Monday, June 22, 2015

The Fairy-tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

First up, I've never watched the TV show Once Upon a Time (although after reading this, I kind of want to), so I can't really compare The Fairytale Detectives (part of The Sisters Grimm series) with the show. But this book made me think of the show, which I heard also has fairytale characters in the real world setting.

The Fairytale Detective (which I keep calling "The Sisters Grimm" by accident) follows Sabrina and Daphne Grimm. The book opens as they're sent to live with their grandmother Grimm that they were told was dead after their parents mysteriously disappeared. Sabrina is cynical and suspicious, and she highly doubts that this nice-seeming old lady with the delicious but strange food is their grandmother. Daphne loves her and the house and even Mr. Canis, the strange old man who lives with them. Even after their grandmother reveals "the secret" of their parentage to them, Sabrina still refuses to believe. It's not until Grandmother Grimm and Mr. Canis are taken by a giant that Sabrina and Daphne have to team up with Puck, yes the Puck (who is a villain, as he'll have you know) and save their grandmother.

To be very honest, I didn't like Sabrina at all. I liked Daphne and Puck a lot more, mostly because they were more fun. For most of the book, Sabrina was being a Debbie Downer, and even though being cynical can be a good thing, this was too much of a good thing. Sabrina was being so cynical that she was spoiling the fun of the story. I understand that she feels responsible for her sibling and all that, but what I really wanted the was the fun that Daphne embodied.

Apart from the two girls, I also enjoyed reading about the fairytale town. Not everything is peaches and cream, because the town is under a spell, but it was interesting to read about the different characters. Prince Charming isn't as charming as the Disney movies, but he probably has more depth here than the movies (or the stories). I can't wait to meet Snow White, who's a teacher at the school - we see a glimpse of her, but not much.

After reading this book, I really want to read more. Sabrina seems to have come out of her cynical-no-fun-mood by the end of the book, and with that gone, the future books should be a lot more fun. I look forward to seeing Daphne and Sabrina (along with Puck) solve more cases in the future.

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