Friday, December 14, 2012

Unlocking the Spell

Unlocking the Spell: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess
by E. D. Baker
272 pages

Annie is out on another quest, this time to save her sister's true love, Prince Beldegard.  He was turned into a bear by a dwarf, and they need to find that dwarf to release the spell. Annie, Beldegard, and Liam set off to discover where the dwarf may be.

Trouble starts right away for the group.  They can't find the dwarf, run into more fairy tale characters, and have an unwelcome addition to their party.  Can they survive the even though "the way is long and fraught with danger"? And what will happen when they cross paths with evil witches and trolls?

So, this sequel to The Wide Awake Princess is, in my opinion, not as good as the original.  While the concept is similar, and still fun, the story telling and characters are not as engaging and entertaining as the first one.

One of my biggest gripes with this book was Annie's attitude in the first part of the book.  During the first book, Annie is working so hard to save her sister and her family. everything she does is for them. But, Annie is so annoyed and grumpy during this book.  To me, it seemed such a complete turn about from before.  And instead of identifying with Annie, I felted annoyed with her and it made it hard to get started in this book.

Plus, this book seems to start very abruptly.  It starts very shortly after the first book, but the transition seemed choppy and contributed to the switch of Annie attitude as well.  The story drops the reader right in, and it doesn't give much background before heading right into the story.

Overall, it was an okay book, but not as good as the first one.  It got better through the later part, and I enjoyed it more, but the first part really bogged me down. Alright, but not great.  Still, I will recommend the series to kids!  If read immediately after the first one, the abruptness might not be such a factor.

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