Cinder’s story picks up right where we left off. She is in prison waiting to be sent to Luna and her execution, but not for long. She quickly escapes with another prisoner, steals a ship and takes off. She is determined to learn more about herself and her connection to Luna, which leads her to Scarlet. Cinderella has been joined by Little Red Riding Hood (wearing a red hoody of course). Scarlet lives on a farm in France with her grand-mere. Grand-mere has been kidnapped and Scarlet is determined to get her back. She meets Wolf who claims to help her, but truly knows more than he is letting on.
I love this series. It is becoming one of my favorites and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Meyer does a fantastic job combining the fairy tales with her futuristic society. I love that we learn more about Luna in this book and what they are planning for Earth. Meyer has truly created a fascinating cast of characters and a story that draws the reader in.
The two volumes of this book are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with real people throughout history. The premise of this book is inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he detailed the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by others into the Crossover Universe. Win Scott Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. Reading these two books is a fun and highly addictive experience!
Una is a lonely orphan who doesn’t fit in at her school. One day while she is hiding in the library she picks up a book and starts to read. Suddenly she is part of the story. She has been “written in” to the land of Story. Story is a land of characters and tales. Everyone there learns how to be part of the tales, but things are not as wonderful as you might think. A long time ago there was a terrible war. The muses, who controlled the tales, killed hundreds of characters in fierce battles. They were bound to their books and haven’t been seen or heard from again. But is that what really happened? There are characters that don’t believe, characters who want to read the old forbidden tales, characters who want to overthrow the Tale Masters. Una, with the help of her friends Peter and Sam (the cat), must find out what is really going on and who wrote her in.
This is a fun creative book. I will definitely have to read the next one since this book doesn’t really tie up all the loose ends. I like this world of characters and muses and villains; however, I have to admit that at times the book was a little slow for me. I wanted more action and resolution. The end does leave you wanting more and eager to read the next installment.
Seventeen-year-old Johnny is approached at his family’s struggling shoe repair shop in a Miami, Florida, hotel by Alorian Princess Victoriana, who asks him to find her brother who was turned into a frog.
I love the way she blends old folk/fairy tales into a modern story line. While it has been awhile since I’d heard any of these old stories, there were one or two she introduced that I had not heard before. This is a great book with which to introduce those tales to a new generation.
September is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Omaha, NE. Her life was full of ordinary things until her father was shipped overseas to fight the war and her mother goes to work in a factory. Everything for September changes one day when the Green Wind blows through next to her kitchen window and invites her to take a ride to Fairyland with him on his flying leopard. It is at that moment the adventure begins. From a Marid named Saturday to an evil Marquess, September meets several memorable (and oftentimes loveable) characters throughout Fairyland during her journey to retrieve a special sword for the Marquess. A lovely tale full of wit and whimsy, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was a delight to read all the way to the last page. It had just enough at the end for me not to get discouraged about the wait for the next one (sadly I’m number 2 on the waiting list) but left enough of a cliffhanger that I’m curious about September’s next journey.
Nikki has just returned from 100 years in the Everneath, which was actually only 6 months in the real world. She comes back broken and bereft of emotions. The only thing she thought about while she was under was her boyfriend Jack, who betrayed her and caused her to accept Cole’s offer of the Everneath. Nikki has 6 months before she is sucked back under to become a battery in the Tunnels. Cole wants her to come back with him and rule the Everneath as his queen. Jack wants to understand what happened and wants Nikki back.
So this book took me longer to read than anything in a long time. I started it, was bored and put it down. When I finally picked it back up I made myself read it to the end. It wasn’t a bad book or poorly written, it just didn’t excite me or really have anything that interesting to say. I was intrigued by the Persephone/Hades myth and how Ashton was going to retell it. I love books that weave mythology through their stories. Unfortunately, the mythology really took a back seat to the love triangle. Nikki/Jack/Cole dominated the story. First I hate love triangles! I don’t know why every book has to have a love triangle. Seriously! Second, the characters just weren’t that compelling or interesting. I found I really didn’t care one way or the other about who Nikki was going to pick. I wanted more excitement and information about the Everneath, the Daughters of Persephone and the Everliving. The book didn’t deliver anything except a trite love story. Great ideas just fell a bit short in this book.
