Fablehaven, Book 2: Rise of the Evening Star Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists - a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper - to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power.
Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear? Find out in book 2 of this bestselling series.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 52 minutes|
|Narrator||E. B. Stevens|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 24, 2013|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #5,929 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#30 in Teen & Young Adult Siblings Fiction
#63 in Action & Adventure Fantasy for Children
#207 in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Action & Adventure
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2018
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It's been a year since Kendra and the fairies saved Fablehaven from Muriel and her demon. While Kendra and Seth still think of returning, they never expected the creatures of Fablehaven to come to then. That's just what happens when a kobold posing as an attractive classmate enrolls in Kendra's class at school. With the school year almost over and no way to reach Grandpa the children must figure out how to deal with the creature on their own. Unfortunately not all those offering help are really on their side and in their quest to rid the school of the kobold Seth unknowingly unleashes a demon determined to devour him. The children are soon whisked away to Fablehaven but will the reserve's protections be enough to save Seth from his pending doom? And are all the dangers really outside the gates?
You know I debated a while on the rating for this. I initially intended not to give this book anything higher than three stars simply because even though the action begins soon I had a heck of a time getting into this novel. It took me four sittings to read this book and while that may not sound like much for me it really is. If I'm reading alone which I am most of the time if a book grabs me the only way I wouldn't finish it in one sitting is if I was so exhausted I was falling asleep standing up. For example I never picked up a Harry Potter book until the fifth novel was already released. I borrowed the first five from a cousin and didn't sleep for two days while devouring all five in that time period. I read Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy in one sitting and the first three novels in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series in one sitting. Actually, with that it was the first four if you count Winter's Passage. The reason I'm able to do this blog is that most of the time I can read the book in a couple hours, write the review in about 20 to 30 minutes send it to Ed to post and go on about my day. Of course that speed only comes if a book grips me. Most nonfiction novels will take me weeks to read because I have trouble making it through chapters without falling asleep. For it to have taken four sitting for me to finish this book tells you I really did have a difficult time getting into the book. What saved this novel from receiving a lower rating than its predecessor is its spectacular ending. Fablehaven-Rise of the Evening Star has the kind of ending that makes you sit back and go wow, I wasn't expecting that. And when you reach those scenes toward the end you can't turn the pages fast enough to discover what will happen next. While the ending of the finale of the first novel was excellent before it slowly wound down and lets you walk away calmly, with this second installment it was phenomenal and then over. There is no quite drive away from the preserve, there's just shock factor then lights out. Obviously that's one of my favorite parts of the novel but to really describe what happened to you in that scene and explain why the ending was enough to bump my rating up to four stars it would ruin the effect of said ending. This is one of those you'll know what I mean if you read the book moments.
Before I go into the portions of the novel I make an effort to comment on I want to make a comment on something I normally wouldn't mention. I'm not one who pays a ton of attention to illustrations, I'd rather rely on my own mental picture of things. The illustrations in this book however I found distracting and not in a good way. What particularly bothered me was the drawing of Kendra who is supposed to be almost fifteen. In the drawing I would peg her at maybe eight years old. If the novel is going to be illustrated the drawings should at least portray the characters somewhere near the age stated in the novel. It's distracting to see drawings of teenagers in which they appear to be small children. I'll give you that this is a middle grade novel and kids enjoy pictures but I would think this portrayal of Kendra was probably distracting to even those that enjoy pictures in their novels. I know this doesn't have anything to do with Mull's writing, but if a publisher is going to add illustrations to a book said illustrations should portray the characters as described in the novel. It left me wondering if the illustrator even read the novel.
