Saturday, June 28, 2014

Title:       Fablehaven [Fablehaven, book 01]
Author:   Brandon Mull
Rating:   ★★★1/2

I don't know why I kept dragging my feet on this one. So one rainy afternoon, when I can't quite decide between romance and a murder book, I decided to go with a fantasy one. My sister had been encouraging me to read this, and I'm glad she did!

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite ... Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

Fablehaven's cover is frankly not my type. I'm a scaredy cat, and seeing a hunched back witch usually turns me off. But now that I've read the story, I like it's vibe and find that it's actually appropriate to the story.

I had to remind myself that I'm reading a middle-grade story, and thus I had to be understanding of the actions of the characters, especially Seth. I really liked Kendra as she has a good head on her shoulders, while Seth was impulsive and could not control himself. He believes rules can and should be broken, and gets himself and others into trouble several times. Needless to say, I was irritated with Seth because a lot of the trouble that happen was his fault.

Fablehaven is quick-paced and engaging, and Mull's masterful writing left me imagining the place. The book had a few photos, but I was already able to imagine the fairies and the house without the photos. Whenever I can visualize the story, I am impressed by the writer because that rarely happens to me.

The plot is interesting and suitable for kids/middle-grade. Although it has no exceedingly surprising twists, I just kept reading until I was done and found myself excited for the second book.

If you enjoy middle grade, fairies, adventure, and fantasy, I recommend Fablehaven. :)

If you're in your teens or adult years, do you still read and enjoy middle-grade? Why or why not? :)