Aoife (pronounced like “Eva” only with an “f” instead of a “v”, in case you were wondering)is positive that she is going to go mad when she reaches the age of 16. Her mother did and continues to languish in one of Lovecraft’s many sanatoriums. Her brother did as well. Right before he came at Aoife with a knife. To be mad is to be considered contagious. The “necrovirus” has been spreading insanity for so long that the local government is obsessed with keeping it (and any heresy, meaning anything that is not rational and therefore connected) as far away as it can. One day, Aoife gets a message from her missing brother, telling her to head for their father’s house in Arkham. Aoife feels that her estranged father might have the answer to preventing madness so she grabs her friend Cal and breaks out of Lovecraft in pursuit of her family’s secrets. Along the way, they pick up a guide named Dean who decides to stick it out with them until the end. The house in Arkham contains a library which opens the doors to more than Aoife ever thought possible.
There is so much going on in this book and so many themes, it can be hard to wrap one’s head around at times. Aoife’s world is brutal and mechanical; arts, magic and philosophy are strictly forbidden. It’s also set sometime in the mid-twentieth century (much later than I had originally suspected), but the societal attitudes seem even more didactic. The world doesn’t always make sense, particularly the necrovirus. It’s not just that though, things start to get really weird around the time Aoife and co. make it to Arkham. As it turns out, everything prohibited as fanciful “heresy” is dangerous reality. An ambitious book that combines alternate history, totalitarian governments, steampunk aesthetics, fairy curses, multiple “worlds”, and lots of strange creatures that can don human form with mixed results. The pace lags at times and the plot is slightly convoluted, but there’s sure to be an audience for this one.
This is a wonderful story about a young girl, Minli, who travels to ask the Man in the Moon how to change her family’s fortune. Along the way she meets many different characters and hears their stories.
I have to admit that I don’t think I got everything out of this book by listening to it on audio. I would get distracted, not pay attention, do something else, so I am not sure my review is completely accurate. I might have had a much different experience if I would have read the book itself. However, I did enjoy Minli’s story. I like the setup of this book with the stories within the story. I like that the stories all contain a lesson or a moral of some sort. And I really liked how it all tied together at the end. One day I may have to read the book and find out all the parts I missed.
Breadcrumbs is a delightful novel. I enjoyed the mix of fairytale and reality. Ursu did a really good job of mixing these two genres into a seemless story.
Hazel is an imaginative fifth grader who lives next door to her best friend Jack. They have always played together being superheroes or knights or anything their imagination can come up with. Until one day Jack gets a sliver of glass in his eye and everything changes. Suddenly, Hazel is babyish and Jack doesn’t want to spend any time with her. Then he disappears; supposedly to visit an aunt (who no one knew existed). Hazel doesn’t understand this sudden change and she doesn’t cope with it very well. Jack was her one friend and confidant, the one person she could always count on. Her world without him is not so great. She doesn’t fit in at school, she doesn’t have any friends and everyone things she is Crazy Hazy. Her father has left and doesn’t have time for her and her mother just wants her to grow up and deal with everything maturely. But Hazel knows something is going on with Jack and when Taylor tells her he saw Jack go into the woods with an impossibly tall, thin woman she decides to follow him. What happens next is a quest straight out of fairy tales. Hazel encounters different beings that challenge her on her quest to get to Jack; however, they also help her find herself and her strength to go on. In the end she does rescue Jack and get him back to civilization. But you don’t know if things will ever be the same.
You can’t help but feel for Hazel throughout this book. She is a misfit who lives in a world of imagination. Unfortunately, those around her only deal with reality. It makes it really hard for her to fit in. And then her one rock, her point of salvation, Jack turns on her and she gets no sympathy or help. Her mother constantly pushes her to be more realistic and to make more friends and to basically be someone she is not. She isn’t the most supportive of mothers, not that she is a bad mom, just not really clued in to who her daughter is or what she needs. But Hazel knows and she sets out to get it. She knows that even if she and Jack aren’t best friends anymore they should still be in each others lives. She knows something is wrong with him even when no one else does. Her journey through the woods challenges her in ways she never imagined but each challenge makes her stronger and more determined on her quest.