While the plot was well written, interesting and proceeded in a logical order, something about the opening that I can't quite put my finger on didn't grip me in the way it was meant to. This novel basically gives you action from page one so it should have been extremely fast paced, but to me the pacing came across as quite slow. I really can't explain the why of it, but if someone else knows what I mean and could clarify for me it would be greatly appreciated. Like the first novel it does cater to the younger reader and while adults may enjoy a onetime read, I don't see them reading it over and over the way a child would. However since the novel is a middle grade novel that's probably a positive attribute of the work. This is the kind of book you give to your 8-12 year old that likes to read. I personally plan to pass the series to my soon to be eleven year old daughter, the only one of my children who shares my love of reading. I think what made this novel harder to get into than the first novel is that in the first novel Mull sort of slowly led us into the world of Fablehaven through Kendra's eyes. With his mostly slow paced style of writing easing into the world and wrapping it around a reader is an excellent method of gripping the reader. I don't feel jumping right into the action without that lead in works for him as a writer. One thing I can say about the plot is that nothing was really predictable. Every scene was unexpected from the very first shocker of a kobold walking into Kendra's classroom. I was just as surprised as Kendra when I learned who the villain of the tale was and of course as stated above I was shocked by the ending. Each surprise made sense as Mull explained it but it certainly wasn't how you expected the novel to progress.
As I believe I mentioned in my previous review Kendra and Seth are memorable characters however they really needed more fleshing in the first novel. In this novel these leading characters got a little more flesh on their bones than in the first though we still didn't get a lot of insight into other characters. I don't think this matters as much to a child reader as it does to an adult so I still think this will work for him. I don't remember being presented with many intricate characters in the books I read as a kid and I still loved reading them, so I don't think this is so much a negative trait, more another feature marking the book as a novel meant for children. One thing I will mention though about the characters is that Mull himself seems to sometimes forget the ages of his characters when he brings us into their minds. Kendra comes across much younger than almost 15 at points, though I will say Seth seems to fit nicely with the average 12 year old boy. I think what needs to be remembered is that on average girls mentally mature faster than boys and at times my almost eleven year old seems vastly more mature than Kendra who is in her teens. No Kendra isn't an adult and shouldn't come across as one, but she's missing that 14 going on 40 mindset which is common in girls her age. For me this detracted from Kendra's believability as a character. I don't know if this would be the case for a child reader since it's been a while since I've been a child. But I think even Kennedy would notice that Kendra is a bit immature on how she thinks of things. However one thing I did like in terms of maturity was that Seth did actually complain about sharing a room with Kendra in this novel which made that whole arrangement a little more realistic.
To get the entire feel for this novel I think the first novel in the series needs to be read before this one, only because you don't get that nice lead in to the world that you received in the original Fablehaven. I mean I guess it could work as a standalone, but you'd really be missing a lot if you didn't read the first book in the series.
Overall it's a good novel with more action than the first, in fact even though it came across with slow pacing the book is almost nonstop action filled with surprise. However like I've previously stated an adult may enjoy this novel once, but for the most part its audience is the middle grade reader. If you don't have kids to pass the book on to I recommend checking it out of your local library so that you can experience the adventure without having purchased a book you're probably not going to read more than once. If you do have kids who enjoy reading I will say it's money well spent, but not as much if you're just an adult reader of children's and young adult fiction.
1) Fablehaven is for everyone (all ages). I am 26 years old and have no children. I was killing time at Wal-Mart, saw the book, thought it looked interesting, and the words were small not over-sized children's type so I decided to check it out. Within the first 30 pages I was hooked; I couldn't put it down. After I was done I suggested it to some of my philosophy classmates and forced it upon my 56 year old mother (who told me I was pathetic for being so enthralled by a children's series). That children's series kept her up night after night...(who's pathetic now?) There are many characters of many different ages in the series that play distinct roles. This is a FAMILY BOOK. It would be most enjoyed together, as a family, by being read out loud.
2) The children in the story, Seth and Kendra, are akin to realistic children. One thing about Harry Potter I never quite liked was the fact that he was very impulsive and irrationally dove into situations that he was only able to get out of due to good fortune, the help of others, and luck. In Fablehaven the characters make calculated decisions, sometimes they take risks based on their calculations and sometimes they don't. They are also always aware of the consequences of their decisions and there are many times in the story where the children, as well as the other characters, have to pay the piper for their choices. This series teaches a very important lesson with regards to choices, and consequences.
