Monday, March 21, 2011

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

Book Jacket

At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures.  Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists--a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper--to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power.  Time is running out.  The Evening Star is storming the gates.  If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world.  Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time?  Will Seth stay out of trouble?  Can they overcome paralyzing fear?  Find out in book two of this best-selling children's fantasy series.


Things I liked: 

1.  The ending.  Mystical traps and labyrinths are always awesome, and Mull threw in some really creative challenges. 
2.  The ending ending.  Nice way to continue the twists right down to the very last page.
3.  The result of Kendra's fairy kisses in book one:  It was really cool to see how Kendra had changed as a result of her actions at the end of Fablehaven.  I can't wait to see her take ownership of her new powers and really go to town being awesome.

Things I disliked: 

1.  The first half of the book seemed really slow.  Except for a heart-pounding car chase, I was mostly bored.  Introducing new characters doesn't have to be so choppy!  I ended up really liking Tanu, Vanessa, and Coulter, but I disliked their classroom-like introductions.
2.  Potentially awesome plot lines dropped.  Seth and his looming death could have been made really dramatic, but the way that ended was pretty abrupt and anti-climatic.
3.  The feminism?  I can appreciate Mull's attempt at showing both chauvanistic men (or is he?) and girl powered ladies.  But...the answer to men excluding women is not women, in turn, excluding men.  An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, and all that.  Rise above, Kendra!

Three out of five terrifying cat guardians.

Release Date:  May 2007
Reading Level:  Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL MUL

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star:

It's All About Books
Guy Gone Geek

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