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The Wooden Prince (Out of Abaton #1)
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The Wooden Prince

(Out of Abaton #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The automa Pinocchio has always been duty-bound to serve in the floating palace of Venice's emperor. So when Pinocchio finds himself locked in a trunk and delivered to a new master - a wanted criminal and alchemist named Geppetto - he is curious about everything around him. But most curious is the way Pinocchio seems to be changing from a wooden servant into a living, huma ...more
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  237 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As far as a young adult or preteen book goes, this was splendid. If you want an adult rating, don't go into it expecting mature reading. The story was a different spin on Pinocchio and one I rather enjoyed. Some of the story remained the same, but I assure you this is worth the read if you enjoy fairytale re-tellings.
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
The audiobook was well done but the story was so-so. Somewhat enjoyable.
Morgan (The Bookish Beagle)
The book is curiously too detailed and very shallow at the same time. I don't feel like I got to know the characters very well, aside from Pinocchio, and there were a LOT of characters. The story races on and jumps from place to place at a frenetic pace. That being said, I really liked the Venetian setting and the mixture of historical fiction with myth and fairy tale. I hate the animated movie Pinocchio but I really enjoyed this version of the story! Pinocchio is a wonderful, strange, fascinati ...more
Michelle Leonard
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This steampunk retelling of the Pinocchio story completely swept me away. I became a Bemis fan after reading the Clockwork Dark trilogy. I love how those books were infused with Southern American folklore and felt sure that he wouldn’t be able to pull anything of that magnitude off again, but whoa! Bemis transported me to Italy during the time of the Venetian empire in grand style. Deep world-building interwoven into the plot plus the empathy Bemis builds for Pinocchio’s journey to become a real ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this retelling of Pinocchio. It was imaginative and well written and fascinating.
I will have to see if Bemis has written any other fairy tale re-vamps.
3 Stars for the Story - 0 Stars for the Audiobook.

I paid $3.95 for this audiobook during an Audible sale. It was not worth it. The narration itself was good, not in the kind of way that I would run out to buy every book ever narrated by Ralph Lister, but in the way that I wasn't bored listening to him.

However, this audiobook has sound effects. Awful, awful sound effects. At the very beginning of the book, Pinocchio is in a wooden crate and is hearing a discussion taking place outside the crate
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
First sentence: By the time Pinocchio arrived in the village of San Baldovino, he was bursting with impatience to get free. Being locked in a trunk shouldn't have bothered him. He was an automa, after all.

Premise/plot: Think you know the story of Pinocchio? Think again! Bemis asks readers to join him on a fantastical journey. In the original story, Pinocchio is almost always unlikable; he is always rebellious and disobedient; he is more an object lesson than a 'real boy.' In this new novel--the
J. Else
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Immersive fantasy with steampunk elements. A heartfelt journey of discovering the joys and kindness of humanity.

Disney's "Pinocchio" wasn't a movie I much cared for. I felt it an odd and frightening look at how bad things happen to good-intending people.

While this book takes elements from the original story but enhances them. From magical lands to a princess trying to rescue her father to an outcast alchemist to the faithful wooden puppet, this story shines a fresh new light on an old tale. I
Brandy Painter
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Pinocchio has never been a favorite of mine. Not the original novel. Not the Disney movie. In The Wooden Prince, John Claude Bemis retells this old story in a way that works for me as it never had before.

Pinocchio is an automa who serves in the doge's palace until he is stuffed in a box and sent to the alchemist Geppetto. As soon as he is placed in the box, Pinocchio begins to change. He feels. Automa are not supposed to feel. He is soon
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
The Wooden Prince is a great re-telling of Pinocchio featuring wood-and-clockwork automatas (automatons), and the mystery, and discovery, of who one is. I loved the Italian renaissance/steam-punk feel, but didn't enjoy the writing all the much. (Ironically), it felt mechanical and clunky, rather than fluid. I do love a good fairy tale re-imagining though! For fans of Pinocchio, classics re-told, alternative histories.
Ms. Arca
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 because I had to calculate in amazing things with just okay parts. The very beginning is good, but then it gets slow and the writing style / character voices weren't my favorite.

!! HOWEVER, the story itself was fantastic and woven in all kinds of delightful and intricate ways. I was glued to find out what would happen next in the journey.. I really loved the plot!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Pinnochio. The story of a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy.

5 stars for world building
1.5-2 stars for character development
4 stars for creative retelling.

