confess

The Mood Reader

I am a mood reader, but my moods change as quickly as the weather in Michigan. This makes focusing on one book at a time challenging. I’ve mentioned before that I have multiple books going at a time– sometimes I’m switching between five different books! And considering I am a slow and easily distracted reader, it takes me a long time to finish what I start. I don’t generally give this habit much thought, unless another blogger writes about peculiar reading habits, inviting discussion in their comments. But, lately I find myself growing frustrated by it because how do you write about books if you don’t finish any?! I have a feeling it will be a while before I’m ready to write another review, so here are the books I’ve started and the moods I have to be in to read them:

onesummer_small One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. By now you must know that I’m a big fan of Bill Bryson, but I can’t just read Bryson any ol’ time. Most of the time, his books are best enjoyed while doing a bit of traveling yourself. One Summer, however, is best enjoyed when I’m feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days. Preferably on a back porch during the dog days of summer with a glass of iced, sweet tea within reach. I think the average temperature this summer was 75 degrees, and while I absolutely appreciated this because I have a low tolerance for anything close to “sweltering”, this season didn’t really feel much like summer, and that’s my excuse for taking so long to read this book.

universeThe Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking. Half the time I’m reading whimsical young adult books. The other half, I’m reading non-fiction books. No subject matter is too daunting too me, which is how I ended up with The Universe in a Nutshell. Also, there were illustrations. I’ve actually read a fair amount of this book, but I started on a chapter that I find particularly challenging. It takes everything I know to be true about atoms and throws it into the garbage; apparently there is more to an atom than protons, neutrons, and electrons, like bosons and quarks (and their particular “flavors”, which really just describes how the subatomic particles spin). It’s all very fascinating, but I have to be feeling especially curious and patient because I spend a lot of time doing research to understand the ideas in this book.

sunburnedcountryIn a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. I must be nuts to read two Billy Bryson books at one time. Actually…yes, I am. I feel like I’ve read a little too much of Bryson this year. I did finish A Walk in the Woods earlier this year. To make matters worse, In A Sunburned Country is probably my least favorite Bryson book. He likes Australia a little too much because this book isn’t nearly as snarky and funny as his other books. I have to feel nondescript to read this book. It’s the book I pick up when I’m waiting in line…

spoonThe Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean. Phew! In the defense of this book, it’s absolutely fascinating and funny, but I think I have too much non-fiction in my life. I’m frequently switching between this book and the next book on my list depending on whether I’m at home or I’m at work.

 

exiledThe Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima. The more frustrated I am in the real world, the more I want to immerse myself in the fantastic seven realms. Especially now, since Hans Allister and Princess Raisa are  at Mystwerk House and Wein House (read: BOARDING SCHOOOOOOL!!!) Consider my accounting software has been out of commission for the past three days, which just makes me really, really behind at work, and I’ve dealt with really awful customers lately, all I want to do is bury my nose in this book. I just want to get swept away amongst warriors and mages.

 

 

Does your mood influence the types of books you read? Are you good at sticking to one book at a time, or do you switch between different books depending on your mood, like me?

magical

Is it possible to re-read a series too many times?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’ve mentioned before (here and here), when the seasons shift from Summer into Autumn, I re-read the Harry Potter series. The crisp air, the Fall colors, and the overcast skies make me think about feasts in the Great Hall, trips to Hogsmeade, and mugs of butterbeer. This year, the hankering to re-read Harry Potter has come two seasons early. I blame it on Al Roker, who has been reciting Harry Potter-themed trivia on Comcast On Demand for the chance to win tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After hearing Hedwig’s theme for the umpteenth time, I could resist no longer, and I decided to hunt for my books. You’d think I wouldn’t have to “hunt” for something I cherish and read so frequently though. Alas! I am dreadfully unorganized.

I embarked on another re-read around midnight on Saturday. After cracking open the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the 8th time, at least, I was struck by a memory of my first, true re-read. My final semester at college, right before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one) hit theaters, I decided to re-read the series from start to finish. I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time in probably 10 years, and I was flabbergasted by how much I forgot. I had become so accustomed to the introduction in the movie that I forgot all about Vernon Dursely’s uncomfortable day at Grunnings and the shower of shooting stars over Kent, which was probably bewitched by Dedalus Diggle. Since then, it’s been a rare occasion that more than a year should pass before picking up at least one of the books to read (last year was one such occasion), and I feel I could practically recite parts of the series.

I wonder if there is such thing as reading a book (or in my case, a series) too many times. Is it possible that one day, the spell these books have cast on me will run its course? …Naaaaaah! Surely not. That’s kind of like saying one day I will stop craving my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup!

