Monday, September 19, 2016

The Forbidden Library (Django Wexler)

The Forbidden Library
(The Forbidden Library series, Book 1)
Django Wexler
Kathy Dawson Books
Fiction, YA Fantasy
**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: Alice has always been a good girl, studying hard and following the rules and never being a bother to her tutors... but everything changes the night she sees her father talking to a fairy in the kitchen. Dad always told her storybook creatures like fairies weren't real, but there's no mistaking what the winged man is - nor is there a doubt that he's somehow responsible when her father suddenly leaves on a steamship the next day, a steamship that goes down with all hands. When the swarm of solicitors finish picking the estate's bones, Alice finds herself packed off to "Uncle Jerry", a man she never knew existed, and his peculiar home in the countryside. Here, in his immense and mysterious library, she meets a talking cat, a mystery boy, dangerous books imprisoning magical beings, and powers she never knew she had - powers that might lead her to the fairy man and the truth about what really happened to her father. But first, she's going to have to break a few rules...

REVIEW: Another discount find, this middle-grade book has obvious appeal for those of us who love reading and fantasy. Alice makes a competent, intelligent heroine, not above the odd mistake but never one to whine or give up, no matter the odds. Surrounding her are numerous characters of often-dubious moral fiber, each with their own agendas and a certain disregard for the consequences to others... traits that Alice begins to pick up by association as her Reader abilities - the power to enter magical books and bind their prisoners to her service, among other things - develop. The story moves at a good pace, with some great descriptions and real peril, though the ending is more of a hook for the next book than a solid conclusion (something I've sadly gotten used to in this day and age, where series are the rule rather than the exception.) Still, I enjoyed it, and - marketing tactic or not - I'll be looking forward to Book 2.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Libriomancer (Jim C. Hines) - My Review
The Book of Story Beginnings (Kristin Kladstrup) - My Review
Behind the Canvas (Alexander Vance) - My Review

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