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Cloaked Hardcover – February 8, 2011
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The thing you have to remember about Flinn's work is that is it is not meant to be taken completely seriously - it has an airy quality that lends itself to her magical storylines. Cloaked is a "modern fairy-tale mash-up" that is about an unlikely hero, Johnny. Johnny is a seventeen-year-old boy who works at his family business, repairing shoes. He is feeling down on himself, because he feels his life is going nowhere, when a beautiful Princess from a foreign land enlists him to help find her "bruzzer" (Princess speak for Brother). Johnny is soon swept up in' a whirlwind adventure that had him traveling to globe and running for his life.
You follow Johnny, accompanied by his best friend Meg, as he takes on his dangerous quest. There are talking animals, a magic teleporting cloak, scary bikers, crazy witches and two terrifying giants. Johnny is an interesting character who I found to be incredibly humorous. He could be a bit slow on the uptake though - sometimes I found myself in awe of his cluelessness (I don't know if that's a word, but it is now); especially when it comes to girls. But overall, it is easy to root for Johnny, everyone loves the underdog.
I feel like Cloaked was a great read, for the type of book it was meant to be. Like I said before - it's not a serious book; it is meant to be light, entertaining and whimsical. If you look at it under a microscope, I am sure you would find flaws. Often times plot advances aren't exactly logical - but they aren't suppose to be. You aren't suppose to examine it closely, you are simply suppose to reveal in the experience of it. Flinn was trying to emulate the excitement, innocence and magic of a fairytale and I feel like she succeeded.
If you go into reading Cloaked with an open mind, I am sure you will find it an enjoyable read. It is a charming and delightful story that can be devoured in a sitting.
Then suddenly one day, a real, live princess shows up at the hotel, and she changes Johnny's life forever. A witch's curse has transformed her brother into a frog, and only a good, kind, loyal boy like Johnny can save him. With the aid of a magic cloak that can transport him anywhere he needs to go, and the advice of various magical animals that were once human, Johnny sets out on a wild adventure with the promise of a $10,000 reward from the princess and her hand in marriage if he rescues the frog prince.
I discovered this author the way thousands of people are these days, because her book Beastly has been made into a movie, which I am very much looking forward to seeing. I read and enjoyed that book, which is a contemporary, fairy-tale retelling. This book is, too, but it goes a step farther. Rather than dealing with only one fairy tale, it is a "modern fairy-tale mash-up." The author has cleverly woven together multiple Grimm's fairy tales, among them "The Elves and the Shoemaker," "The Frog Prince," "The Six Swans," "The Golden Bird," and "The Brave Little Tailor."
As all of this author's other books seem to be dramas, before reading this book, I assumed it would be a drama, too. I was delighted to learn that it is actually a comedy, because I love YA comic fantasy, and I devour it whenever I can find it. It is great to discover an author this talented who realizes that magic creates wonderful opportunities for humor because of all the hilarious ways that magic can go wrong.
There is ton of that type of magical mayhem in this book as Johnny and his trusty magic cape face constant danger from dastardly, magical villains. If many of these villains were presented in the usual gritty, dark manner of YA contemporary fantasy, they might be quite overwhelming. But in each action scene, the threat always has a comic twist that keeps the villains from being overwhelming to read about, and there is no overt violence. As an additional parental guideline, there is no sensuality, no drugs, drinking or swearing.
In short, this is an extremely well written, highly entertaining, G-rated story which younger siblings can safely borrow from the teenagers in their family.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quick Reasons: fun, quirky characters and a unique spin on several well-known tales; more focus upon the drama and action than on character...