What book(s) do you frequently re-read? Have you ever felt like you read a book too many times? 

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Book Report: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
Released: August 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 479
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

My Thoughts
There were two things I liked about The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare– Church, a cat adopted by the Shadowhunters at the end of the book, and Jem (James), one of Tessa’s love interests (supposedly, but more on that later). The rest was mediocre at best if not just downright boring. 479 pages isn’t that long, but 479 pages of The Clockwork Angel took me five months to plow through.

The beginning was interesting enough. I was mildly intrigued by Tessa’s supernatural ability. And I was even more intrigued by the Dark Sisters, their icky lifestyle, and their desire to please this Magister fellow. Who is he? I wanted to know! (I’ll admit, when his identity was revealed, I was pleasantly surprised).  But then, chapters 3 through 20 happened. As much as I wanted to throw the book down like I did with Heart of Darkness, I couldn’t because I spent my hard-earned money on a hardback copy of the book. I kept hoping that there would be some redeeming quality by the end of the book (besides Church, the cat) that would have made it all worthwhile. But, at the end of my reading experience, I was left wishing I could have had my lunch breaks back to spend doing something more interesting…like taking a working lunch to organize my filing cabinets.

First, the pacing is all off in this book. There are maybe one or two interesting and action packed scenes in The Clockwork Angel (ie. where vampires died and stuff), but everything else seemed to drag on for chapters. Anything interesting was but a blip amongst 479 pages of boring and stuffy writing. Just, not a whole lot happened. Really.

I also found it difficult to immerse myself in the world that Clare created. It’s Victorian England with a vaguely steampunk aesthetic, but the title and the cover might suggest otherwise. Don’t be mislead like I was. There were only two things I found remotely steampunk.

  1. The clockwork angel necklace Tessa wears. In all honesty though, you’ll probably forget all about this trinket until the very last chapter of the book. Nevermind that it’s the title of the book.
  2. The automatons. These automatons are jokes though because MAGIC and the full moon bring them to life, not…well, anything remotely mechanical or scientific.

It’s like Clare discovered Steampunk was popular and thus a viable money source, so she adhered some cogs and brass to the pages of her book and called it good. If you have the audacity to try to pass this off as steampunk, at least give us something more. Like zeppelins or something.

Zeppelin LZ 4 or Led Zeppelin. You pick, either will suffice.

Zeppelin LZ 4 or Led Zeppelin. You pick, either will suffice.

I found the characters to be annoying as well (sans Jem and Church, mind you). Tessa was annoyingly prudent and proper, and all she seemed to do was slander England. Will was an asshole, so naturally the female main character pines for him. Jessamine could have been interesting because she seemed like the only character who had a valid internal struggle. Unfortunately, she acted like a spoiled and superficial brat. As for the rest of the characters? I can’t even remember their names. Or their personalities. Or their involvement with the story line! I think the characters in this book were one-dimensional caricatures rather than a character with any sort of depth. I’m pretty sure there was a tinkerer whose experiments always went awry [EDIT: Yes there was. His name was Henry Branwell].

Finally the romance. The Goodreads summary suggests there is some quality, love triangle action going on in The Clockwork Angel. And maybe this is expanded upon in later books. But, I’m not even spoiling the story for you by saying there isn’t one iota of a love triangle going on in this book. That should be a good thing, right? Instead, Tessa pines for Will Herondale, the book’s biggest jerk, and she immediately friendzones Jem. For shame, Tessa! Will has a shady past that he uses as an excuse to put up his guard. He’s just mean to the other characters in the book, especially Tessa. Jem has a shady past to, but he’s open and honest about it with Tessa. And he’s a really kind, caring, and genuine individual. I wonder why the female main characters never fawn over the guy I would. It leads me to believe that some authors have really poor taste in men. Someone, please explain to me what’s so romantic about a jerk who makes you question your worth. Why is this even trendy?

Overall,
I didn’t like the book. And that really sucks because I’m genuinely interested to learn why Will is such a shifty character and what kind of supernatural being is Tessa. Do they have Cliffsnotes for this?

Cover Story
When I read the synopsis of the book, I kind of scrunched my nose up at it. But, then I looked at the cover and convinced myself that a crappy book wouldn’t have a cover as beautiful as this.

Read…at your own risk. I didn’t like this book, but other people do. Take this book review from Truly Bookish– she says the exact opposite of what I do! But, if you’re a fan of the Mortal Instruments series, approach The Infernal Devices with caution. From what I’ve read on Goodreads, there are many people who loved the Mortal Instruments series but hated the Infernal Devices because it was too similar to the series they adored first.

