Monday, May 13, 2013

Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again!

Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
160, 176 pages
Middle School+

Aliera is a high school student, fencer and fairly normal kid.  While she doesn't really belong to any of the groups at school (not the jocks, the nerds, or the goths), she has fencing and her cousin who she hangs out with on every Saturday.  Other than being color blind, Aliera feels that she is nothing special, even with the new practice foil her mom found for her.

One day at school, there is the new boy- Avery.  Blindingly cute and athletic to boot, every girl in the school wants a moment with him.  Assigned as her lab partner in biology, he seems to enjoy cutting up the frog a little too much.  Aliera isn't sure what to think when he asks her out on a date.  A little dazzled by his smile, she agrees to meet him at Grand Central Station.

Hurrying to get there after fencing class, Aliera is disappoint when he's not on time.  While waiting, for him to show, some strange bird starts attacking her.  Just looking for something to protect herself, Aliera grabs her mask, slips it on, and her world changes.  Instead of muted greys, suddenly there is color around her.  But the things that are colors shouldn't exist in the normal world.  Dragons, trolls and fairies are a little much for her.  Even Avery seems to be more than she bargain for.

Thus starts Aliera's adventure.  Her new practice foil with the strange gem is much more than it seems.  Her fencing skills are more useful than she thought they would ever be, and even the role-playing with her cousin helps her figure what to do next.  All she has to do is survive trolls, capture and a boy that wants to be more than just lab partners...

This was a really fun start to a series.  I read these mostly because I love the other things Jane Yolen has written, and was interested to seem what she did with a graphic novel.  Foiled seemed a little anti-climatic, and not much seemed to happen, but putting it in a series and realizing that it was setting everything up made it better.  I liked the second book better than the first, but they were both fun.

I did really like the illustrations and the significance of color.  Since Aliera is color-blind, she only sees the magical as colored.  I love the significance of that, and how the illustrated used that to make the magical pop out.

Good books!  Looks like there will be a series, so I'll look for more!  Very exciting, middle school mostly just because looks like about that age and interest.   I'll be adding them to my recommend list!

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