Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MG Book Review: Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits, by Daniel McInerny

General Information
Publisher:  Trojan Tub Entertainment
Year of publication: 2011
# of chapters: 17
# of pages: (e-book)
Genre: Fantasy
Next book in the series: Stoop of Mastodon Meadow

Plot summary (from the website): 
When Oliver Stoop, age 11, moves with his family to a remote piece of land in northern Indiana, he soon discovers that someone is already living there—an entire kingdom of someones, in fact. These are the good citizens of Patria, a secret land founded by refugees from the Trojan War who sailed across the Atlantic in a reconfigured Trojan Horse—3,000 years ago!

For Oliver, Patria is a land of wonders—and for the first time in his life, friendship. There's young Prince Farnsworth Vesuvius, inventor of the Magna-Pneumatic Whizzing Biscuit Blaster, and his formidable sister, Princess Rose, whose inedible, stone-hard biscuits provide the blaster's ammunition. But there's also the rest of the eccentric and lovable Patrian Royal Family, the boy warriors in the Potawatomi Indian Camp, not to mention the Viking kids from the Geat Village, newcomers to the area who only arrived 1,000 years ago.

Yet when the noble Knights of the Blue Sock threaten to drive off the Stoops by force of arms, Oliver has to decide where his loyalties lie, and whether he has the courage to undertake the quest that is both Patria's, and his family's, last, best hope of peace.

Join Oliver now as he discovers a new world of fun and excitement right in his backyard!

Positive Points
The setting and characters both featured historical elements mixed with modern ones, creating a very interesting combination. I mean, what other book has Vikings, a castle, an Indian tribe, a mobile home, knights, a very fancy lawn mower with a DVD player, a princess all dressed in pink, and a war re-enactment troop, all combined in one story? The characters are well developed and have unique traits that make them memorable. Oliver is a regular boy among all these unusual characters. It kind of makes him stand out.

The plot was engaging and entertaining. It hooked me from the first chapter and kept me interested until the end. I would definitely want to read its sequel, Stoop of Mastodon Meadow.

I love humor in stories, and this was just my type: not too wacky, not too subtle either, just in between; the kind of humor that would certainly appeal to young readers. It made me smile a lot, and even laugh out loud quite a few times.

The book cover caught my attention. Very professional and appealing. Same thing with the author's website. It's not part of the book, but I thought I'd mention it because it's a great example of what an author website should look like, to my opinion. It has games and little extras that complement the book. This shows that the author is confident about his book series and invested himself in making an outstanding website for it.

Negative Points
Although I found several grammar and formatting mistakes throughout the book, I was already into the story when I came across the first one and I couldn't stop reading, so I continued. It did distract me from the story, though. A published book should be 100% error-free and professionally edited.

I really can't find anything else negative to say about this book. Very well written. I was impressed!

What makes this book unique
So many things! The setting, the characters, the plot, just about everything was unique about this book. But probably the most unusual thing was the gun that shot hard biscuits baked by a princess.

Overall Impression
I think this book would be good for reluctant readers in particular, because it's full of action and humor.

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:


Michael G-G said...

Great review. This sounds like a romp!

Barbara Watson said...

Sounds like a good one! (Occasionally I find errors in printed books too--periods left out here, a letter skipped in a word--and wonder HOW it could get through the layers and layers of edits in traditional publishing!)

Anonymous said...

wow - that description was packed with creative wonder. love the title, and the character names, and the silliness all around :)

Daniel McInerny said...

Thanks Michael, Barbara, and Gina:

I very much appreciate your kind comments, not to mention Annie's generous review.

I sure hope you will enjoy an adventure in the Kingdom of Patria!

All the best,
Daniel McInerny

Marcia said...

I agree that the gun that shoots hard biscuits sounds like fun. And very good point about appeal to reluctant readers.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments!

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