I’m sad that this is my introduction to Cassandra Clare. So many book bloggers, nay readers, out there seem to adore her characters and the world she created. Maybe I just started with the wrong book. Tell me, should I take a chance and give Clare’s Mortal Instrument series a try?

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Book Report: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Released:November 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 506
Source: Won from Heather @ Proud Book Nerd

From Goodreads
When 16-year-old Han Alister and his Clan friend Dancer encounter three underage wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, he has no idea that this event will precipitate a cascade of disasters that will threaten everything he cares about. Han’s life is complicated enough. He’s the former streetlord of the Raggers—a street gang in the city of Fellsmarch. His street name, Cuffs, comes from the mysterious silver bracelets he’s worn all his life—cuffs that are impossible to take off. Now Han’s working odd jobs, helping to support his family, and doing his best to leave his old life behind. Events conspire against him, however. When members of a rival gang start dying, Han naturally gets the blame.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battles to fight. As heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, she’s just spent three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai Camp—riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Now court life in Fellsmarch pinches like a pair of too-small shoes.

Wars are raging to the south, and threaten to spread into the high country. After a long period of quiet, the power of the Wizard Council is once again growing. The people of the Fells are starving and close to rebellion. Now more than ever, there’s a need for a strong queen. But Raisa’s mother Queen Marianna is weak and distracted by the handsome Gavan Bayar, High Wizard of the Fells. Raisa feels like a cage is closing around her—and an arranged marriage and eroded inheritance is the least of it.

My Thoughts
I love fantasy movies, but fantasy novels? Not so much. I like books that are character-driven, and it would seem that the majority of fantasy novels I’ve read are the antithesis of that. I can appreciate exquisite world building just as much as the next person, but that won’t keep my attention for long unless I fall in love with the characters. But, I’m happy to say The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima kept me enthralled from start to finish.

I loved the characters in this book. Even though they were a tad archetypal, their attitudes, their motives, their personalities were refreshing. First there is Han “Cuffs” Allister. If ever there was a male protagonist to make me swoon, Han is that character. And apparently he makes several of the ladies in the Seven Realms swoon too. He’s handsome. He’s cunning. He’s mysterious (just what are those cuffs he’s worn since he was a babe, and why won’t anyone let him take them off?). He’s also reformed! He used to spend his days as one of the most feared street lords (see: thief). But, it caused his mother and sister too much grief, so he put his life of crime behind him (d’awww). But, just try convincing rival street gangs and local law enforcement. Even though he’s been “clean”, he’s always finding himself in trouble. Or is trouble always finding him?

Then there is Princess Raisa. I thought she was going to be another stuck up princess in a poofy gown, but this girl has an admirable strength within her that we only begin to see in book one. She’s the kind of female protagonist who gets to get her hands dirty AND she gets to wear the most luxurious gowns. She doesn’t have so sacrifice femininity for strength, and I love that about Raisa. Her mind is more preoccupied about living life among her kin in Marisa Pines (a place of common folk, naturalists, and Demonai warriors) than living in her royal court. She’s more interested in military affairs than debutante balls. And she’s more interested in playing the field than settling down with one suitor (because, you know, she just turned 16, which is the age that most ladies get married off); this especially is refreshing.

Chima also creates some deliciously evil characters. They’re the types of people who use their status and power to strike fear into the hearts of others. They also harbor a mysterious, magical power that was thought to have been banned centuries ago, and they’re now using it to their advantage. But, their true motive has yet to be revealed, and I’m dying to know. And on top of that, Chima kind of blurs the lines between evil and misguided. One moment you’re thinking “burn him at the stake!”, and the next minute you’re thinking, “Awww, now my heart is crying for him”. You’re toying with my emotions Cinda Williams Chima! And it feels so right.

I could prattle on about how great Chima’s world building skills are, but that would take forever. So, I’m thinking you’re going to have to take my word on it. The world building in The Demon King was exquisite. From the vivid descriptions of the locations in the Seven Realms to the hierarchies and the every-day-life of the societies in the Seven Realms, Chima wins at world building. Oh, that’s not to forget the conflicts between the realms or the conflicts between the different social groups. Or the religion or the way magic works. With any book that includes world building, some slow spots in pacing can be expected, but I wasn’t as bothered by it as I thought I would. I love the characters and the action that are in the book, but I also loved reading about the different realms and the folktale that lends its name to the title of the book. Chima’s work was truly wonderful.

Overall,
I loved this book. I loved this book! And, I am very lucky that I have the next few books in the series, so I can dive right into them whenever I want. After the ending (with all it’s plot twists and drama), I’m dying to know what happens next!