The story is a great mix of fairytale fantasy and reality. Jack’s plight and the journey through the woods can be seen as a metaphor for childhood friends growing up and apart but it is also a classical fairytale journey. It works on both levels and I think that is the strength of this book. Hazel does have to grow up a bit in this book; she has to accept that things are not always going to be as they were. She does this but not after some personal struggles. This is such a wonderful book and I would highly recommend it.
On one hand I really didn’t like this book. The characters were horrible children and really unlikeable. On the other hand I kind of wanted to find out how everything was going to turn out so I just kept reading the book.
Kendra and Seth get dropped off at their grandparents for a couple of weeks while their parents go on a cruise. Grandpa isn’t really thrilled to have them visit, but he doesn’t really tell them why. Just tells them that they have to stay in the house and the yard; they can’t go in the woods or the barn. Of course, Seth being the inquisitive kid he is doesn’t listen and soon ventures out into the woods to discover all sorts of things. Turns out that Grandpa is the caretaker for Fablehaven, a safe haven/refuge for all kinds of magical creatures. The children are finally let in on the secret, but of course Grandpa still doesn’t explain everything to them. He only tells them that the woods are dangerous and they shouldn’t enter them. Then on the most dangerous night of all Seth disobeys and bad things happen.
Basically this book is about a kid who doesn’t listen and who always does what he is told not to do and who never gets in trouble for it. Seth is not likeable; there are no consequences for his actions and he doesn’t seem to learn any lessons from his errors. Kendra seems like a nonentity for most of the book. She basically does nothing until the last 50 pages. Grandpa could be more open and really explain the rules and the reasons behind them, but he doesn’t and he doesn’t really punish the kids when they break the rules. I am not sure what the point of this book is. It is entertaining in parts, but the lack of really good characters makes it a hard sell. I know it is a popular series but I will not be reading any more of it.
Callie is starting 7th grade at a new school. She is ready for a new start. But she finds out she has to get glasses. As if her red frizzy hair and freckles aren’t enough, now she has to wear big dorky glasses! But these aren’t just any glasses; when she puts them on she sees bubbles over people’s heads that show their thoughts. Her glasses let her read people’s minds! Suddenly she knows what her best friend, her crush, her mom and everyone else thinks. But knowing what others think isn’t always a good thing. Callie must learn to navigate junior high and everything that goes along with it and figure out how to deal with the power of the glasses.
Oh 7th grade, what a terrible time for girls. Your body is changing, your emotions are changing, your friends are changing, suddenly boys become important…Callie does a great job of embodying all I remember about being in 7th grade. Of course, I didn’t have magic glasses to tell me what everyone was thinking. Callie has to deal with her best friend who is suddenly not such a good friend afterall. She starts hanging out with new people and taking advantage of Callie. She has to deal with her parents splitting up and her dad not being around. And she has to deal with her new friend Ana who is definitely hiding something from her.
I really enjoyed Callie’s journey in this book. She starts out as a very self-conscious loner who is afraid of making friends and talking to new people and ends up more self-assured and confident in who she is. She also learns that you can’t always trust your first impressions of people and your true friends are those that act like friends and don’t take advantage of you. And she learns that everyone has secrets and no one says exactly what they are thinking. The magic glasses helped her realize all of this but in the end she realized she didn’t need the glasses anymore. She had grown enough to live without them. Callie is a very special character and one that was a joy to read about. I highly recommend this book.
Calamity Jack is the follow-up to Rapunzel’s Revenge and it is worth the read. Jack was just Punzie’s sidekick in the first book, but now he takes center stage. Jack’s story starts with the beanstalk of course. We learned that as a young lad he got into some trouble with giants. So he stole the golden goose and ran. Then he met Rapunzel and wanted to make things right for his mom. Unfortunately, nothing is right in Shyport. Blunderbore, the giant, has taken over and the town is being attacked by Ant People. It is up to Jack and Punzie to figure out what is going on and fix it.
