Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review: Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1)

Author| Brandon Mull (Twitter/Facebook)  Edition| Kindle eBook  Rating| 4.5 Stars

This was technically a re-read for me, but since the first time I read this book was in seventh grade (that's about six years ago) it was like reading it for the first time.  The only thing I remembered was that I liked it a lot, and that the satyrs were funny.  Neither of those facts changed.

Fablehaven is about Kendra and Seth, a brother and sister who go to stay part of the summer with their rather reclusive grandfather (they're grandmother is mysteriously absent).  While there they discover that not all is what it seems and that they're grandparents run a place called Fablehaven- a haven for the magical creatures.  Very few things there are safe, and Kendra and Seth have a lot to learn if they're ever going to be the caretakers.

This is one of those books I think everyone should read.  I know it's a middle grade book, but like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson it is just as enjoyable for older readers.  For one, it doesn't "talk down" to the readers.  It treats everyone like a knowledgable reader and the mystery and plot have enough twists and turns for anyone to enjoy.  It kept me on the edge of my seat.  It also completely transported me to the world of Fablehaven, and the setting was so pervasive I found myself daydreaming about it in my spare time.

A major plus for this book was the two main characters.  While Kendra is the protagonist for most of the story, Seth does get a bit of spotlight.  They're both super realistic, actually acting their age (she's in eighth grade, he's in sixth) in many ways without being too immature.  I will admit that Seth did become a bit annoying, since he causes quite a few problems, but I'm fairly certain this will allow readers to really watch him grow up over the course of the series.  The best part about them was their relationship- they acted like real siblings!  I cannot count the number of times I've found a sibling relationship to so closely mirror the one I have with my brother.  It was so refreshing to see the regular bickering and teasing without making either of them seem like a brat.  It also allowed me to connect a ton with Kendra, who's a very likable heroine.

So I'd definitely recommend this to everyone.  It's perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, for sure.  It's really just one of the best middle grade novels I've read in a while, and I can't wait to read many, many more in this series (which has, thankfully, been completed so I won't have to wait between novels).  If you're eager to add this to your goodreads shelf, click here.

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