Cover Story:
Oh my gosh! Look at it in all its beautiful glory. Look at the colors and that mysterious serpent pendant. Look At It!!!

Read if you’ve ever picked up the Lord of the Rings and then put it down and walked away from it half way through the series because you couldn’t take it anymore. The Demon King is written in a way that’s easier to digest for those who are not normally nuts about high fantasy. Chima figured out the perfect balance between character development, plot, and world building, and it opened me up to try out other books in the (high) fantasy genre. Additionally, read if you’re nuts about Bethesda’s Elder Scroll series. (I’m actually mostly kidding about that last one, but I really couldn’t help but notice some similarities between the book and the Elder Scroll games.)

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Book Report: Wings by Aprilynn Pike

Wings (Laurel series #1) by Aprilynne Pike
Released: May 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 294
Source: Free Nook Book

From Goodreads
 Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

My Thoughts
My introduction to this book was an interesting one. Reviews for this books kept popping up across book blogs, and the cover kept catching my eye. I thought the cover was lovely, but the picture of the cover was kind of small so I would squint at it for a few moments trying to figure out what I was looking at. Admitting defeat, I clicked to enlarge the picture and saw it was two flower petals shaped like wings. A week or so would pass and I would stumble onto another review of Wings, and I would find myself staring at the cover again trying to figure out (or at this point, trying to remember) what was on it. How could I forget so soon? I just looked at it! This happened more times than I would like to admit, which lead me to think this book would be forgettable. (Hey, I’m not saying my logic isn’t fallible).

I decided to give this book a try, and I found myself absorbed into the book. Okay, so for the most part, the personalities of the characters are pretty bland. I mean, the characters were overly perfect. Laurel is the most beautiful girl in the world in school; she’s mediocre in biology, but that’s really the limit to her flaws. Then there is David, her love interest in this book. He’s the All-American type of boy who is good at sports and school, and as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t have a flaw. Then there is Tamani who just seems stoic.

Wait, sounds like it’s turning into a negative review! It’s not, I swear. While the characters didn’t impress me, the storyline kind of did… I really enjoyed Pike’s unique twist to the fairy tale. Without really revealing anything, reading about Laurel’s true origins was a treat, and it was fun learning how she’s coming to terms with who and what she really is. The mystery surrounding Laurel’s old home as well as the Mr. Barnes who seems very interested in procuring the property is compelling. Especially since people who’ve met him seem to lose self-control and think nothing of it.

Overall,
I think Wings by Aprilynn Pike is a good start to the series, and I’m looking forward to reading Spells

Cover Story:
I think it’s lovely, especially when I can remember what it is that’s on the cover! Joking aside, I love the colors, and I find it to be very calming. In this case, it was the cover that encouraged me to give the book a try.
My Rating:  3/5 cups o’ tea!

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Book Report: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1) by Michael Scott

Released: May 2007
Publisher: Delacourt Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 375
Source: Purchased from a bookstore

From Goodreads
The tomb of Nicholas Flamel is empty. The greatest alchemist of his day supposedly died in 1418, but rumors continue to swirl that he continues to walk among us. Could it be true that this magician/chemist has access to the secret of eternal life? Could the Book of Abraham, which he purportedly owns, hold the key to this elixir? If it does, the theft of this single ancient volume could destroy the world as we know it.

My Thoughts
Let me be honest here.  The reason why I picked up this book in the first place is because the book is about Nicholas Flamel, and Nicholas Flamel is mentioned in the first Harry Potter book.  Does anyone else pick out books like that?  Silly reasons aside, I enjoyed this book!

The story is about Sophie and Josh Newman.  They are normal twins, working normal summer jobs, but unknowingly working for some really old people.  And by really old, I mean a couple of centuries old– the Flamels, who are famous for concocting the sorcerer’s stone, which makes them immortal.  Then some golems (not to be confused with Gollum) and peculiar men in business attire, Dr. John Dee and his lackeys, show up at the twins’ place(s) of work.  A magical battle and a kidnapping ensues, and now Sophie and Josh’s life is thrown into a whirlwind– they just might be the twins an old prophecy describes, and if that is so, then they are destined to save the world from the evil Dr. John Dee and some really angry Elders.  In their quest to hopefully saving the world, Nicholas Flamel and the twins receive aid from a number of people we know as myths and legends like  Scathatch the Warrior Maiden and the Witch of Endor while trying to outwit the likes of Bastet and Morrigan.

