Monday, September 7, 2015

Reader's Review: "Thimblerig's Ark" by Nate Fleming

Synopsis from Amazon:

You know about Noah, but what about the animals? Thimblerig is a little groundhog with big problems. He's a loner con-artist who's losing his mojo; the wild dogs who run the forest harass him at every turn; he's started having vivid nightmares of apocalyptic floods; and worst of all - he believes he sees unicorns when everyone knows unicorns are only the stuff of legend. But what one animal calls problems, Thimblerig calls opportunity. His problems inspire him to come up with the ultimate con: convincing a group of gullible animals that a world-ending flood is coming, that the fabled unicorns have told him where the only safe place will be, and that only he can lead them to safety. And all for a reasonable price, of course. But when the flood really does come, Thimblerig has a choice to make: either he really does save the ones who have trusted him, or he loses everything. And he discovers that his problems have only just begun.
My Review:

The most profitable kind of
groveling there is...
I have accrued a lot of free books in the last two years. Half of them are the result of direct requests but the rest are because I was lucky enough to come across a Facebook post announcing that, for a limited time, the book would be free on Amazon. The only downside to that is that I personally did not connect with the author beforehand, so he has no idea I'm going to feature a review on his book. The upside is--Unsolicited Publicity is Unsolicited. So, totally not biased.
This is one of those "indirectly acquired" books, but really, having read it I can affirm that it is definitely worth the price!

The first aspect I enjoyed the most was the attention to the characterization of the animals. Yes, they are animals, but Fleming did an impeccable job making each character relatable. I love it when an author can compel you to care about the characters (otherwise, what's the point?) and Fleming pulls it off in a way that had me giggling and gasping at all the right moments. He has all the finesse of another Brian Jacques, with the spiritual acuity of C. S. Lewis!

The second aspect I enjoyed was the excellent treatment of the tale. The "Ark" reference in the title is exactly what you would expect, and though I tend to be a little more cautious around books that so eagerly profess their Christian ties, I found Thimblerig's story to be both well-put and fairly balanced. Like the sort of fairy-tale adaptations that I love so much, all the right aspects were there at all the right moments (with a bit of liberties taken on the existence of rain pre-Deluge, but I can let that slide!) and I did not even mind the manifestation of God being the form of a unicorn—because really, I think it isn't all that big of a stretch to consider a unicorn as the "angel" of the animal kingdom. 

Fleming's story is as whimsical and imaginative as it is poignant and honest. For an absolutely clean read with great truths and picturesque visuals, look no further than "Thimblerig's Ark"!

"Thimblerig's Ark" earns a full-fledged *****FIVE STAR***** rating, and a hearty HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from The Upstream Writer!

Other books with a strong Christian message: