Fire On The Mountain

Thursday, October 29, 2015

“Pompeii?” Ethan cries. “That guard says we’re in Pompeii. Isn’t that the town destroyed by a tornado?” “That’s right,” agrees Spencer’s familiar voice from a dim corner of the shadowy cell, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?”
“Let’s have it all,” Ethan sighs wearily.
“In about twelve hours Vesuvius is going to blow it’s top, and we’re going to see the most amazing fireworks display or all time. That’s the good news,” Spencer explains. “The bad news is that we won’t live long enough to see the end of the show.”

Book: Time Crashers: Fire on the Mountain by Michael Brewer, Legacy Press, 2014

Genre: Adventure
Target Audience: Boys 12-16
Subjects: Power of God, Love, Friendship
Summary: Attempt #2 to find dad. Destination: Pompeii. Date: One day before a volcano erupts. As they arrive in the city, they quickly learn a few things: Christians are not welcome so keeping your faith quiet is important, killing is not only acceptable but required if one chooses to participate in the games in the arena and thirdly, getting a lazy servant in trouble with his master can be hazardous to one’s health. It doesn’t take long before Ethan, Jake and Spencer all three find themselves, one at a time, each for unique reasons, thrown into jail. It’s a little challenging to look for Ethan’s dad or run from a volcano when you’re trapped in jail. Thankfully, they have some time to make some friends as well as enemies and if they make the right choice, they may just escape with their lives.  
Notes: Fire On The Mountain is the second in the Time Crashers series, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure series. The idea of the series is that Ethan and his two friends will travel to different places and times in history looking for Ethan’s dad who is stuck somewhere in time. The book also contains numerous illustrations – simple grayscale pencil drawings, but lots of them. The spiritual elements are definitely prevalent in the story. The characters put their trust in Jesus to help them through their difficult situations. Ethan looks to the Bible for insight on what decisions to make. It is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book so it’s harder to weave a strong spiritual thread throughout the course of the book, but the author does a good job putting in quite a bit. The book also contains little activities and puzzles after each chapter. They have the reader looking up Bible verses to solve the puzzles. In this book they deal with the issue of being Christians in a culture where Christianity is unacceptable and those who are Christians have to be careful how they share their faith. When in a scary situation, Spencer uses Scripture to comfort himself and his friends. God is given credit for an aspect of His creation that helps the boys. A fellow Christian they meet shares that she became a Christian due to seeing her brothers die as gladiators and deciding she wanted something more of out life – something she found in her faith. Being a Christian gives one side character the courage to stay in the city to help others even though he knows he will die if he stays. Spencer faces a test when asked if he knows Paul of Tarsus – the apostle Paul and has to choose whether or not to lie in hopes of being accepted into a Christian gathering. I would highly recommend this book to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure fans.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Isaiah 43:1-2 – But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.


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