Author: Obert Skye
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Original Review: December 30, 2012
Every adventure can use a bit of comedy, some silly moments. It pops up more in movies than in books, though there are some exceptions. In Leven Thumps, silly moments are the mainstay of the story.
Although Leven, the titular character, starts off with a tragic cookie-cutter backstory (an orphan that lives with mean relatives), the laughs are quickly forthcoming. The jokes start with a simple incident of a supposed pest causing a large group of people to panic and knock each other over, but eventually the fate of Foo is resting on a talking toothpick!
Speaking of fate, it plays a huge role in the plot. Things that might normally be considered ridiculous coincidences are always pointed out as the working of fate, which always seems to be on the heroes’ side. You can always count on this, so eventually it kind of kills the fear that the characters might fail, and in fact you might find that some of their accomplishments just can’t be awarded to them in that light.
One might argue that this is completely necessary, though, because the characters have more than just the villain to worry about. Leven spends the entire book beset by shadows that convince him that it’s not worth it to join this cause–either because he can’t help, or because it’s not justified. The other characters spend as much time dealing with this as they do on their quest, if not more. Although his doubts don’t really originate in his own mind, it’s still one of the stronger character arcs I’ve read.
Reading Leven Thumps is a lot like watching a children’s cartoon or anime. If you can stop trying to make sense of it and just enjoy the ride, there’s a lot of fun to be had.