Just to clarify, I believe this is kind of a companion/standalone sequel to Princess Ben. I haven't read that, but it's not hard to guess when the old...moreJust to clarify, I believe this is kind of a companion/standalone sequel to Princess Ben. I haven't read that, but it's not hard to guess when the old Queen Mother goes around with the appellation of 'Nonna Ben.' Having not read Princess Ben (yet - I'm getting to it), I'm not sure if this is a decent sequel, so I'll just comment on Wisdom Kiss's quality alone.
First off - it sounds GREAT. It's got a wonderful little hook. The princess, the maid, the soldier - it sounds like it'd be a perfect little fantasy read. But what it doesn't tell you (except in little print at the bottom of the sleeve - and who reads that, anyway? amirite?) is that it's a epistolary novel, told in books/letters/encyclopedia entries/what have you.
I love epistolary novels. But I think it kinda took away from Wisdom's Kiss, because, as much as you'd expect otherwise, it kept me distant from the main characters. Princess Wisdom, or Dizzy, never got past the infuriating, airheaded princess who, typically, didn't want to be a princess. Fortitude, or Trudy, never got past a weepy, love-lorn little serving girl trailing after soldier/acrobat Tomas Müller, or Tips. And Tips was... I'm not really sure what I think of Tips. Was Tips an actual character, or just a cardboard cutout for Dizzy and Trudy to fall in love with? (The whole Dizzy/Tips romance was embarrassing. As annoying as she was, Trudy deserved better than THAT.)
What saved the book was actually Queen Mother Ben and her cat, Escoffier. And, somehow, Queen Temperance, though... she never actually came in... I'm not sure how that worked out, actually. But I liked Temperance. Queen Mother Ben was pretty spectacular, though. I would read the whole thing again for her.
So I'm torn. On the one hand, it had a very good plot and pacing (except towards the end, where it suddenly raced ahead like... something that races). On the other hand, Dizzy, Trudy, and Tips made it almost unbearable. On the third hand, watching the scheming of Queen Mother Ben and the Duchess Wilhelmina was inordinately entertaining. I'm torn.(less)
I'm sadly not an expert on Grimm fairytales (or any fairytales, really), but I love fairytale retellings. And A Tale Dark And Grimm is not just one fa...moreI'm sadly not an expert on Grimm fairytales (or any fairytales, really), but I love fairytale retellings. And A Tale Dark And Grimm is not just one fairytale retelling, but six. At least. All wrapped up in the main characters of Hansel and Gretel.
Long tale short, I. loved. this. It was ridiculously easy to read - honestly, he should teach how to write simply but effectively - and I breezed through it in about two hours total. I'm pretty sure it's because the plot keeps up its brisk, fairytale feel to it as well as its good style. Hansel and Gretel are fairytale characters, but just fleshed out enough to be likable. And the narrator, who interjects his opinions in bold type, was hilarious. He made the book. Not to mention what must be at least a dozen fairytales woven in and out of the plot like a wonderful little tapestry.
I'll stop before I get too poetic, but this was a really, really good book that I want to go grab off the shelf and read again now. For anyone who likes fairytales, or anyone who likes good books in general.(less)
Alex Flinn, y u no try harder? You could be fantastic. And instead you just go with... this.
A Kiss In Time started pretty decently. Granted, I didn't...moreAlex Flinn, y u no try harder? You could be fantastic. And instead you just go with... this.
A Kiss In Time started pretty decently. Granted, I didn't like Talia OR Jack, but I figured they would grow up along the course of the novel. And I guess they did, but it all felt so... cheesy. So Disney. And yet, not Disney, because there were some terribly awkward scenes that not even Disney would dream of putting in there.
Talia and Jack never did get anymore likable. The plot never got any more interesting - in fact, it got more boring and more cliché and more obvious as time went on. And what the heck was up with villainess, Malvolia? I just didn't get her. There wasn't enough backstory in the beginning to even care what her thought processes were at the tail end of the book.
Beastly was okay, but this was truly mediocre. Unless I get a recommendation, I think I'll avoid Alex Flinn's books from now on.(less)
This was a pretty funny little collection of fairytales, written as to be more politically correct. Of course the stories end up ridiculously twisted...moreThis was a pretty funny little collection of fairytales, written as to be more politically correct. Of course the stories end up ridiculously twisted and make you long for dopey princesses and full-of-it princes, but that's the charm. My favorite was the retelling of Sleeping Beauty.(less)