The book is filled to the brim with old myths and legends.  Some of them I learned about in school, while others were unfamiliar to me.  It was those that were unfamiliar to me that encouraged me to do some outside research.  I spent so long browsing wikipedia pages so I could learn more about Scathatch and the Witch of Endor.  The Alchemyst opened up a whole new world that I wanted to know more about; I think it’s really awesome when books have that kind of effect.  It would have been easy for Michael Scott to just simply incorporate the legends and their back stories into the novel; however, he wove them into the story giving each one their own distinct and thorough personalities.

I wasn’t so impressed with Sophie and Josh in this story though.  The characters were a little bland compared to the individuals they have met so far.  But, based on how well the legends were created, I don’t doubt Sophie and Josh will grow into more memorable characters as each book progresses.

Now, I made the mistake of bringing this book to work with me.  I read it during my breaks and during my lunches.  I also sneaked off the floor in between breaks and lunch to read a couple of pages here and there.  But, don’t tell my boss.  In my defense, I couldn’t help it!  This book was so action packed!  There were car chases and magical battles of epic proportion.  Every few chapters revealed the fate of what the world would be if Sophie and Josh’s powers weren’t awakened.  And every chapter left off on a cliffhanger.  Cliffhangers get me every time.  I just needed to know what happened next; I’m sure you understand, right?

Overall, the Alchemyst by Michael Scott was down-right fascinating.  Normally I don’t read more than one book from a series a year, but I’m thinking The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel might be an exception.  I went out just last week to buy the second books from the series, The Magician.  And, even though it’s been only a month since I finished The Alchemyst, I’m thinking of starting the new book very soon.  I have no intention of bring it to work with me though.  If it’s anything like the last book, I’m sure I will find several excuses to leave the sales floor, which isn’t good considering I work off of commission.

Cover Story:
It looks like a tome from the past, which is very fitting for the story.  I love it, and it gets a double thumbs up from me.

My Rating: 4/5 cups o’ tea:

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Book Report: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

 The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Sisters Grimm #1) by Michael Buckley

Released: August 2007
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Middle Grade
Pages: 284
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life has not been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother–a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives.

My Thoughts:
I almost missed work because of this book.

I started reading The Fairy-Tale Detectives on a particularly rainy day while sipping on a hot mug of Earl Grey tea.  By the first few pages and the first crack of thunder from outside, I was sucked into the book.  I only wish I could mean that literally.

Ferryport Landing may seem like just a quaint New York town to the unobserving eye, but really it is home to the Everafters (fairytale characters).  Michael Buckley recreated a big cast of memorable fairytale characters; each one had their own unique quirks and personality.   Sabrina and her younger sister, Daphne, learn their Granny Relda and her faithful companion, Mr. Canis, are responsible for keeping magical shenanigans from getting too far out of hand.  And, since the young girls have been reunited with family, that responsibility is now theirs too.

The youngest of the girls, Daphne, is downright adorable.  She has such a bright and positive outlook on life despite all the negative experiences she’s had.  I wish I could say the same for Sabrina who seems a little too cynical for such a young girl.  At times, her cynicism tried my patience.  But, as the story progressed, she slowly came to terms with her new life.  I actually look forward to reading about Sabrina in the rest of the series because I don’t think she’ll be as negative.  She did a lot of growing in book one.

Aside from being filled to the brim with magical characters, The Fairy-Tale Detectives is also action-packed!  As soon as Granny Relda and company discover evidence of a dangerous giant poking around in town, the book does not slow down.  There are wild police chases, jail breaks, mortal peril, and covert operations (just to name a few)!

My only concern with The Sisters Grimm series is the idea of a Grimm Fairytale is rather broad.  Based on the title, readers will expect nothing but characters collected by the Grimm brothers to be in the book, but that is not the case.  Buckley also includes magical characters from Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespeare, Lewis Carrol, and Hans Christian Anderson.  Initially, this did bother me because Puck and Alice are not from Grimm fairy tales.  It’s misleading!  And, I wondered how many youngsters were going to be familiar with Puck from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I did find, by the end of the book I didn’t really mind.  Grimm fairy tales or not, they were integrated well into the story, and many of them were likeable.

Overall, I adored this book!  Setting the book down with only 80 pages to go just so I wasn’t late for work was difficult to do.  I cannot wait to get back to the library to check out the rest from this series.  Especially since The Fairy-Tale Detectives ended on a cliffhanger!  While the girls are busy solving mysteries in Ferrypoint Landing with Granny Relda, their mysterious past is slowly revealed.  Now, I’m dying to know about the significance of the red hand print!

Cover Story:  It’s wonderful along with the rest of the illustrations found in the book created by Peter Ferguson.  There is so much life and detail in each illustration.

My Rating: 5/5 cups o’ tea