February 2, 2009
Review: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith
Note: This review assumes you've read volumes 1 and 2 of Smith's Bone series. If you haven't, you may want to jump right to my thoughts, although I don't think I've revealed any true spoilers.
My Summary: After helping Gran'ma Ben repair her house, Lucius, Smiley, and Phoney return to Barrelhaven to check on the tavern, while Gran'ma, Thorn, and Fone stay on the farm. A sudden, heavy thunderstorm overtakes the valley just as Lucius and the Bones see signs of rat creatures in the forest. They have to find a way to outsmart the creatures and make it safely into town. Meanwhile, Gran'ma Ben overhears Thorn and Fone discussing their recent nightmares, and she finally tells them some of the secrets she has been hiding from her granddaughter. Now the three have to make some tough choices. And deep in the forest, the giant king of the rat creatures is seen taking orders from the hooded Lord of Locusts.
My Thoughts: The action really picks up in Eyes of the Storm, and the plot lines begin to solidify. As we learn some of the Thorn's background, we have an increasing sense of danger—not only for the main characters but also for the entire valley. At the end of the book, the Bones and their friends are at a turning point, and we are left wondering where the tale is taking us.
Lest you think that this volume is all seriousness, let me reassure you that Smith has managed to inject his great sense of humor into several scenes. We are treated to a new take on Fone's ongoing obsession with Melville's Moby-Dick, and I love Smiley's reactions to life.
This volume is traditionally considered the end of the first part of the entire Bone saga. And indeed it seems that we have met the major players and that the heart of the story is just about to unfold. I am anticipating future volumes to have many elements of traditional myth tales, as defined by Joseph Campbell. Stay tuned!
Cross-posted to my blog Beth Fish Reads.
Published by Scholastic, 2006