Author: Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky
Title: Happily Never After
Series: The Grimm Chronicles
Publisher: Brew City Press (June 10th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review
Buy your copy: Kindle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world.
Now the characters of the Grimms’ stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can save them.
For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.” GoodReads’ blurb
Short and sweet, because it’s mid-August and the heat is too much for being intense right now:
I love this series!!! (Yes, do note the triple exclamation mark).
Ahem. Okay, I’ll try to expound on that.
The thing is, if you know me, you know how much I love fairy tales and the like. The concept behind the Grimm Chronicles takes into account all of those classic, gloomy, slightly scary for our kids today fairy tales and mixes them together, shakes them up... and serves a funny, refreshing Young Adult storyline that will make you devour the novellas as you grab them.
Alice was chosen as hero. Her first job was difficult, because what kind of girl is ready to do away with Prince Charming?!? But if she thought things would only get easier... This time, Briar Rabbit and Alice have to face the Frog Prince, Cinderella and what seems to shape up as a major Villain Team: the seven dwarves!
And there are a few more characters and references, but you’ll have to read and find them yourself.
There are two things I really, really liked about the first installment in this series: the tone, which is casual, fast-paced and makes the whole story easy to believe; and the way all the plotlines and fictional characters are entwined with everyday events in our heroine’s life. It doesn’t read like someone threw the stories together, but as if the stories belonged together in the first place. Book two keeps up with those great points, and on top of that adds a thickening of the plot.
Prince Charming Must Die was funny, slightly quirky, and mostly self-conclusive. Yes, of course, the amount of questions and potential was huge, but there was a story that started and ended in the book: how Alice became the hero and how she killed the Prince. Happily Never After gets complicated. The Corrupted are insidious and clever, and for each one that just jumps out doing obvious things, there are others who hide in the shadows and plan for... for what?
The hero demise, for one!
In Happily Never After, there is also a story that’s mostly self-finished: Alice has dreams about a Corrupted, acts out, tries to solve the situation... But there’s also an overarching story that ends with the Worst Cliffhanger Ever.
No, seriously, I went “whaaaa?” and proceeded to hit the “next” key on my eReader without success for quite a while.
It was that unexpected, that thrilling.
And that funny, because the scene where a rabbit gets... Wait. I don’t want to spoil that for you, but Briar Rabbit is The Best Sidekick. Really, honest.
So, do I think you should read this one? Yeah. You should already have!