3) Brandon Mull, the author genius, nailed the brother/sister combo of Seth and Kendra. In the series the reader can see in their relationship sibling rivalry, the lightness of teasing, and sibling love. Kendra is rather shy, is very cautious and calculating, and slow to flame. Seth, on the other hand, is a quick fire, always jumps in head first, acts impulsively, is defiant and sneaky, and is often in trouble because of it. Mull uses these characters and their opposite traits to create humor. There is one scene where Seth does something (I don't remember what) and after he does it he says something like, "That was worth 100" and Kendra says, "Yeah, 100 idiot points." And Seth replies, "What you call idiot points I call awesome bucks." And I just busted up laughing because my 18 year old brother still makes comments like that. Mull hits that old fashioned, classic, boy vs. girl humor perfectly.
This series is worth the time, the energy, and the money. The kids will enjoy it, the parents will enjoy it, and everyone will benefit from the time spent together reading it. In the back of the books Mull provides a reading guide. The questions are priceless. While, they are for children I think they really enable parents to talk to their children and get involved in their lives. One of the questions is "Kendra has faced multiple betrayals over the course of the series. Which do you think was the worst and why? Have you ever felt betrayed by a friend? How did you handle it?" I say, "Drink the Milk and jump on board!"
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Ho letto il primo volume praticamente un secolo fa, ma ricordavo abbastanza la trama e i personaggi da poter leggere il seguito. Non ricordo benissimo i miei pensieri del primo libro, ma, di sicuro, questo secondo volume mi è piaciuto di più: Kendra e Seth conoscono già i pericoli che pertengono le creature fantastiche e il plot della serie avanza parecchio. Inoltre, penso che il finale abbia contribuito molto al voto dato a questo libro, che ha alzato le mie aspettative per il terzo volume (che chissà quando riuscirò a comprare...)
Nel complesso mi è parso che la storia si facesse più seria in Rise of the Evening Star, sia per quanto pertiene il plot in generale che quanto accade ai personaggi. Non credo ci siano trigger warning particolari, a parte un avanzamento della violenza. È comunque un volume consigliato per i bambini dagli 8 ai 13 anni, quindi è abbastanza tranquillo per una persona adulta.
I personaggi... Mi viene da ridere pensando a Seth. Quel ragazzino non impara mai dai suoi errori, eppure ha una quantità di coraggio immensa. A volte è molto irritante, lo ammetto, ma è comunque un personaggio molto curioso e impulsivo senza il quale la storia non andrebbe avanti. Da quanto mi ricordo, l'ho apprezzato molto di più in questo volume, perché Mull mostra di più le capacità del personaggio e la sua utilità. Kedra, invece, vede il suo rapporto con le fate incrinarsi e, lasciata sola con un potere che non capisce, è molto più codarda del fratello. Insomma, si appoggia di più sul ragionamento e i piani d'azione che, però, a volte sono inutili. Comunque, ha anche lei i suoi punti di forza durante il romanzo e penso sia un po' cresciuta verso la fine del romanzo.
Abbiamo svariati nuovi personaggi, tutti adulti. In particolare i tre esperti invitati a Fabelhaven: Tanu, Coulter e Vanessa.
Il mio preferito è sicuramente Tanu, l'esperto di pozioni, mentre fin da subito non mi sono fidata di Vanessa. Coulter era un po' nel mezzo. È piuttosto brusco, non in una zona grigia ma quasi. Spero di rivederli in qualche modo nel prossimo volume, perché potrebbero essere ottimi alleati... o nemici. Non voglio spoilerare.
Il quarto personaggio che viene introdotto è il più interessante. Si tratta della Sfinge, un uomo forse non del tutto umano che aiuta le preserve come Fablehaven. Già da subito mi è sembrato un personaggio abbastanza pericoloso, che nasconde parecchi segreti. Il finale non ha fatto altro che confermare i miei sospetti, e anche con lui non voglio aspettare troppo per leggere il terzo volume.
Lo stile è molto fluido, adatto a dei ragazzini, e l'inglese è di facile comprensione.
Nel complesso, Rise of the Evening Star è un romanzo che ha superato le mie aspettative e mi ha fatto un po' ricredere sulla serie in generale. Speriamo che il terzo volume non mi deluda!