Friday, October 28, 2016

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern {Book Review & Giveaway!}

In October 1730, young Rip Van Winkle sneaks into a graveyard and comes face-to-face with the ghost of William Blaxton, the legendary first settler of Boston.  Warning Rip that the city is in danger, the ghost gives him a mysterious gift:  a pumpkin lantern with power over life and death.  Before fading into midnight, the ghost tells Rip to take the lantern to Feathertop, a mythical pumpkin-headed scarecrow.  
Pursued by Mistress Hibbing, a witch of terrifying power, and hunted by the nightmarish Midnight Minister, young Rip must rely on the aid of Jonathan Edwards, a stern and secretive preacher, and Nathaniel, a talkative, know-it-all raven.  Guided by the magical light of the lantern, Rip races across New England to find Feathertop, save Boston, and become a most unlikely hero!
Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith is a perfect read for Halloween!  I am not quite finished with the book yet (so I don't know how it ends!) but I wanted to get this review out there before Halloween came and went!  Here are my thoughts on the book so far...

Rip was found as a baby in a cemetery by a young couple with no children.   Crazy right?  Literally, they found Rip in an open grave, laying at the bottom, nearly dead with cold.  Pulling him out of the grave they warmed him back to life, named him Rip (as in "Rest In Peace") and raised him as their own.  What they didn't know is that was born with Rip magical powers.  He can talk to plants and they talk back!  As Rip grows, more and more adopted children join his family, and life is good.  Until the sickness arrives.  Devastated at the result the sickness has on his family Rip slips into longer performing magic and feeling directionless.

One sleepless night, Rip looks out his window to see a stranger with yellow eyes.  The stranger looks right at him and Rip feels drawn to follow.  Sneaking out of the house that night brings him back into the graveyard...  and he runs right into the ghost of William Blaxton! Blaxton gifts him with a mysterious pumpkin lantern, charging him with using the lantern to become a "light in the wilderness" and save the city of Boston from the darkness.  With the help of a preacher and a talking Raven, Rip sets out on his journey to defeat the evil Mistress Hibbins & the terrifying Midnight Minister and bring light and truth back to Boston.

This is my first time reading a fiction book by Seth Adam Smith and I have enjoyed it very much!  Pulling you into fanciful scenes with fantastic descriptive power takes the reader on the journey with Rip!  It's been hard to put down!  I can't tell you how it ends since I don't know yet, but I can tell you that I can't wait to find out!  Will Rip save Boston?  I hope so!

Seth described this book as a fable about overcoming depression and the importance of finding the "light in the wilderness."  Learn more about Seth Adam Smith by visiting his website at or on Instagram @sethadamsmith.

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith can be purchased from your favorite retailer!  I am also giving away one copy to a lucky reader here at Swinging On Small Hinges.  Enter using the giveaway tools below!

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thank you so much for swinging by!

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