Review: Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

9247654Title: Keturah and Lord Death

Author: Martine Leavitt

Publishing Information: November 28, 2006

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 216 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Readers looking for a beautifully written and deeply romantic novel

Keturah follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near–and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve–but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and romance.

There is so much to say about this absolutely beautiful novel. My thoughts while reading and upon finishing were this:

Capture

From this you can see a few things, first, I read this book in one day. Second, it is obvious that I thought that the writing was beautiful and I have since bought my own copy so that I can take notes during my inevitable re-read.

Many things happen in this story and the plot is all interwoven as Keturah spends each day talking her way out of Death’s grasp. As Keturah struggles to save those she holds dear, she begins to lose herself to Death’s embrace. Over time, Keturah learns that death is a part of life, and there cannot be one without the other. She learns what it means to truly live, and what is worth fighting for, and that sometimes life doesn’t turn out quite how you thought it would.

“The girl knew that quarrels would come because their lives were intertwined – how passionately one defends a heart that is vulnerable.”

The novel is very straight forward and reads as if it is being heard around a campfire. There are no questions or twists in the plot, and things happen as you would expect. It is the setting that really drew me in, as I was reading, I couldn’t help but think of dark forests filled with fog and hard to place noises. It was reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow in the way that it made me feel chills along my spine with the barest hint of dark shadows. 

I did have a tiny bit of confusion and frustration over the format of the book. You see, it is presented in a way that show Keturah as the teller of the tale and as the main character in the narration. Therefore, at the end of the novel, looking back on the events that befell her, the reader is presented with a moment of confusion: If Keturah is telling this tale to a group, how can it be as true as she promises? What really happened to Keturah? Additionally, I wanted more. I wanted more of Keturah, and Lord Death. As I turned the last page, I desperately wanted to know what happened to the duo. Due to it’s narration, the ending brought me up short and I couldn’t help but feel frustration and bittersweet emotion over the conclusion.

Keturah and Lord Death was written in a way that brought you along on a beautiful journey of growth, discovery, and love. It read much like 1001 Nights, leading you along, one step at a time. It has made it’s way into one of my favorite novels of all time, and I highly recommend it.

Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

TreacheryofBeautifulThings_JKT.inddTitle: The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Author: Ruth Frances Long

Publishing Information: April 16, 2012, Dial Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Fairytale

Series information: Standalone!

Format: Hardcover, 363 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans looking for a magical tale about love, jealousy, mischief, and happy endings.

As Jenny and her brother Tom were walking through the woods on their way home one day, her brother was taken by the woods. That’s right, he wasn’t abducted in the sense you would think, but quite literally, the woods reached out and swallowed him whole. Before Jenny is able to leave for college she comes to the conclusion that she must make peace with the woods, so she travels back to the place where her brother was taken, and is then taken by the woods herself.

Thankfully (in my opinion) Jenny finds herself in the land of faerie and finds that her brother is now a grown man, and the lover of Queen Titania. Jack and Puck (yes – that Puck) do their best to convince her to leave the wood but she refuses, determined to rescue her brother before leaving. Thankfully she is not on her own as Jack and Puck realize that she isn’t leaving and therefore do their best to keep her safe.

I loved these characters. Jenny was determined and intelligent, but also flawed. She found herself in trouble and did her best to finagle her way out of tricky situations but I found her distress believable as she did need saving on more than one occasion. Jack o’ the forest was quite possibly my favorite. He was complicated in the sense that he believed (and some could argue) that he was not the hero of a tale, but a man bound by duty who did not always fall on the pure side of the line. Additionally, I found their romance to be believable and fun to watch unfold. It wasn’t instantaneous, but sweet and not without fault. More importantly, though the novel didn’t revolve around their romance, it was still a subtle, yet important aspect and fleshed out the novel beautifully. I was particularly fond of Puck, who you may remember from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was the same mischievous, and fun character that I remembered but I found him to be more layered in this novel. I don’t know what it is but when he did something “good” I found my heart skip a beat a little. I liked what the author did with her secondary characters, Tom was extremely interesting in how his music took an important role in creating his character. Titania was fiercer and slightly more evil than I remember (for reasons I can’t divulge here), she was more in charge of Oberon, who truly just seemed to love the queen and be at a loss on what to do with (and without) her.