This is a highly original and creative retelling of Pinnochio. There is magic, talking animals, mechanical automatons, and a war between the humans and the Abatonians (magical creatures/land/race). The world was beautiful. The mechanical caterpillar, the flying soldiers, mechanical lion. Even the fact that pinnochio is an automaton was won
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have probably said this before, but I am not a huge fan of fantasy literature. But sometimes a book comes along that I actually enjoy reading. The Wooden Prince is such a book. Not only is the writing well done, but the interesting characters and the conceit of how Pinocchio turns from automa to human and then back to automa again elevates the novel above the typical hero-on-adventure-battling-against-great-odds-but-you-know-he-or-she-will-win plot. Cleverly written by the author of the steamp ...more
Catie Currie
This was certainly interesting. I generally like retellings of classic fairy tales/stories as long as they aren't too similar, so I did like that aspect. I kind of feel like it dragged on a bit, probably 50 pages or so could have been trimmed and it would have been better, less fluff. Also, I have never encountered such a complicated audio book!! I can understand why a lot of people didn't really like it or found it distracting, but I really liked it actually. I found that the constant sound eff ...more
Eh, it wasn't amazing, it wasn't bad. There were some cool creative story elements added to this fairytale retelling, a sort of steampunk spin on Pinocchio. I found it rather slow for most of the book, but maybe that's because it's targeted towards a different audience. The extra audio ended up being more distracting and annoying than augmentative. Sometimes the extra layers of sound effects drowned out the narrator and made it hard to follow the story. I'd have preferred Ralph Lister's well don ...more
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This compelling Steampunk retelling of Pinocchio takes place in a fictional Venice and captivated me from the start. Pinocchio is a sympathetic protagonist as he slowly awakens from his life as an unfeeling automaton. He wrestles with questions of mortality, as we all do. I love how he's an excellent sword fighter and protector. He's also learning what it means to be a son and love someone. And the re-envisioned blue fairy as street-smart Princess Lazuli makes for a rather kickass ally. This sto ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought I was going to love this and was so ready to recommend it to some younger readers but it just didn't work for me. I love the idea of Pinocchio being an automa and in this case he is an automa with feelings. The story itself is exciting but I felt like I was being passed around amongst a large amount of characters and situations and never getting a strong feeling for anyone or anyplace. I am curious however to the author's Clockwork Dark Trilogy and am going to look for those at the lib ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This book gives you characters that you love, and a different twist on the story of Pinochle. The world and its magical properties is wonderful and make you want to live in this world, the authors attention to detail in the world is crazy for example all the different species from Abaton have their own backstory and origins. To conclude the end of The Wooden Prince (when i read it when it first came out) made me so desperate to read the next one.
Leslie Korinek
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a marvelous twist of Pinocchio for late elementary or middle school readers! I'm a teacher and read this book with a group of fifth graders in a book club this summer. The students enjoyed the book immensely and we found a great deal to discuss. A fantastic read that I highly recommend. I can't wait to read the sequel!
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I really enjoyed this retelling of the Pinocchio story. All the familiar details are there, but the story is completely reimagined and I was all in to the magical world Bemis created. I loved how he wove in the larger aspects of the original story, but created something new. I am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. It started off really strong but ended up kind of mediocre. Murphy's law can be great when used in moderation, but everything going wrong over and over again started to make the story drag. I appreciated a Pinocchio retelling though. It's an uncommon source for a retelling.
Kimber Lybbert
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun(ish) version of Pinocchio. Although I did get bored at times and found myself skimming, and I wouldn't have been upset if I never got to finish it. 2.5 stars? Not compelling, exactly.
Ryan Scott
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
The world is interesting but the main characters fail to grab me.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting version of the story of Pinocchio. Looking forward to the sequel.
Alana "Loni"
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Cool concept, execution didn't work for me though.
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
MG, magical, adventurous, friendship-centric
Jessica F
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
More like 3.5 out of 5 stars. Glad to have another good retelling for my middle grade fairy tale fans!
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The thought behind it was very creative, but I didn’t feel it was written particularly well. I guess it’s adequate enough for preteens.
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From the author website;
I’ve always been fascinated by trains. My grandfather hopped trains all over the country in his “hobo days” and filled my head with curious stories of America’s lost past. Those stories, I suppose, were the beginnings of my first novel, The Nine Pound Hammer.

I grew up in rural eastern North Carolina by a swampy creek on the Neuse River. Yes, I’ve been bitten by a water mocc

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