Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Length: 488 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Release Date: June 12, 2007
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Eden Sisters series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Our guides are sisters three: Storm, Aurora and Anything Eden. Accidentally orphaned and left to fend for themselves in a decaying mansion on the edge of the wilds, they come to the very much unwanted attention of the sinister Dr DeWilde: a scar-faced gentleman with a pied waistcoat and an unhealthy interest in rats. He’s after a tiny little musical pipe that Storm has inherited, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.
Fleeing into the woods, our courageous and eccentric sisters evade kidnap (almost), resist the temptation of sweet-filled orphanages (nearly!), and begin a treacherous journey across raging rivers, over mountains of ice, through deathly silent ghost towns and beyond the lairs of child-eating ogresses. With ravenously hungry wolves snapping at their heels every step of the way!”
I have had this book to read for quite awhile. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book but as the story progressed I found my attention lagging. There are cute illustrations throughout which made the story pretty fun.
This is an interesting mash-up of folktales and fairy tales. There are little bits and pieces of many throughout. I actually started to find it a bit distracting sorting out which pieces of the story came from which fairy tales.
This is a fairy tale that is pretty dark in tone. I enjoyed the characters of Storm, Aurora, and Eden. However, my attention started to wander when the girls got trapped in the evil witch’s candy cottage and from there went off to face the Piper. I think things just started to get a bit too contrived and weren’t flowing all that well which made the story harder to read.
So, while I loved the style of writing in the beginning of the book…by the end of the book I started skimming through chapters because I was bored. I also disliked that this is one of those middle grade reads where every adult is either evil or ambivalent toward the children in it.
Overall this is an okay middle grade dark fairy tale; the beginning was well done and the end was just boring. Personally I would skip it; there are much better middle grade fairy tale mash-ups out there. I would recommend checking out the A Tale Dark and Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz…it’s a darkly hilarious and hugely entertaining fairy tale mash up.