I loved Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack is just as wonderful. While the story isn’t quite as involved as Rapunzel seemed to be there is a lot going on. You have giants, ant people, Jack’s momma, fairies, a new love interest and all kinds of wonderful adventures. Jack and Rapunzel are a great team and this book explores their relationship a bit further.
The illustrations are also wonderful. They really enhance the story and bring it to live. I think the team of Hale, Hale and Hale is a good one and I hope they keep pushing out the graphic fairy tales.
Hale and Hale and Hale (yes that is a lot of Hales and not all related) take the Rapunzel tale and spin their own yarn or hair. And their take on this story is a good one. They move Rapunzel to an American West like setting with cowboys and lassos and horses, but the basic tale is still the same. Rapunzel was stolen from her parents as a baby by an evil witch and imprisoned in a tower/castle. She eventually gets free of the tower and with the help of a male companion defeats the witch.
In Rapunzel’s Revenge, Rapunzel is raised by Mother Goetel who treats her like her own daughter, and in fact Rapunzel doesn’t know she isn’t her mother until one day when she meets her real mom who is a slave in the mines. She also discovers that Mother Goetel’s magic is draining the land of all its vitality. She stands up to Goetel but is imprisoned in a tower for years. She finally escapes and teams up with Jack (of beanstalk and golden goose fame) to stop Goetel and free her mother. They have lots of adventures and we get to see Rapunzel use her hair in all kinds of unique ways.
I love new takes on old stories and the Hales really do Rapunzel’s story justice. I like the wild west aspect of the story with Rapunzel as a wild cowgirl using her hair as a weapon and a lasso and anything else she can think of. I think this really works as a graphic novel. Hale’s illustrations are great and really tell the story that can’t be told just through words. I think fans of fairy tales and fractured fairy tales will really enjoy this one.
Cinderella: Fables are Forever is another installment of the World’s greatest spy, Cinderella. This time our femme fatale is battling the deadly assassin, Silver Slipper, to regain control of her life. Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, is after Cinderella and chase gets deadlier when Dorothy enlists her friends from Russian fables. Unlike a Disney preview, I will not tell you the whole story.
If you have never read the Fables series, give it a try. The characters are from well known fables that are transformed into the modern day world. I like the Cinderella character because she has all the makings of an excellent spy and makes you feel ward and cuddly too.
I enjoyed Franny Billingsley’s book Chime so much, that I decided to check out her earlier fiction aimed at children. The protagonist keeps the “folk” at bay in the houses she serves, if she doesn’t she is the first line of defense and suffers intense pain and the possibility of death. She comes to a new estate where the “folk” are much fiercer than what she is accustomed to. She is hiding the fact that she is a girl, because “folk keepers” are not supposed to be female. She discovers other things about herself as she goes along.
Like Chime, the clues to the mystery are all out on display, easy to decipher, IF you know that there is a mystery to be solved, and if you can figure out which is the most important puzzle to solve.
So, you can see that Billingsley has really polished her writing over the years, but the essentials are present in this story.
Great Read! this was recommended by Angie & Courtney a while back, so glad I finally picked it up. Katsa has a special talent, the talent to kill. Then she meets Po, also “graced” with the ability to fight. Join Katsa as she travels across the 5 lands and learns more about her grace and the world and its possibilities.
Cinderella’s happily ever after didn’t work out so well so she became a spy for Fabletown. In this adventure, she has to find out who is selling magical items on the black market. It leads her to Aladdin and they team up and head to Ultima Thule a land where smiling is enforced at gun point. The villain turns out to be someone from Cinderella’s past.
This was an interesting tale. I like fairy tales turned on their head and this one does a good job of showing us modern day fairy tale characters. Cinderella as a spy was awesome and the pairing of her and Aladdin was fun. I also really enjoyed the villain in this story. It made for a nice twist and and exciting showdown. The flashbacks to Cindy’s past were seemlessly woven into the story and offered glimpses into her history. I also enjoyed the alternate storyline of her shoe store back in Fabletown.
