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2 Ratings: 2.5
A book by Brandon Mull

"A gripping, beautifully crafted tale…Readers will find it hard to put this book down." --Through The Looking Glass Children’s Book Review    "In an explosion of children's fantasy following the footsteps of Harry Potter…Fablehaven … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Children's Books, Teens
Publisher: Aladdin
1 review about Fablehaven

This strange new world seems a bit old hat and starts out slowly, but the story does get interesting

  • Sep 2, 2009
I like to read books with my kids. Sometimes I read to them, sometimes we alternate: my daughter reads for a while and goes to bed, and I catch up with her after she falls asleep. We were going the latter route with this one, but I found it wasn't really keeping her interest. When we read Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos and The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch), by contrast, she didn't want to put them down and I had to insist on a bed time just so I could get a chance to catch up. This time, though, she never really got into it and halfway through she seemed to have given up. When I asked her about it, she would say something like "It's okay but I'm not in the mood right now, I guess I'm just tired." So I let it go - but I don't like to leave a book unfinished and was a bit interested myself (plus I find this kind of easy reading to be more relaxing than television), so I kept going and was happy I did.

I do really like the idea behind this juvenile fantasy series: that fairy tale creatures have always been around but gradually got shoved aside into little refuges where "wardens" who care about their preservation watch over them and keep the outside world from upsetting the "ecological" balance that allows for their continued existence. I'm intrigued by the idea that myth needs preservation much as does the wild, and that storytellers are effectively the wardens of our imagination. While there is something very familiar in the way this story is told, and it starts out a bit slowly, it works its way into an intriguing new fantasy world, whose denizens are quite interesting.

You've heard the basic story before. A couple of kids visit their odd relatives, expecting to be bored out of their minds. Initially they are, but they begin to suspect something weird is up. It turns out they are right and when all is at stake they rise to the challenge and save the world from supernatural beings. Usually one of the kids is partly at fault, or it's the tension between the kids that has to be fixed before they can save the world. This one fits the template, but does have some interesting and unique elements. Like a few other reviewers, my real complaint here is that this is a "backstory" story, and spends a lot of time setting up the world in which a series of books can take place, so it takes quite a while to really get rolling with the real story. Once it does get rolling, it was intriguing enough to pique my interest about the rest of the series - though I have to say I'm in no rush, and since my kids lost interest before this one got interesting I'm not sure I'll ever get to the rest of the series.

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