Monday, May 4, 2009

Return to Fablehaven.....


It's time for a book review!! I'm not feeling all that well today. I'm nursing a killer headache and what could be allergies. I'm achy, stuffy, sneezy and my eyes are all watery. Let's just hope it's allergies and not the swine flu!!



Book 2 in the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull is Rise of the Evening Star (456 pgs, Shadow Mountain Press, 2007). I am using this book to "check off " a couple of challenges: The Young Adult Challenge 2009 and the Once Upon a Time Challenge 2009.

Crowding into homeroom with the other eighth graders, Kendra found her way to her desk. In a moment, the bell would ring, signaling the start of the last week of school. One final week and she would leave middle school behind forever and start anew as a high school freshman, mingling with kids from two different junior highs.

After last summer's eventful trip to visit their grandparents, Kendra and Seth's lives have returned to normal. Finding out that your grandparents are the caretakers of a magical refuge for mystical creatures can make everyday life seem rather boring. That is, until the end of the school year when a new student enters Kendra's class. A new student that isn't human. But only she can see what a vile creature he really is. Last summer, when the kids were at Fablehaven, Kendra was kissed by the fairies. Now she has the ability to see past the glamour that everyone else sees.

When a man arrives and says he was sent by Grandpa Sorenson to help, the kids believe him. But when he tricks Seth into freeing a demon called Ooloch the Glutton, the kids are forced to retreat back to Fablehaven. Of course, Fablehaven is having troubles of it's own. It is just one of many magical refuges around the world. There are 5 special artifacts hidden in five different refuges, and Fablehaven is one. An evil group known as the Evening Star is trying to infiltrate the refuges and steal the artifacts. If all 5 are recovered and the mystical properties restored, it means bad news for the entire world. Now it seems like someone at Fablehaven is a traitor working for the Evening Star. And it's up to the kids to try and save the day....again!!

While Brandon Mull has created a wonderful world at Fablehaven, I seem to have some trouble with this series. I LOVE the storyline, but the writing just seems so elementary to me. BUT, in defense of the author, this story is written for a target audience of 9 - 12 year olds. This is actually younger than most of the YA books I normally read, so the problem is probably just mine.

As I've stated, the storyline is fun, unique and really fast-paced. You get to interact with all sorts of fantastical creatures, including faeries, brownies, satyrs, imps and naiads....along with some truly evil creatures. Now that Kendra has been made "fairykind", she has developed some powers all her own. And in the end, even the elementary writing didn't stop me from truly enjoying this book. A complete cliffhanger at the end also ensured me reading the remainder of the series, and I think now that I know how the writing is, I will be far quicker to enjoy the next book.

If you have a young fantasy lover in your house, I think this series will definitely be a must read. Even as an adult, I actually ended up really enjoying the book. I'm definitely recommending this series for anyone that wants to have a little adventure!! 4/5

And stay tuned tomorrow for a review of my 1st Graphic Novel!!

9 comments:

Debi said...

When the very first book of this series came out, I was so excited about it...I just wanted to read it sooooo much. So I bought it right then and there for Annie (so I could borrow it). And what, he's up to the fourth or fifth in the series now? And I still haven't gotten around to reading the first. Too freakin' little time! I'm glad you enjoyed it, even if the writing isn't quite all you'd wished for. I actually find I enjoy those middle grade reads once and while for a breather from heavier stuff.

Chris said...

I'm with you on the writing...it is a little elem. but at the same time, I understand that it's written for younger kids...I do have to tell you though that they get better and better!!! I hope you feel better soon Steph...don't have the swine flu :(

Susan said...

I've never read this series but I'm beginning to think I have to.

On another topic, I gave you an award today. I hope you like it! :-D

DesLily said...

You are right on about these books.. I've read them (except the last one, but i will eventually) and enjoyed them but I know I won't read them a second time, so I have given them to my grandson! This isn't the only YA series I've done that with.. the Leven Thumps books I've done that with also. But I've KEPT the INkspell books and the Septimus Heap books (and Septimus are about the same writing but i like the story line better)

Nicola said...

I haven't read any of these yet but someday .....

Hope you're feeling better soon and can't wait for your first graphic novel review. I'm hooked on the darn things now!

Kailana said...

I haven't even touched this series. People have told me that it has taken them until the second book to get interested, so it doesn't sound like my type of series!

Suey said...

I think I feel the exact same way about these books. They are interesting, but I'm not LOVING them like so many others are. I'll get them all read though.. part of my quest to support our local authors! Rock on Brandon Mull.

sassymonkey said...

I liked them (well the first two, I haven't read the third yet). But I must say that the brother drives me nuts and he, for me, is the biggest turn-off of the series.

stickmanJR777 said...

MMMM I REALLY LOVE THESE BOOKS, I'VE READ TWILIGHT, PERCY JACKSON, POWER OF FIVE, ALEX RIDER, CIRQUE DU FREAK, PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS AND JUST STARTED THE SERIES OF FABLEHAVEN AND IM CURRENTLY READING AND ENJOYING THE SECOND BOOK. I FIND THE WRITING QUITE ENJOYABLE, EXCITING AND ELABORATE. I FIND THE MAIN CHARACTORS CONFLICTING, AND KNOW FRIENDS THAT CAN RELATE TO SETH AND HIS RELENTLESS SPARK FOR BREAKING RULES. AND KENDRA'S KNACK FOR STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE CONFICTS HER COUNTERPART. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK, IT'S A GREAT READ I'M AN ADULT THAT FINDS READING DIFFICULT AND ALWAYS HAVE BUT I'VE READ MORE BOOKS THIS YEAR THAN I HAVE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.