“Beware a kiss, he told her. Kisses are powerful things. You expose part of your soul.”

It is really not question that I was bound to adore The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I mean, lets be serious, any novel that has characters from Shakespeare’s plays is bound to be an Alyssa book, not to mention the swoons, and hello? The whole thing takes place in a forest. I LOVE FORESTS. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I loved the book for those reasons but I am no fool, there has to be some uniqueness in a novel for me to have full out adoration, and friends, The Treachery of Beautiful Things has all of those things! The fey world was beautiful, intricate, and at times a tad creepy, the characters were layered and interesting, not once was I bored while reading throughout this novel. I do have to be up front here and say that though I did appreciate the way the novel ended, it wasn’t how I pictured it in my mind, nor was it the ideal ending that I had hoped for. That isn’t to say it wasn’t appropriate or lovely, because it definitely was.

Ruth Frances Long writes glorious prose, she has an innate ability to weave words together to create something magical and I can hardly wait to see what she write next, though I must admit I would like some more Jack, please!!

Review: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

wickedTitle: Wicked

Author: Gregory Maguire

Publishing Information: December 5, 2000 by HarperCollins

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Fairy tales

Series information: Book 1 in The Wicked Years

Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Source: Owned

Recommended For: Fans of darker fairy tale retellings with a mix of political intrigue

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. “Wicked” is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Project Fairy Tale continues on the blog with a review of Gregory Maguire’s novel, Wicked.

I’m not going to lie to you, this is a hard book to read. In fact, when I tried to read it years ago I was still in high school and I could not understand it. I honestly had no clue what was going on. Then I saw the musical (twice) and realized that something so magnificent had to of stemmed from something equally amazing, so I picked the book up again. This time, I was in college and loads smarter than my high school self (HA!) and was able to better understand the layers of this story.

This is not the Oz that readers know and love from the novels by L. Frank Baum. To begin with, The Wicked Witch of the West isn’t so wicked. Instead we see her as a child named Elphaba, her green tinge is explained in a really interesting twist and we watch her attempt to stand up for the rights of citizens of Oz, both human and Animal. As readers we are able to take a glimpse into the lives of Elphaba and Galinda and see how they grew together, and apart. For readers expecting to read a fairytale retelling with the same childish merit as Oz, this book is not for you. In Wicked, things are not so black and white, the characters are layered and most importantly, flawed. This book is not filled with happy endings, in actuality, many of the endings are rather harsh and unnerving. There are conclusions, but mostly there are threads left unraveled  writhing in the wind. There is friendship, but mostly there is loneliness. There is love, but mostly there is heartbreak.

This is not an easy novel to read, it is political, and at times gruesome and downright confusing. However it is also imaginative, dark, and deeply perceptive, as if the book looks right into the deep recesses of your soul. Let it be known that to appreciate Wicked, it takes close, intense reading, and it isn’t a novel that you can pick up and finish in a day. It is a story that you need to process over time to fully appreciate, but if you take the time you will see what a brilliant storyteller Gregory Maguire is and at the conclusion, you will never look at Baum’s Oz the same again.

“Love makes hunters of us all.”

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

13206760Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publishing Information: February 4, 2013 by Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction Romance, Retellings

Series information: Book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles

Format: Hardcover, 464 pages

Source: Unedited ARC

Recommended For: Readers looking for a strong willed heroine, a brooding male lead and a new spin on an old tale

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. 

There is so much to say about this book, yet so much of it has already been said. In a nutshell, here is my commentary while reading and my mini review immediately after finishing:

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 7.22.01 PM

Yeah…so there’s that. Basically I loved this book. LOOVEDDDD the characters and the setting and it was one of my biggest book hangovers OF THE YEAR.

Remember how I said I wanted more world building while I was reading Cinder? Marissa Meyer delves right in and we are able to see a bigger landscape in Scarlet, complete with bonfires and farm frolicking (erm..kind of).

