Sunday, December 2, 2012
Book Review: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
From Amazon: "Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among the greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. But when the rules get broken, powerful forces are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and maybe even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most..."
This book reminded me of ones that I liked to read in elementary school (probably about 3rd-6th grades), so even just for that reason it gets a good review. I'm sure I would have loved it at that age, and even now I appreciated all the big vocabulary words the author used (cacophony, ethereal, cupola, etc.). As an adult reading it though, the book doesn't quite span the young-adult/adult audience; I had a hard time keeping disbelief suspended. The adult part of me was annoyed when Seth made (a multitude of) mistakes and when adults wouldn't explain important things, and I wanted the characters to be more believable.
As a kids book though, I think it all works very well. It kept a good pace, the kids (of course) save the day, it's an interesting world, and it has a basically happy ending with the promise of future adventures (this is book 1 of 5). At 351 pages, it might be a little long for some, but I bet it's right up the alley of a voracious-reader kid.