. In every situation there is a lesson  to be learned, without fail.

Carter and Kat are unlike any children I know, but I guess that's why they embark on this journey. They are constantly tested, tempted to go down the wrong paths, and no one was who them seemed to be. It was a tough journey. I honestly don't know if I could have gone through it when I was their age. These children act a whole lot older than they actually are, I would have liked to see them as teenagers, rather than as children. It would have been a tad bit more believable.

There are a lot of secrets hidden in the pages of this book, in people's names, names of hotels and even in the locations themselves.  I felt like I was watching a TV show, I could see myself seated on the couch every week waiting for the next episode of Beyond The Dead Forest. I think this should be made into a TV show, it would be phenomenal.

The book is a little hard to get into at first, but give it a couple chapters and you'll be hooked. I learned along with the characters in this book. I learned to be a better person and how to appreciate people around me. The way the author wrote this book had me feeling for the side characters, even if the people you are cheering for are just in the chapter and you never here from them again. It was a little heart-breaking--I wanted the character to stay but alas I knew it was good-bye until another interesting character appeared on the scene.

The cover of this book didn't draw me in at all, I was kind of turned off by all the black trees. The dragon on the front, when I first saw it I thought it was a bat. I don't think that the cover is a very good representative of this book, so don't judge this book by the cover. Make sure that you grab this one right off the shelf because it's definitely worth the read! I can't wait to read more books written by Steve Groll, when you finish reading this book I know you'll feel the same! :)

About the Author(taken from here):
Author of the award winning Ebook Visual Illustrations, Steve Groll, has written and published his first novel "Beyond the Dead Forest: The Bizarre Adventures of Carter and Kat." Groll has worked with children and families for over 40 years. Steve's goal is to write suspenseful adventures that take place in strange worlds and that are both intriguing and profound. Though his novel is geared to older children and younger youth, many adults enjoy the excitement, and wonder at the wisdom found in his uniquely dark, tense, and personally challenging novel.

Steve Groll is currently the children’s pastor at First Southern Baptist, Palm Springs, CA. Over the years, he has had a special calling and love of working with children. He has served as camp pastor, guest speaker at children’s retreats, led children’s revivals, and taught, trained, and administered all ages in the area of Christian education.

Book Trailer:

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