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The Carver (Order of the Bell) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 19, 2016
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About the Author
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.
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Plot: Here is the short version by way of a quote by HUA MULAN herself (p.191):
“Then let me give you the short version. Hansel is under the control of a dark queen who should have disappeared years ago. She’s trying to come back and using Hansel’s body as a vessel. But to come back in her true form, she needs to gather seven pure souls in the Cavern of Ombre . . . ”
Mood: The Carver was fun all around. There were some darker moments, but overall, I was sucked into both the fairy tale world, and our world–it was amusing experiencing our world through the eyes of the fairy tale characters that found themselves here. (I REALLY want to try Macaroni and Cheese on a stick . . . Didn’t know that existed!!)
Pace: Once I got the hang of the back and forth between the OLD WORLD PRESENT, NEW WORLD PRESENT, and OLD WORLD PAST, it was a fast read.
Characters: Jacob’s twist on the characters was reminiscent of Once Upon a Time, yet he did a wonderful job breathing freshness into the characters and adding lots of twists to the fairy tale world that we all “know.” The characters were unique, and you never knew which beloved (and not so beloved) fairy tale character would show up next. I loved Jacob’s little snippet about The Boy Who Cried Wolf. And I’m still chuckling about: Hook. James Hook. HA!
Writing: Grammatically, this book was well-written.
Cons for me personally: At times the dialogue seemed a bit juvenile and forced. And the !’s were a bit over-used. And at times I was totally confused with where I was–which story line–and had to flip back to remind myself.
Level of Violence: There were several moments of evilness-in-action (loved the twists of the good being forced to do evil, but for great reasons…so intriguing!) and some great fight scenes. My favorite fight scene being when Pietro and Enzo were forced into a joust at a Renaissance Fair! Pietro (Peter Pan) is such a sore loser!
Other Thoughts: I think this sums up the takeaway of this story: “ . . . I think it was a big shock when they got to the big twists, but, in the end, you have to realize that these fairy tales were also influenced very heavily by reality, and unfortunately reality sometimes includes tragedy. Even for the heroes.” -Heather McClavender AKA Violet p.231
Would I recommend this?: If you can’t get enough of fairy tales, this book is for you! Well, even if you are “eh” about fairy tales, this book is a great read! And, I must say, I think this book will be even better the second read through—now that I know what happens, and I can follow the back and forth of the story line.
The Carver ends with a TO BE CONTINUED . . . I will definitely be getting a copy so I can find out what happens to all the characters as they try to save their world and ours from the Ivory Queen—Avoria!
The beginning for me was a little slow. I was having trouble grasping who everyone was and getting all their descriptions right in my brain, because as they are familiar characters, I default to the Disney images I've always known. After the first quarter of the book, though, I was invested. I really enjoyed the direction the story took and all the details involved. Jacob Devlin also did a fantastic job transforming and developing characters that so many of us know and love.
I really enjoyed the writing of this book as well, letting us get a look into how everyone was feeling and what they were thinking. It added a lot of depth to the story. There were so many things that were mysteries throughout the story, and they were unveiled at different times, and nothing felt rushed, which I really loved. I cannot wait for book two, but as I am reading with others, I will have to wait hah.
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Genre: YA Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling
Recommended Age: 13+ (some strong language) the
Favorite Quote: "Of course not!Read more