Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)'s Reviews > The Storyteller

The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
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This is a book that completely and utterly blew me away! I admit that I was a little daunted by it at first. The premise sounded good, but I was slightly unsure about the fairy tale element of it - a lot of the time, this just doesn't work for me. This also book is reasonably thick with small font, and I always have to finish books that I start, so I really, really hoped that this was good. The Storyteller wasn't good though, it was amazing. I don't know if much was lost in translation from German to English, but the result was still beautiful.

This book seems to have a little something for everyone. I'd class it as Young Adult, but it is bordering on being adult fiction. There is a contemporary, somewhat coming of age aspect to this book. There are mysteries, at points it becomes a thriller with crimes that we are wanting to solve. There is a fantasy aspect, as The Storyteller tells us a fairy tale - but it's also very much real, the events in the story reflecting real-life. The fairytale is a form of escapism against the harsh reality and a form of communication between our three main characters.

This is a very vivid and dark novel. I wouldn't say that it's sinister as such, but there is something about it that is haunting and disturbing. It deals with a whole lot of very difficult subjects. The setting feels stark, cold and true to life. The pace is quite relaxed from the beginning until the last quarter of the book, where things really speed up. Although the pace was relaxed, I never became bored. Reading about both the fairy tale world and the real world was equally fascinating. There was always something that I wanted to know more about, especially when we were given not one, but two murder mysteries.

We are introduced to a lot of different characters in this story but, thankfully, it doesn't become confusing. Every character plays an important part and have strong foundations. Our main characters are Anna, a girl from a well-to-do family and an intriguing boy whom she meets at her school, Abel, who lives with his young sister, Micha, in a prison-like tower block. All three of these characters are unbelievably complex and watching their relationships develop and change is very interesting. Their worlds are very different, but seeing how they work together and the contrast of their lives has a very strong effect. Anna and Abel's relationship was hesitant but natural. They certainly worked well together and the chemistry was there.

Abel does everything he can to protect his little sister, Micha - he is more of a father figure to her. This protectiveness is admirable and understandable. It really made me warm to Abel, despite some uncertainty that I did have about him. He is such a well developed character and I really did sympathise with him. At points I adored him and at points I simply hated his choices. There is a lot of different layers to him and towards the end, when I was discovering more and more about him, it actually became a little painful. It was heart and gut wrenching. During the last quarter of the book, my emotions were thrown around a lot, with Michaelis revealing so many secrets and some of the answers to questions that were in the back of my mind from the start. I can imagine that a lot of people will be displeased with what happens nearing the end as it is shocking and very raw - the author doesn't hold anything back.

There is a lot more to this book than I can mention in a review, especially without including spoilers. I would recommend this to anyone who is aged 16+ who feels as though they could deal with some dark issues and that want a thrilling, enthralling read. Prepare to have your emotions tested and to have story stay with you for a long time after finishing it. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by Michaelis, this was very different and truly fantastic. A book that certainly makes an impact.
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Quotes Stephanie Liked

Antonia Michaelis
“Where does someone go when he dies?', 'When does fear end?', 'Where are all the single socks that disappeared in the washing machine?”
Antonia Michaelis, The Storyteller

Antonia Michaelis
“Next to that dragon Micha had wirtten: 'KIS EacH OthER'.
Abel looked at Anna. Anna looked at Abel.
'She is the little queen,' said Abel, 'in our fairy tale, at least.'
'One must obey the queen,' said Anna.”
Antonia Michaelis, The Storyteller

Antonia Michaelis
“What does that mean?' Anna whispered. 'What does that all mean?
Abel ran his fingers through her hair again, and his hand wandered down and stayed on her throat. 'It means everything,' he whispered back. 'And nothing.”
Antonia Michaelis, The Storyteller

Reading Progress

01/31/2012 page 48
12.0% "This is SO good!"
02/03/2012 page 195
47.0% "Still loving this. Such a relaxed pace without being boring."
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page) I noticed you're reading it too - Can't wait to see what you think - I'm glad you're enjoying it so far :D

Carolinka Izayi It's so cool that you are reading this book! I live in the city the book is written about! :) I really loved the book and wrote Antonia Michaelis and in April she's attending one of the meetings of my Bookclub :) I'm really excited! :) I'm looking forward to read you review about it!

Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page) Oh Carolina, it always makes a book extra special when it's set near or where you live! You're lucky to meet her!

Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page) I hope you enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying it, Cillian! It's certainly different and definitely in a good way. :)

message 5: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Great review, Stephanie! This looks amazing, going to have to check it out!

Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page) Thanks Jo and Cillian - hope to see you review it sometime!

Jessa (view spoiler) Great review - this is one of the best books I have read in a very long time!

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