Friday, December 12, 2008

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

2008 – Shadow Mountain Publishing

Lately, I have found that I really enjoy young adult books. Especially the series. My current favorites are the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull and the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. I have read quite a few young adult books and I get disheartened when I read ones that are patronizing or try to be hip and current but come off as if my great-grandmother tried to talk slang to me. I can understand why my students didn't enjoy reading if they had to slog through piles of patronizing crap to get to one decently written book. It is with great joy that I read the third book in the Fablehaven series. This book is by far my favorite of the three.

The series centers around a brother and sister, Kendra and Seth, who find out that there grandparents are caretakers of a secret reserve where mythical and magical creatures abound. They are the latest in a long line of protectors of this sanctuary, protecting its inhabitants from both internal and outside enemies. There are centaurs, water nymphs, fairies and brownies as well as other magical creatures that the two have to fight or defend.

I read this book almost without stopping. It was fast – paced, fun and challenging. There are plenty of plot twists and battle scenes to interest even the most reluctant reader. It boasts both a male and female lead character, and this book has a little bit of romance, to lure the girls. My only complaint is that some of the characters do not seem to learn or grow as the story progresses, which is unfair to the reader who is watching the two main characters mature.

I wait breathlessly until the fourth installment comes out in April 2009~

A few customer reviews from

Picking up where the last novel left off, Kendra and Seth are still at Fablehaven with their grandparents. Suspicions have been cast on the Sphinx and his loyalties. Kendra has been recruited as a Knight, and the family agrees that she should infiltrate with hopes of claiming the next artifact before the Sphinx can get to it. And Fablehaven is under attack by a mysterious darkness that is spreading extremely fast. Can Seth and the rest of his family and friends discover the cause and stop it before all of Fablehaven is lost? Each installment in the Fablehaven series has been more action-packed and exciting than the next. Grip of the Shadow Plague has a fast-paced plot where danger and intrigue run rampant. New and interesting characters appear. Dark secrets and betrayals are uncovered. And more mysteries unfold. Kendra and Seth are ordinary children who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Fablehaven is full of mystery and wonder that comes alive. Kendra's humility and wisdom is admirable. And Seth's enthusiasm and bravery is inspirational. Fablehaven is easily on par with the Harry Potter series. And if you've been waiting for something to fill the HP loss, look no further.

The Sorenson kids are only a few weeks from heading home and starting school when a new threat to Fablehaven makes the likelihood of going home anytime soon unlikely. Creatures of light on the preserve begin to turn dark. Along with that Kendra's abilities imparted by the kisses of hundreds of fairies in book one seem to be evolving to such an extend that she could be a target of the Society of the Evening Star if she goes home. As if that is not enough, she is invited to become a Knight of the Dawn, an organization pledged to protect magical preserves. Traveling to meet them, then on a secret mission to another preserve, and the growing threat within Fablehaven fill this volume of the the Fablehaven series with some of the best writing, action, and story-telling of the series so far. Valuable lessons for kids and families are deftly woven into this volume, like the others, without being preachy. The action is even more intense so small kids will not be ready for this, but adolescents and teens will love this one, too. I can't wait to see what happens in volume 4! Brandon Mull is becoming a favorite at our house.

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