Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Report: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Man, it's been a minute or two since I've been able to post any sort of update...so bear with me while I update my friends with the latest, and then I'll go straight into my latest book report.

At the beginning of the summer, my family and I up and sold all we owned to move from Alaska to Texas. The first week of June. In the third trimester of pregnancy #4. Yes, I'm sorta nuts like that. We started with absolutely NO furniture and a mere 500 pounds of household goods traveling by barge. So we sat on plain carpets quite a bit. Stared at each other a lot. Sweat often. You get the idea. Life has slowly been returning in the form of a television, some couches a good friend got us hooked up with. Heck, we even have a crock pot now. It's fancy-pants time around here!

The one thing I haven't gotten together yet is our beloved computer. I am staring at the computer desk in a box and I just don't want to assemble the darn thing. I HATE assembling cheap furniture! But...I had a request to read my Jasper/Jack in the Beanstalk manuscript last month and the agent is incredibly kind and understanding about our moving situation. So, um, really, I need to get my act together, unpack the computer, get it on a stand, and send out my beloved manuscript already!

So that's that. And that's us. I haven't really been able to write much at all because I'm busy chasing children, sweating my hiney off, and looking for new work in the area. Oh, and getting ready for baby #4. That, too.

But it's coming! The bug is biting and I can't help but need to get the story out.

And now, this week's Book Report.

Moving ususally means ending up a little broke. And that's where we found ourselves once the last box was unpacked. Thank goodness for the great local library system around here!

I found "The Grimm Legacy" by happenstance as I was chasing the 3-year-old through the stacks. I snatched it up as I sprinted past at a dead run.

By now you should understand my love of all things fairytale and mythology, so this seemed like a natural fit. And it was, for the most part.

I loved the premise. To save my junky paraphrasing skills, here's one from the book's web site:

What if fairy tale magic really existed?

Lonely at her new school, Elizabeth takes a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, hoping to make new friends as well as pocket money. The Repository is no ordinary library. It lends out objects rather than books—everything from tea sets and hockey sticks to Marie Antoinette’s everyday wig.

It’s also home to the Grimm Collection, a secret room in the basement. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales:  seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles and has a will of its own.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth and her new friends embark on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before they’re accused of the crime themselves—or the thief captures them.

Full of potential, right? 

It was a quick read and the heroine, Elizabeth Rew, was admirable. Sort of  the 'everygirl' we all remember being at one point or another, yet that incredibly lucky 'everygirl' that gets to live out an adventure like the one Shulman wrote for her.

The objects were fascinating and I wish they'd played more of a role in the story. The characters, her fellow pages to be exact, were interesting enough, it's just that I felt the stage was a little crowded from time to time and didn't really give Elizabeth enough room to grow as a character herself.

But those are fairly minor grievances. If you like fairy tale lore, check out the book. If not for the "outta the ballpark" composition or storytelling, at least for the incredibly original premise the author devised. 

I haven't heard anything about sequels or prequels to "The Grimm Legacy," though I sure wouldn't mind seeing what the cast has been up to the past two years!

Happy reading and Happy writing!

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