Idgiepug’s #CBR4 Review #51: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
My son picked up Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven, but I “stole” it from him so that I could it out just in case it was too scary for him. The kid loves roller coasters, riding downhill backwards on his big-wheel, and leaping off of a swing, but scary books and stories tend to give him nightmares, so we have to be a bit selective. I’d never heard of this series, but the first novel was quite good, and the little Pug is reading it now without any nightmares so far.
In the novel, Kendra and Seth have to go stay with their grandparents while their parents go on a cruise. They’ve never stayed with this particular set of grandparents before, and they’re surprised at the grandeur of their country home called Fablehaven. Their grandpa is quite nice, and they have a great attic bedroom, but life at Fablehaven has many rules. Seth can’t quite resist the pull of the forbidden woods, and he, of course, breaks the rules and goes exploring. Eventually, when it’s clear that Seth is going to get into trouble if he’s not stopped, their grandfather tells Seth and Kendra the truth about Fablehaven: it’s one of a series of estates established world-wide for the maintenance and protection of fantastic creatures. Even after finding out the truth, Seth still manages to get the whole family in trouble, and quiet, rule-abiding Kendra finds that the fate of her grandparents, her brother, and the estate all rest on her ability to find a solution to the troubles caused by Seth.
The book was fun to read, and the magical creatures were interesting, but I was a bit frustrated with Seth’s continued foolishness. I know that boys can be obstinate and can find trouble no matter what, but the seriousness of their situation should have been enough to stop him from continuing to break rules. Kendra also seemed a little too perfect, and I wasn’t terribly fond of the good-girl/bad-boy stereotype here, but the book was a good fantasy story. Hopefully, Seth will buck up in the other novels in the series.