I think my negative about this book was that it got preachy in several places and it really jarred you out of the narrative and didn’t seem to fit into the story. It was like the writer really wanted to make sure he stuck a political point in even if it didn’t fit. I think the story suffered for it. Not everything has to have a message about modern day politics. If it doesn’t fit the story don’t put it in! Other than that it was a fun book and very enjoyable.
Cyborg Cinderella…post-apocalyptic world…Earth and Lunar peoples at odds…strange plague ravaging the planet…handsome prince…evil queen. This is the world of Cinder and it is a fun, fast-paced adventure-filled world.
Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her adopted family in New Being after WWIV. As a cyborg she is not considered human but property of her family. Her stepmother hates her because she believes Cinder caused the death of her husband. Cinder meets Prince Kai when he brings her an android to fix. Soon after Cinder’s stepsister Peony falls ill with the plague and her stepmother volunteers Cinder for medical research. At the medical facility Cinder learns things about herself; who she is and where she came from. All of this is set against the political backdrop of Earthen/Lunar politics that Kai is dealing with. The moon is ruled by an evil queen who uses magic (or bioelectricity) to control people. She wants to marry Prince Kai and through that union rule Earth.
First of all I loved the character of Cinder. She is kickass and awesome. Who wouldn’t love a cyborg Cinderella who is also a mechanic. The image of her coming to the ball all wrinkled and stained and in a crashed car just made me smile. I like that she solves her own problems, she doesn’t depend on anyone else, she doesn’t whine about her situation, she just does what needs to be done. I also like some of the other characters like the evil Queen Levana. She is just so nasty and exactly what an evil queen should be like. Prince Kai reminded me of the Disney princes a bit…he was kind of bland and more like a placeholder than a real character. Didn’t leave that much of an impression on me. I didn’t really buy the romance between Kai and Cinder. I didn’t think they actually had time or motivation to develop feelings for each other more than just a simple crush or thinking the other was “hot”.
I thought the Cinderella plot was well done; however, since we knew it was there it is a bit obvious throughout the story. You know who she is and the big revealing twist of her identity is not a surprise at all if you have been paying attention. I liked the modern twists though. The foot falling off at the ball (because it is her cyborg foot), the chariot is her old car she fixed up, the dress is her stepsisters castoff and wrinkled and greasy. I thought these were charming ways to tell the Cinderella part of the story.
I did think the world building was a little generic. The story is supposed to be set in New Beijing but we really don’t get any Asian influences. However, I really did like the Lunar stuff. I liked what Meyer did with a lunar colony…they developed abilities, the way they are ruled through glamour and manipulation, they cause a plague on earth, they want to take over earth, etc.
This is a series that I think has a lot of potential. It sounds like the next book in the series is about Little Red Riding Hood so I am interested to see how Meyer ties it all together. Definitely worth the read.
The Princes Charming from the Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty stories are not having a good time. Their happily ever afters are not turning out how they thought they would. They thought they could rescue the princess, get married and that would be the end of it. But often the princess rescues herself or turns out to be a shrew. So the Princes Frederick (Cinderella), Gustav (Rapunzel), Liam (Sleeping Beauty) and Duncan (Snow White) all set off on their own adventures, eventually meet up and form the League of Princes. They really are the most incompetent group of princes imaginable but their hearts are in the right place. Along the way they face trolls, giants, an evil witch, bandits and a dragon all in their quest to save the day and their kingdoms.
I had really high hopes for this book when I got it from the publisher. I thought the premise sounded awesome and I love fractured fairy tales. And their is a lot to like about the story. The princes are fun characters and very unique and their princesses are interesting in their own way as well. The problem with the story was that it took a lot to get into. The first half of the book really seemed to drag for me. There was a lot of wondering around the forest fumbling into funny situations where the princes made fools of themselves or did or said crazy things and then somehow got themselves out of it. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that everything seemed to come together. The ending did leave things very open to more books in this series, but I hope any future books are a little more focused.
The library doesn’t have this book yet, but will soon.