WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family. It is the fourth book in the "Beast Quest" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Aduro, the good wizard from the kingdom of Avantia, has sent young Tom and his friend Elenna on yet another quest. Thy are to go to the plain of Dareton to free Tagus the night horse from a spell placed on him by the evil wizard Malvel. Tagus, a huge beast that is half man and half horse, has been terrorizing the plains, causing cattle to stampede away from their owners and spreading wild fires to ruin their grazing land. As he only comes at night, the people of the plains are unaware Tagus is the criminal.

Tom and Elenna arrive on the plain only to be caught between a stampede and a wild fire. They manage to survive by clinging to Tom's horse, Storm. Tom then cuts down the tall prairie grass with his sword to create a firebreak so the flames won't continue into the town of Dareton. Unfortunately, the townspeople believe Tom has caused the trouble. Their fear has grown since the head guard's son Victor disappeared from a cattle drive the night before. Tom tries to convince the men that he is innocent, but since he won't tell them of his quest, he can't explain his reason for coming to the plain. Elenna escapes with Storm and Silver, her tamed wolf, while Tom is taken to jail.

Using his wits, Tom manages to escape. Elenna arrives with Storm and the two flee from the town. Out on the plain they hear someone's cries for help and come across Victor, the boy missing from the cattle drive. He's been kicked in the head by Tagus, and his leg was broken as he tried to escape stampeding cattle. Tom and Elena bring Victor back to Dareton to get medical help. The townspeople again accuse Tom of being the culprit, but Victor regains consciousness long enough to tell his father about Tagus. Tom is vindicated, and the people apologize for their mistake. Tom and Elenna offer to help with the next cattle drive. Their offer is accepted.

Early the next morning while the cattlemen sleep, Tom spots Tagus across the river. The beast is pawing at the ground, getting ready to attack the cattle. Tom knows that this is the town's largest herd. If it is lost, the people of Dareton will face possible starvation. Tom rides Storm across the river and lassos the beast. The night horse pulls Tom from Storm and drags him across the plain. When Tagus stops running, Tom manages to weave the rope around the beast's legs. Tagus becomes tangled in the rope and can't move.

Tom climbs onto the horseman's back and tries desperately to use the magical key Aduro had given him to unlock the enchanted chain around Tagus' neck. Elenna, Storm and Silver join in the fight. They distract the beast while Tom struggles to set him free. Just before Tagus crosses the river, Tom manages to unlock the chain. It slips to the ground, and Tagus returns to his true self. He bows in thanks to Tom and Elenna before chasing off a cougar that threatens the herd.

Tom finds part of Tagus' horseshoe on the ground and places it on his magic shield. The metal is absorbed into the wood. Aduro appears and congratulates them on their victory. He tells Tom that the horseshoe will help the boy become quicker and more skillful in battle. The wizard gives them their next quest. They are to go back to the mountains and free Tartok, the ice beast. Without returning to Dareton or the cattlemen, the two friends set off on their next mission.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

The world of Avantia is one of magic. Aduro is a wizard who uses his magic for good. Malvel uses his to enslave the beasts of Avantia to do evil. The various beasts secretly patrol the land to protect the people when they are not under Malvel's spell.

Authority Roles

Tom and Elenna are secretive about their quest. Although the adults they meet express concern for their safety, none offer to help them, except to give them food. The officials of the town don't listen to Tom's plea of innocence. Instead, they throw him in jail. Victor's father says that it's for Tom's own safety because the men of the town might kill him in their fear.

Profanity/Violence

The book opens with Tagus' brutal attack on cattle that Victor is protecting. Victor is kicked in the head by one of Tagus' hooves and watches helplessly as the night horse spreads the coals of the campfire so that the grass catches fire. Tagus is a menacing beast, and his battles with Tom are violent but not described in graphic detail.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!