Rating: 4 stars
Now that she’s 18 years old, Alice Goodenough has become much more than just a legal adult—she’s also a hero. However, Alice is not the save-the-kitten-in-the-tree kind of hero, her anointment is yet another link in a 200-year-old chain of special heroes. A long line of women—and a few men—who have been specifically chosen to fight a special kind of evil.
Armed only with a special pen and her own knowledge, Alice must rid the world of these increasingly corrupted characters before they can cause more death and destruction on innocent people. Finding the corrupted may be challenging but, Alice must seek them out, or risk them finding her first.
If the television show Grimm and Once Upon A Time had a love child, it would be The Grimm Chronicles. Throughout the book Fontaine and Brosky expertly utilize the main ingredient that is missing from many young adult books of this genre: imagination.
With the help and guidance of her new companion—a giant, invisible rabbit named Briar—Alice reluctantly accepts her new role, shouldering the heavy responsibility of destroying storybook characters that have outlived their happily-ever-after and evolved into something dark and dangerous, known as “The Corrupted”.
It’s also incredibly refreshing to see a capable, strong female protagonist that isn’t cocky and arrogant, nor unbelievably skilled at everything she does. Alice Goodenough is every girl. She is a high school student working hard to get an education, perfect her fencing skills and navigate the turbulent and confusing waters known as being a teenager.
Alice isn’t overtly tough, but neither is she a pushover; and, most importantly, she uses her head. Sure she’s flying by the seat of her pants in this new, extremely strange endeavor, but she relies on common sense—yet another concept often missing from teen books.
Further, Alice doesn't just inherit special powers, her abilities are limited to her own knowledge of the characters she is tracking and of how something works in regards to use of the pen—another nice little nuance the authors put in to instill the importance of reading—and, since Alice works in a library, she has an arsenal of knowledge at her disposal.
Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland.
The first in a 12 part series, and loaded with lots of extras, The Grimm Chronicles is highly entertaining and incredibly addictive.
Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 3, 2012)