Scarlet Benoit has made my list of favorite female characters of all time. She is plucky and rough and fights her own battles. She is determined to find her grandmother and though she works hard to do what is right in most situations, she also has no problem getting dirty to do what needs to be done. Then there is Wolf and I don’t even know what to say about him because he is so swoonworthy I can’t even…I am all for the strong females who can take care of themselves but I also love a guy who stands up for his lady and maybe Wolf gets a little overprotective and ya know…murderous…but I’m kind of okay with that given the yumminess. Also Meyer introduces us to some other fabulous new characters, I specifically adored Captain Thorne. He is quite a character, he is intelligent, snarky and kind of crazy. Though Wolf is my favorite guy, I have joined the fangirling of Thorne as well. Scarlet and Cinder are vastly different characters and while reading book one I sometimes had a hard time connecting to Cinder. While reading Scarlet I didn’t only feel more connected Scarlet Benoit but I reconnected with Cinder and better appreciated her to the point where I can’t wait to go back and re-read Cinder.

The story was fabulous, I was surprised and thrilled. I highly recommend you read Cinder and then pick up this one immediately, it comes out soon so hurry!! It honestly left me with one of the biggest book hangovers of the year and guys, I can’t stop singing “OHHH WOLFIEEE, OHHH WOLFIEEEE AIN’T YOU THE ONEEE!”

Review: Splintered by A. G. Howard

splinteredTitle: Splintered

Author: A.G. Howard

Publishing Information: January 1, 2013 by Amulet Books

Genre: Young Adult, Retellings, Romance, Fantasy

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Fans of darker fairy tale retellings, strong heroines and yummy kissy scenes!

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Wow. This is one of the first books that I have read and felt like I immediately needed to write a review. Now, days after finishing Splintered, I still cannot get the world out of my head. I am not a lover of Alice in Wonderland, Alice always annoyed me and the story was just too happy and simple for me, I think this is one reason that Splintered blew me away. Splintered was deliciously dark and descriptive. I had no problem imagining Wonderland as Alyssa (best name ever, am I right?) experienced it. Howard walks the reader through a vibrant world with characters that stay with you long past the last page.

Let’s get into those characters, shall we? First there is Alyssa, descendent of Alice (yes, the Alice) who is facing her own issues back in the real world. First off, her mom is in a mental hospital because she hears and talks to bugs and plants. The bigger issue here is that Alyssa can also hear these voices and her biggest fear is that she will end up just like her mother and be locked away awaiting shock therapy treatments. Then there is the normal teenage issues that we are all familiar with, she has a secret crush on her best friend, Jeb. Jeb is a sort of bad boy artist with a labret piercing and serious mechanic skills, he also feels as if it is his duty to protect Alyssa from all things, and though endearing, she doesn’t always love this about him. Finally, there is Morpheus. Oh Morpheus how do I even begin to describe you? Morpheus has a few forms but in a nutshell he is a fantastical, blue haired, brooding bad ass with a killer set of wings that can both fly you into the starlight and keep you warm if you’re feeling chilly. I bet you guys sense a love triangle happening here, and I can’t lie, it’s a biggie.” I was super CONFLICTED while reading this and there were many texts to my girls stating “I love the pierced one again,” and “OMG he has wings!” Honestly, after finishing the book I still don’t know how I am feeling or who I love more, I think I am happy with the ending but then I obsess a bit more and I just don’t know! *sigh* But guys, I can’t lie to you, it was worth it because these were some of the best KISSY SCENES I have read in a while. Seriously I WANT MOAR PLEASE!

“I hate you,” I say, the sentiment muffled against his heart, hoping to make it true.
“And I love you,” he answers without hesitation, voice resolved and raw as he holds me tighter so I can’t break away and react. “A crossroads, my beautiful princess, that was unavoidable—given our situations.”

I loved what Howard did with the secondary characters; they are turned from happy and whimsical beings to dark and frightening creatures. The White Rabbit is now Rabid White, Tweedle Dee and Dum are now grotesque female keepers of lost souls, The Mad Hatter literally becomes his work and you learn a little bit about the Queen of Hearts and why she became so bitter. “Off with her head!” has found new meaning in this debut novel.

I recommend this book to those of you looking for a new twist on a childhood tale, more reminiscent of Tim Burton than Lewis Caroll. It was adventurous, romantic and all together mad.

As I mentioned above, this novel is still running through my head and this morning I couldn’t stop thinking of this song by Kimbra as a delicious companion to the novel.

