Monday, July 12, 2010
Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
Nearly every evening for more than three months we read. Mostly it was one chapter at a time but we'd fit in two chapters when we could. Nobody wanted to miss out so we had our bed full of kiddos while we read. Good thing we bought a king-sized bed last year or there's no way all six of us would have fit. My three-year-old would lose patience on occasion, but that wasn't until the later books when the plot got more complex. We would placate her by reading a stack of picture books before we began. One of my favorite parts was how my kids would talk about nothing else when an exciting part happened. Or maybe it's when they would laugh over and over again when Seth was up to his antics. Or maybe it's when they were absolutely entranced while we read to the point of hypnotism. Or maybe it's when my oldest would exclaim every single night, "I can't stand cliffhangers! Please read another chapter!"
By the time we got to the final book, it felt a bit like when the seventh Harry Potter came out. The anticipation and build up for this culminating event was palpable. We were all dying to find out what was going to happen. We went on a trip out of the state at the same time we started it and I read sometimes four chapters a day while we drove or had down time. When we reached the last ten chapters, I would read sometimes for an hour. My husband had strep throat so I was doing all the reading. It was worth it.
I've blogged about this series so many times, I'm not going to bother adding a link here. Just put in the search box the word "Fablehaven" and see how many posts show up. There's a bunch. I have enjoyed this series each step along the way. My only complaint is that the language some of the adults use seems forced. Nobody really talks like that unless they're trying to sound intellectual. On the flip side, Mull has got Seth and Kendra down pat. He knows exactly how to write a kid's voice. Plus, Seth and Kendra have a completely believable sibling relationship. Since they are the focus of the book, it is a treat that he wrote them so perfectly. And enjoyably.
I don't know exactly what to write about the final book, Keys to the Demon Prison. If you haven't read any of the previous books, nothing I write would make any sense. I think you'd have better luck reading previous posts to see if it's the kind of book you'd be interested in for yourself or a kid you know. I will say that it delivered on every count and that it ended exactly how I hoped it would, but better because Brandon Mull has a better imagination than me. I will also say that if you like Harry Potter, you'll like Fablehaven. Harry Potter comparisons get old and are kind of ridiculous, but I'm comparing them in the sense that both series appeal to any age of reader. Unless you hate fantasy books, which just makes me sad.
Brandon Mull is coming out with a new series next year called The Beyonders. I think it's safe to say that we'll be reading it at our house. We'll have to read Mull's The Candy Shop War in the mean time to sate our need for his amazing writing.