The Maker


Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
220 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2017
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kris Moger for Readers' Favorite

The Maker by D.F. Anderson is the enchanting story about Nate, a teenage boy, who loves to draw. His parents have separated and his mom has a new boyfriend. With all the turmoil in his life, his grades in school are slipping, so his mother takes away all his drawing supplies until his marks go up. Meanwhile, his father has disappeared out of his life, but someone sends him a package with a mysterious note inside. Before he can figure out what the message means, two strange, tiny creatures steal the contents of the parcel. Intent on getting his property back, he chases after them, which leads him on a journey that changes his entire life.

I love the world D.F. Anderson has built in The Maker. The characters are unique and fantastic, especially Coral, Nate’s new friend. This story is written with beauty and skill. Every description vividly paints an exciting universe filled with danger, mystery, and adventure. Even though it does fall back on the ‘chosen one, special boy’ trope, the story is so well done that this did not take away from the joy of reading it. The mixture of nature science and the fantasy of magic is refreshing and well done. I truly appreciate the work that has gone into the world-building in The Maker. D.F. Anderson has a great imagination and does a wonderful job sharing it with his readers. I would recommend this story to anyone who wants to lose themselves in a terrific adventure.

Jack Magnus

The Maker is a coming of age adventure fantasy novel for children and young adults written by D.F. Anderson. Ever since last summer, when Nate’s mom and dad announced that they were separating, things had been going downhill for him. The following fall, they divorced, and his dad moved away to Florida and never returned. In November, his mom brought home Ted, an angry, bullying man who dwarfed and intimidated Nate, who was supposed to call him Dad. All Nate had interest in at this point was his drawings, especially since that strange notebook arrived at New Year’s. Yes, his grades were dropping, but he just didn’t care anymore. Ted startled Nate out of his latest reverie of strange beings with eerie eyes by shoving Nate’s newest report card in his face. He then proceeded to rip Nate’s notebooks out of his bag and begin to destroy them, every page of careful and intricate sketches torn into tiny pieces. Rather than stand up for him, Nate’s mom took Ted’s side and the two of them systematically removed every piece of paper, pen and art supply he had from his room as well. Nate and his dad were both artists; a passion and gift they both shared and worked at together. Now, Nate had nothing.

D.F. Anderson’s coming of age science fiction novel for children and young adults, The Maker, follows thirteen-year-old Nate as he’s abducted by two zany fluff balls and a tree-like sentient being and finds himself in an entirely different world, one where even structures are organic and thoughts are quite powerful. Anderson deftly explores the limits of human potential in this entertaining and action-packed story about Nate, who may be the most inspired Maker yet. Meer, the parallel planet he ends up on, is endlessly fascinating, and I’d love to be able to spend some time on it myself. While this is listed as a children’s book, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of metaphysics sprinkled into their fantasy. There’s a lot in this book to get the imagination sparked and glowing. The Maker is most highly recommended.

Romuald Dzemo

Nate Smith is thirteen years old and is having an unusual experience in his drawing. When the story begins, he is engrossed in a drawing activity, creating something that looks like a jellyfish. He is worried that his parents could get home any time soon, because his Report Card doesn’t look particularly good. Nate started drawing his visions that began after the appearance of a drawing binder on his windowsill. Then strange beings come seeking his work, transporting him into space, an adventure that unveils the mystery about the art of 'making.' Equipped with a supernatural pen that brings things to life, he must save the world and his parents from creations of a mischievous and powerful alien. But can he muster enough faith in himself to embrace such a calling? The Maker by D.F. Anderson is a fantastic read for young adults, a story with great lessons on destiny and embracing one’s calling.

D.F. Anderson writes like a master and readers will enjoy the way he brings out the thoughts and the worldview of the protagonist. He actually makes his hero lovable. Character development is superb and I enjoyed watching Nate Smith evolve through the story. When the reader first encounters him, he is a little confused, fearful and uncertain, but as the story progresses, he learns to connect with his gift and to allow it to guide him. His confidence increases through facing many challenges. The setting of the story is great and cinematic, and readers will find vivid images flooding their imaginations. The Maker is balanced and carefully measured, with a pacing that makes for an enjoyable read. It is original, gripping, and utterly delightful. A gem for young readers!

Arya Fomonyuy

A great delight for young readers, The Maker by D.F. Anderson introduces readers to a hero that is inspiring and lovable in a memorable adventure to save planets and his own world. Nate Smith has an artistic soul. He loves to draw. And when a drawing binder appears on his windowsill, the thirteen-year-old boy starts having unusual visions. He spends his spare time drawing them. Now strange creatures come for his work and he is suddenly catapulted into an unusual world, unveiling hidden mysteries about the alien art of 'making.' His mysterious pen brings his drawings to life. Now he must save the world from the dangerous creations of an alien bent on destroying the universe.

The first thing I loved about this book is the realism infused into the writing. The author has the uncanny gift of creating a world that is abstract but that feels familiar to readers, thanks to his gift of fine descriptions and storytelling. The young Nate Smith is a character whose company young readers will enjoy. The author ensured that his growth comes out clearly through the compelling narrative. The story begins with a strong sense of something abnormal, and the reader will pick up the sense of worry in the young boy. As he sets out on his adventure, his uncertainty and fear transform as he faces challenges on the way. The fact that he might be the only one to save his parents and many worlds through his gift boosts his confidence and allows him to explore his inner world even more. The writing in The Maker is masterly and the pacing awesome. I enjoyed the read and I believe fans of this genre will be gripped by the narrative.

K.J. Simmill

A separation and then divorce is difficult enough for any child, but for a new man to be abruptly inserted into Nate's life as his new 'dad' was too much. Then came the mysterious parcel, the visions, the graphic drawings transferred from mind to page in terrifying reality. Not to mention the strange behaviour of his mother. Nate loved his dad, but it had been months since anyone had heard from him. He was a neuroscientist and, like his son, he had a passion for art. But there's something about Nate's drawings that see him as something desperately needed by the people of Meer. Abducted from his home in a white flurry, he finds himself whisked across the stars to stand before Wishnal. This figure seems to know something about his father, but there's no time for answers; an attack is imminent and Nate, it seems, is their only hope, but he still has much to learn.

This book is awesome! Vibrant and energetic characters living in an amazingly designed world. Meer put me in mind of The Grove from Guild Wars 2, the use of plants to create homes, furnishings etc. I considered D.F. Anderson's The Maker a fantasy/sci-fi with some parts making me think of H.P. Lovecraft, The Neverending Story, and a little bit of A Monster Calls, as well as many great children's fantasies, both on screen and page. This book gets something I rarely give, and that's my wholehearted recommendation. It may be labelled a children's book, and it will certainly inspire and engage that audience, but it also possesses great value as an adult read; after all, adults need magic and wonder too. In short, with a great writing style, brilliant ideas, gripping plot, and funny to read, basically The Maker is everything you could want in a book.