“You heard the crickets of the early eve
They lurk around the opening in two’s & three’s
Clementine told you not to move with the breeze
I’ll take you down to places where we dare not speak.”

Project: Fairy Tale

I have been hearing about Project: Fairy Tale all over Twitter and I finally took a breather and decided to see what the fuss was all about and let me tell you, I am so excited that I did! I immediately wanted in because I am a LOVER of fairytales and their retellings!!! On one hand I wish I had looked earlier because there were a few I would have loved to focus on but it would have been super hard to choose and let’s be serious, my choice is perfect for me..

So here it is, my choice for Project: Fairy Tale is:

The Wizard of Oz!

Are we shocked? Thrilled? Rolling our eyes at the obvious “Alyssa” choice? Me too, to all of those things but mostly I am just wanting it to be the new year so we can start!

I was actually pretty surprised to see how many retellings have been written of The Wizard of Oz. I obviously knew that there is a plethora (p.s. favorite word) of books in the “series” as it has been continued on by a few people but I didn’t know that there were actual retellings out there! Here is my plan…

Read and review the original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Read and review 1-3 others in that series that are not part of the original 14.

Read and review Dorothy: the Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford.

Read and review Wicked by Gregory Maguire and hopefully read the rest of the series, finally.

Watch the movie a million times.

Watch a few adaptations, including Tin Man from the Sci-Fi channel and The Muppet’s Wizard of Oz (side note: I will not be watching The Wiz because it makes me want to throw up in my mouth) and of course, some of the more obscure remakes such as Return to Oz, which traumatized me as a child.

Finally, showing off my AMAZING collection of Oz books. Be super jealous.

So, there we are. Be prepared for in a few months we will be WoO-ing all over this blog! 

Review: In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

Title: In a Glass Grimmly

Author: Adam Gidwitz

Publishing Information: September 27, 2012, Dutton Children’s Books

Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Fairy Tales

Series information: Companion novel to A Tale Dark and Grimm

Format: Paperback, 312 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher (BEA 2012)

Recommended For: Fans of fairytales, and fairy tale rewrites, anyone looking for a fun read

 Take caution ahead—

Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.

Lest you enter with dread.

Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.

Step lively, dear reader . . .

Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore. 

It’s no question that I loved A Tale Dark and Grimm, it was one of my favorite reads of 2011 and I recommend it every possible chance that I get.  So imagine my surprise as I am stalking the Penguin booth at BEA and I see a HUGE poster showcasing the cover with artwork that looked suspiciously like that on the cover of A Tale Dark and Grimm. I stop in my tracks and my mouth hits the ground “HEIDI!” I scream, “DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A NEW GIDWITZ BOOK?!” People stared, I was nicely pushed along in the crowd and Heidi was all “Duh they are giving away ARCS on Thursday.” (Except a lot sweeter and more Heidi-like) so we did our best and FAILED to obtain one in the end. However, my awesome boss knows that I am slightly obsessed so when she obtained a copy for summer reading prizes she pressed it into my hands lovingly and said, “Go forth, and read to your heart’s desire.” And I did.

Like A Tale Dark and Grimm, this story focuses on two children who leave their homes due to humility and lack of positive parenting. They are joined by a frog, who has a story of his own to tell, and they all set out on some pretty interesting adventures. Through these adventures the story of Jack (and Jill) and the beanstalk are told, as well as Jack Jill the Giant Killer and we learn just how Jack broke his crown after tumbling (very far) down. There is also a pretty sinister mermaid story, which I utterly adored, some rather hungry goblins and an absolutely loveable yet terrifying salamander named Eidechse von Feuer, der Menschenfleischfressende, or Eddie, for short.

The hilarious narrator was back again to help sooth us through those tough moments and more importantly, to help explain what goblins really look like and not just what we think they look like due to the desensitization of video games. This brought a sense of humor to the already interesting and somewhat dark storylines that I really loved.

For those of you who enjoyed A Tale Dark and Grimm, In a Glass Grimmly does not disappoint. For those of you wondering if this is the book for you I urge you to give it a try, it was interesting, witty and all around fun. It was a joy to read and I thoroughly hope Adam Gidwitz continues writing these twisted tales as he really does a phenomenal job.

Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Author: Christopher Healy

Publishing Information: May 1 2012, by Walden Pond Press

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Humor

Series information: Book one in a planned series

Format: Hardcover, 436 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans middle grade and fairy tale lovers of all ages

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be. (Via Goodreads)

When you’re a child, you start reading books for the entertainment. You want to get away from the real world and feel elation over the adventure. That is what this book did for me; it made me remember how fun it is to read.

I for one have always wondered why every king and queen in fairytale land named their son Charming. It turns out, they didn’t. In fact, these princes all have their own unique name and story, though you’d never know it due to those pesky bards! The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom focuses on four separate Princes Charming: Prince Frederic (He met Cinderella Ella at a ball), Prince Gustav (He saved was saved by a gal named Rapunzel), Prince Liam (He kissed a princess named Briar Rose and woke her up from a really long nap), and Prince Duncan (He and Snow White are rather perfect for one another). The princes have their own quirks and are vastly different though they find themselves thrown together in a quest that will save all of their kingdoms and teach them all what it means to become heroes of their own tale.

Life between the princes and princesses is not what any of them had anticipated it would be…

Ella wants adventure and life with Frederic is not at all what she had imagined it would be when she met him that night at the ball. While Ella would rather travel and explore, Frederic is much happier having a quiet picnic on his grounds – on a blanket of course, one must keep clean – or quietly admiring art in the safety of his castle, this difference in personality leads Ella to go off on her own, leaving Frederic to his safe, (somewhat boring) life.

Gustav often acts before thinking and therefore his mission of rescuing Rapunzel from her tower didn’t go as planned and she ended up leaving on her own, finding him wandering the forest, and rescuing him. As you can imagine, this is a rather sore subject for someone who believes himself to be quite the manly hero so he takes off to search for some adventure of his own and a way to make a name for himself, away from Rapunzel and his sixteen older brothers.

Liam, though arrogant, is really a bit more like the Prince Charming from the original tales. He is handsome, brave and well, princely. Unfortunately, when Prince Liam first rescued Briar Rose, he did not anticipate that she would be spoiled, selfish and an all-together mean person. This led to a rather awkward conversation in which Liam refused to marry Briar Rose and she threw a royal fit and vowed that she would marry him while he stood in shackles if need be. He promptly (and intelligently, in my opinion) put as much distance possible between himself and the princess.

Finally, Prince Duncan and Snow White are married and are quite happy for the most part. However, Duncan is rather quirky and sometimes Snow just needs some quiet time so she asks Duncan to “Go do something else” without her. He then blows Snow a kiss, leaves for a walk and becomes hopelessly lost. Lucky for him (and he will be the first to tell you just how lucky he is) he is found a few days later by Frederic and Gustav who are on their way to “rescue” Ella. Personally, I loved Duncan beyond reason. His antics and outbursts had me laughing out loud. He is definitely one of the sweetest characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about.

“Wild card, got it,” Duncan said. “Just like in Crazy Eights. I can be a diamond; I can be a spade. Whatever you need me to be, I’m that thing. That is so me.”

Both the princes and princesses are fabulous, though I hope we hear more from Rapunzel in book two and I greatly appreciated their vast differences and limitations that made them all stand out. The villains were also fantastic; I have a rather soft spot for a witch who uses a thesaurus spell so that she can insult people more creatively! The dwarves (not dwarfs) provide some snarky fun and the trolls are vastly misunderstood creatures.

This book made me insanely happy. It made me remember what it was like to curl up with my first Wizard of Oz book as a child. It made me smile, giggle and laugh out loud, a feat that few books are able to accomplish. But most of all, it helped me realize that I really do have a soft spot for Middle Grade novels. Thank you, Mr. Healy, for reminding me what it feels like to fall in love with reading for the first time.

As an aside: There isn’t one thing I would change about this novel. On top of having a lyrical and phenomenal story, the illustrations were a wonderful compliment to the tale. Also, I am definitely not a person who longs for books to be made into movies. In fact, I rather hate when it happens. However, this book was different. According to Christopher Healy’s website, it has been announced that 20th Century Fox Animation has optioned the film rights to The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. I am thrilled and can’t wait to see where this goes!

