The Restorer

Sharon Hinck, Author
Sharon Hinck, Author NavPress Publishing Group $12.99 (477p) ISBN 978-1-60006-131-8
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Susan Mitchell seems like any other depressed housewife and mother of four needy children. But devout novelist Hinck (also a wife and mother) has destined Susan for a life of fantastic adventure: like the Biblical Deborah, she is a ""Restorer,"" a prophet. She is fated to help Kieran, Tristan, their family, and the people of Braide Wood-a town in the parallel universe where Susan mysteriously finds herself. It is her task to bring the heathens of Shamgar and other warring territories ""back to the Verses."" Basically, Susan must show how Jesus saves-even in parallel fantasy worlds. Why Hinck didn't situate her protagonist within the parallel universe from the very start is mystifying. This could have saved her audience from overcoming the book's unbelievable premise-that a middle-aged, down-and-out soccer mom lands herself in a parallel world (where she must suddenly carry and use a sword) by opening up a cardboard box labeled ""Dress Up"" stored in the attic. Hinck only makes the reader's task more difficult with constant, pedestrian references to the world that Susan left, comparing events to popular television shows like Crime Stoppers, scenery to ""Play-Doh Villages,"" and local food to Cheerios. This disappointing and over-long first installment in the Sword of Lyric series adds little imagination to the growing genre of Christian fantasy.
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