Jenkins - Book Reviews

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**** - Good
*** - Okay
** - Bad
* - Terrible
+ - Half-star

Fairy Quest: Outcasts: #1
(The Fairy Quest series, Outcasts)
Paul Jenkins, illustrated by Humberto Ramos
Boom! Studios
Fiction, YA Comics, Fantasy
****

DESCRIPTION: In the world of Fablewood, all stories live side by side, re-enacting their roles faithfully under the eye of Mister Grimm and his Think Police. Deviants are captured, their minds erased, lest the ordered tales fall into chaos and anarchy. Young Red and Mister Woof only want to be friends, but their story dictates otherwise. They flee into the Dark Woods, pursuing the faint hope of the Mapmaker beneath the mountains, in hopes of finding a new world where they can live and think as they please... but this is one fairy tale that Grimm doesn't mean to end happily ever after.

REVIEW: Starting quickly, with Red and "Mister Woof" (the Big Bad Wolf) already in flight through a fairy tale world that's dying under Grimm's harsh rule, Fairy Quests maintains a good pace throughout. Red can be a bit naive, almost irritatingly so, but such is how she was written, and even as she clings to free will, old habits remain. Woof gets the best lines and the best expressions, though sometimes his more direct method of dealing with problems isn't the best. Meanwhile, Grimm is established as a truly formidable opponent; if he sees how his tight grip on Fablewood is squeezing the life from the stories, he doesn't care, so long as order is maintained. It has touches of whimsy, but with a dark and devious subtext, enhanced by the artwork. I expect I'll read onward for at least another issue or two, to see where Jenkins is going with this intriguing setup.

You might also enjoy:
The Dragon King and I (Adrianne Brooks, Fiction - In modern Atlanta, a cursed woman seeks help from her fairy godmother and a handsome stranger)
The Sisters Grimm series (Micheal Buckley, YA Fiction - Two orphaned girls discover that fairy tales were based on true events)
Storybound (Marissa Burt, YA Fiction - A girl falls into the world of Story)
The Inkheart trilogy (Cornelia Funke, YA Fiction - A girl's bookbinder father can read people out of storybooks... and possibly read people into them)
The Tales of Jig Dragonslayer (Jim C. Hines, Fiction - A craven but clever goblin, captured and forced to guide a group of bickering adventurers, learns that heroism is highly overrated)
Librarian: Little Boy Lost (Eric Hobbs, YA Fiction - A bookish boy discovers secrets and dangers in a mysterious library)
The Book of Story Beginnings (Kristin Kladstrup, YA Fiction - Writing stories in a special journal makes them come to life, for good or ill)
Lumberjanes (Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, YA Comic - Five girls discover some weird, magical goings-on at their summer camp)
The Princess and the Firedrake (Jim Stinson, YA Fiction - Cursed by being too clever, a banished princess must save her kingdom from an angry dragon)
Blood for Wolves (Nicole Taft, Fiction - A biologist dedicated to protecting wolves finds herself in a world where wolves are cursed)
Princeless (Jeremy Whitley, YA Comic - In a fairy tale world, Princess Adrienne refuses to sit around waiting to be rescued and married off)
The Birthright series (Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan, YA Graphic Novel - A young boy disappears, only to return a year later having grown up in a fantasy world, corrupted by the forces he was supposed to destroy)
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia Wrede, YA Fiction - A princess in a fairy-tale land escapes her prim and proper world by running away to live among dragons)
Alice in Wonderland (2010 movie DVD - A retelling of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass starts with a nearly-grown Alice returning to a Wonderland gone wrong)

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