Thank goodness for a better book to come across my door. I hit a bad spell of books these past several weeks, so this one was the pivot point I needed. With that being said, it was not the best book I have ever read, but it was compelling and kept me intrigued until the very end.
The Seventh Son series is the first of Five books that make the Alvin Journeyman series. It is written by a man name Orson Scott Card who is best known for the Ender Game series. This book sets the tone for a good series, and if I did not already have a larger growing list of books to get through by the end of 2016, I would probably pick up where I left off with the next one. The book was short with a little more than 200 pages.
The book was about a young man named Alvin Jr. who is, you guessed it, the seventh son. Well..., actually he is the seventh son of the seventh son, which is a big deal in mystic culture. It takes place in America around 1760, just as America was becoming a nation. It mentions names like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Aaron Burr. The book is about a family who consists of 12 members and lives in a rural area on the western edge of expanding america.
The setting is very interesting because it is quickly established, by the author, that some people posses special powers. This give credit to the idea that mysticism and magic exist in every day life. Aside from that point, everything about the setting is like real life, but as long as you can be cool with the author claiming that a “torch" is a person who can see into your soul, a “maker" is someone who can will things to work in their favor, and that Benjamin Franklin was a witch; then you’re golden! Kind of like Xmen, but in 1760.
I enjoyed the book because it brought up some great points about religion and mysticism and how they can BOTH be misunderstood, misused, and misinterpreted. The protagonist is a 10-year old boy that struggles to understand his awesome powers and has his family to help him along the way. The antagonist of the book is the preacher of the town that sees Alvin’s family as devil working to infect his congregation. On the other hand, Alvin’s family sees the church as an organization so disconnected with reality. It was funny to me to see these two perspectives displayed by each party for one another, the irony right? Orson Scott Card really nails his goal of discussing the power of mysticism and how it motivates people by using nature and human will as its modes of transportation. He creates the religious character as zealots that will stop at nothing to blindly attack Alvin's family in order to weed out the “old ways” where magic takes it’s place. In this way the religious characters blindly ignore miraculous events to justify their anger against the unexplained. Crazy right?
Sadly, the book cut off too early without the cliffhanger I was needing in order to pick up where it left off. The book ends with a struggle that is sorted out by the end with the protagonist and antagonist, but with a little clouded in mystery. But like I sad before, I need to keep trucking on to other books so that I can complete my goal. Maybe some other time, I will pick up another book by the author that brought us Enders Wiggins