PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 01, 2011
iddle -aged, happily married women with four children and loving husbands aren’t called to stand in the gap. Housewives aren’t asked to face down enemy hoards. Soccer Moms aren’t anointed to save the world.
Or are they?
In The Restorer: Expanded Edition, Susan Mitchell finds out being a Mom is excellent training for being a hero.
Susan is not having a good day. She’s not having a good season, really, and there isn’t a concrete reason for it. Anyone familiar with depression or anxiety knows the frustration that is parceled with feeling off and not being able to explain why you are experiencing those feelings. Hinck captures Susan’s sense of irritation and her wanting to fix the issue so life can return to normal perfectly in the opening chapter of the story.
Mark, her husband, tries to help by creating a little nook in the attic. He gives her a place where she can get away from the stress of being the mother of four kids, and even from her own expectations of self.
Her sanctuary becomes a portal, and Susan Mitchell, mild mannered wife and mother, is pulled through it.
One minute she’s fighting the fear of losing her mind as she hears voices in her empty house, and the next heart beat she’s witnessing one man kill another with a sword in an alleyway. One breath she’s in the warm, dry attic, and the next she’s being hammered on by relentless rain and running away from armed men with swords.
Tristan, the apparent murderer, and his friend Kieran, manage to get Susan to come back into where they have holed up for the night. After several tense scenes, Susan begins to believe him. She’s not just a few streets over from her home, but father than she ever dreamed she’d journey from it.
Susan learns she’s in a world called Lyric, and Tristan is a Guardian from a group called The People of the Verses. He tells her the reason he killed the man in the alley is because the Rhusican poisoned his wife. In the Realm of Lyric, words have power, extreme power. Words delivered in a certain way, and believed by the one that hears them, can literally kill. He hopes that, with the poisoner’s death, his wife will have a chance to recover. Susan, reeling from these revelations, is hit by another one.
She’s picked up some strange abilities; hearing that allows her to pick up conversations out of a human’s normal range, her body has the ability to heal devastatingly quickly from injuries, and her sight acts like the best kind of binocular if she focuses on an image in the distance.
Tristan, who has been praying for divine rescue for his people, tells Susan she’s a Restorer. Restorers are sent by The One when The People of the Verses are in times of great trouble. With enemies closing in from outside, and sedition brewing among the Council that leads the people, never have they been in more danger.
Kieran is not nearly as certain Susan has been sent by ‘the One’ or that The One even exists. His cynicism adds refreshing grist to the story.
Hinck’s world of Lyric is well developed and has a refreshing mesh of technology and primitiveness. From mag-lift transports, to riding into battle on stag like creatures, she blends the ancient and modern creating a fully believable environment.
The faith of The People of the Verses is well done, and while it is central to the plot, Hinck doesn’t preach at the reader, she simply lets her characters live out what they believe. Supporting characters like Tristan and Kieran are multifaceted and often struggle with issues like those they love suffering, or being allowed to die, when the One promises to defend those He loves. Kieran especially provides a wonderful voice of doubt and dissent to what Tristan and Susan believe.
There are spots where the flow of The Restorer: Expanded Edition does slow down, and several scenes feel out of pace with the rest of the story. They are minor flaws, however, to this exquisitely mapped story of a families legacy and the love of the One who is no respecter of time or place when those He loves are in danger.
Add to all of this fantastic story the bonus scenes, recipes, and music, and you have a tale richer and deeper than its first release.