Friday, March 26, 2010

Son of Samson and the Heroes of God

Son of Samson and the Heroes of God is Volume 6 out of the eight graphic novels in the series written by Gary Martin.

Samson’s son, Branan, continues his family legacy by battling the Philistines. God is always with him throughout his trials and battles and often sends unusual allies. This story begins as Branan travels through the desert, on his way to return the Serpent Staff of Moses to the Tabernacle at Shiloh.

He meets two seemingly friendly men who warn him of dangerous lions in the area. They make camp for the night and when Branan awakens, he is alone and all of his belongings have been stolen, including the Serpent Staff! He stumbles across the desert with no food or water, but bravely frees a lion from a trap after asking for God’s protection. He survives a dust storm and is on the brink of collapse when the freed lion comes back and drags him to water.

Thus restored, he quietly enters the camp of the Philistine army. After finding food, he eavesdrops on Lord Pathrus and discovers a plot to steal the Ark of the Covenant. Before he can reclaim his camel and the Serpent Staff, he is caught by the Philistine guards. Once again, the lion returns to create a distraction, and Branan escapes.

When he reaches the priests at Shiloh, they’re ecstatic to receive the Serpent Staff. However, the Shechem raid diverted all the warriors so there is no one left to defend the Tabernacle but Branan. The priests give Branan the honor of entering the Tent of the Holy Tabernacle to replace the staff. Branan praises God for strength and protection and asks for help in the coming battle. When he rises, two mighty warriors stand before him. They are Raphael and Uriel, and they outfit him with armor and provide him with the Ark’s carrying pole as a weapon.

The Philistines begin the battle by asking for immediate surrender. Branan refuses and as the army attacks, they are thwarted by what can only be divine intervention. There are many close-up illustrations of the clashing battle, and thousands of soldiers are scattered like chaff in the wind. Lord Pathrus must conclude that God has won. Branan is surprised when the priests tell him he defeated 3000 men single-handedly.

What I Like: The story by Gary Martin and the art by Sergio Cariello are well-done. The author and illustrator know how to make a good graphic novel; they’ve both worked for the major comic book companies. The artwork is in black and white, and there’s no gore, just lots of action! The book contains many historical facts, including a map of Palestine in 1060 B.C. and there is additional information about the Ark of the Covenant.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: Age 11 to 13, although my younger boys enjoyed the macho, heroic illustrations.

Publisher Info:Zondervan, 2009; ISBN: 978-0310712848 ; Paperback $6.99

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Samantha said...

I LOVE your blog!! I can't seem to find a section about patriotism and 4th of July? If you don't already have some I would love to see what childrens books you would recommend.

Proverbs Thirty One Woman said...

Samantha, that's a great idea for a label! I will add one; there aren't a whole lot of Christian books for kids on that topic, but I know we have a few. Look for it in the next day or two.