For fun extras on the heroes and to find out what they’re up to next, check out Christopher Healy’s blog or twitter.

Recommend A…(11)

 

“Recommend A…” is a weekly meme, posted every Monday, hosted over on Chick Loves Lit. It’s a quick, fun and unique way to recommend a book that you love!

Recommend A…Book By A Debut Author!

My choice this week is: Storybound by Marissa Burt

This is a book I originally picked up for my Debut Author Challenge and I loved it! From page two this story drew me in. Marissa Burt writes a fantastic and beautiful narrative. I highly recommend it to those who enjoyed Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, or those looking for a story that reminds them about all of the things that they love about fairy tales.

Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Title: Fathomless

Author: Jackson Pearce

Publishing Information:  September 4, 2012 by Little Brown

Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tales

Series information: Book 3 in the “Fairytale Retellings” series

Format: Paperback, 291 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher (BEA 2012)

Recommended For: Fans of mermaids and fairytales

 

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant — until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn’t know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea — a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid — all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she’s becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she’s tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude’s affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there’s only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul. (Via Goodreads)

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this novel, I didn’t particularly enjoy Sisters Red yet I liked Sweetly enough to want to continue on with the “series.” I won’t say I’m sorry that I did but I was disappointed in a lot of ways.

I suppose these are more “companion” novels than novels in a series yet I still wanted to hear more from characters in the previous two books. Characters in Sweetly were alluded to, it’s no surprise that “Lo” is also “Nadia” the lost sister from Sweetly, but I wanted more. I have to give credit where it’s due, all three novels are tied up in a way that make them not dependent on one another. However, upon finishing this book I couldn’t help but wonder if there was going to be another novel to finally bring everyone together. It really felt to me like the “series” is just getting started. Note: If the series is just getting started then these loose ends would make sense to me. However, I have not yet heard or read any indication that there will be  more novels in this series. If you have, please, enlighten me!

I found that kept asking myself questions while reading the novel, “Why do these sisters have powers,” and “Where are these werewolves that plagued the first two novels?” Don’t worry, they show up for a brief episode, and we learn where they come from, kind of. All three novels gives us a major piece of information in regards to the fenris, how one is made, what they do to the girls they “steal” and so forth. Yet I was still left with feeling like I only read parts of different stories thrown together. 

First, there is the idea of it being a “retelling” of The Little Mermaid. True, there was a mermaid who longed to be on land but for me, that is where the comparison ended. Lo longs to have her old life back (the life of Nadia) and she has been told that the only way to do this is to make a mortal fall in love with her so that she can steal his soul. Second, there are the triplets who just happen to have these powers to see the past, present and future. How and why do they have these powers? I’m not sure. For the sake of this story the powers enable Celia to assist Lo in remembering her life as Nadia, to help hold on to her humanity.

There were things I really enjoyed in this novel. The point of view changed between Lo (and Nadia) and Celia so it was really a story from three different characters. This kept the novel interesting. I also liked that Lo wasn’t a mermaid in the way that we know them, the fins and so forth, but more of a girl who can live and breathe underwater indefinitely. I also really enjoyed the ending to the novel. Jackson Pearce has great success in writing endings that I really don’t see coming. In fact, I went back and re-read my reviews for the prior two novels in this series and I mentioned the same things: how I didn’t love the novel throughout, but the ending redeemed it for me. Interesting. Celia, Jude and Lo were fantastic and layered characters that I really grew to love, I felt connected to them as I did the characters in Sweetly. I would have liked to have learned more about Celia’s sisters, as I mentioned earlier a little explanation of their powers would have been enjoyable and would have given the characters more depth, but they played their parts in the end.

I honestly don’t completely know how I feel about this novel. Parts were riveting and beautiful and parts didn’t click with me. If Pearce decides to continue on with this story, I will be back for more but it isn’t something I feel compelled to read.  If you are looking for a different type of mermaid story, one slightly sinister yet also endearing, I encourage you to take a chance and read Fathomless yourself.

Side note: I have to weigh in, I really, really adored the covers of both Sisters Red and Sweetly and to be honest, I am extremely disappointed in the cover of Fathomless. Alas!