Review: The Black Towers (The Grimm Chronicles, Volume 10) by Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky

the black towersReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Alice Goodenough is not pleased, not when her loved one has been claimed by Death once again. With only her tears to comfort her waking nights, she mourns a world without a hero, and she is plunged into a world of despair for she realises no one she loves is safe from the evil that walks the earth, not her friends, her lover or her family.

Review: The story starts with Alice and the gold child, a young boy who begs to be taken away from the darkness that comes for him on a busy street. The smoke that comes for him is all consuming, but at least there is a recap of prior events in the previous novels that stops us feeling confused.

You can really feel how unhappy and frustrated everyone is at Seth’s demise. As he is not around anymore, it makes every moment worse than the last. He was a key character and the one true hero they could all rely on when all else felt it would be lost. It is Alice who bears the pain most though, and this could either make her want to fight against the coming evil, or surrender to it depending on how much pain and sorrow she feels.

Good bits:

  • There’s a recap of the previous events in the novels, which is a good idea.
  • Lots of characters to enjoy!
  • It’s a novel instead of being several stories in a compilation.
  • You can feel the pain of the characters.
  • The references to Twilight and Lemony Snicket and various other pop culture references. Hilarious!

Bad bits:

  • It starts slower than the previous novel, but other than that – it’s a good read.

Final Thoughts: For those who have read the previous novel, they won’t be able to wait until the next one after reading this one. It is a sad one at the beginning with the death of Seth as it has a detrimental effect on everyone who knew him. I found it almost comical that he had been tested by Chase and passed. I couldn’t blame Chase for what he did, he wasn’t sure about him at the start of their friendship, and as Seth knew of Alice’s double life, he thought he might eventually betray her. Lucky for her and the others it didn’t happen, but Seth did die, which was a shame as he was a decent character. It’s not easy getting rid of a main character, but it does create some great turmoil as a result. The real question to ask Alice is whether his death will cause her to fall into a deep despair so bad she won’t be able to defeat the evil if it comes back, or whether she will get her revenge on it.

After this novel, I’m looking forward to the next.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Black Towers (The Grimm Chronicles)

Review: Happily Never After (The Grimm Chronicles, Volume 2) by Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

Happily Never AfterReview by Sandra Scholes

Volume 1 of this series brought introduced the characters to which we have now become familiar with, Alice Goodenough, Prince Charming, Hans and Br’er Rabbit. The general plot here is that 200 years ago the Brothers Grimm brought their fairy tales into reality, causing so many problems and mysteries for the characters in the modern day. Alice has to go to school, not one of the best places for her, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Br’er Rabbit is still looking for his own clues as to where the next Corrupted are.

None of the characters act anything like they should, Alice is a keen fencer, and keeps her eyes focussed on dealing with a rather nasty bully which keeps terrorizing the classroom. Prince Charming isn’t anything as charming as he should be, and well, the other characters. You might as well just read the book!

Alice is an intelligent girl, and much older than the original Alice from the story, she is self confident, smart and knows what she wants in life even if she has to get rid of the horrible Corrupted who are running around their world. Her general attitude makes her a great character to read about. She gets constant nightmares where she sees the Corrupted, twisted characters from fairy tales she used to read as a child, which are now real and destructive. She along with Br’er Rabbit has to track down and kill every last one of them. These two as well as the other characters in here are well written and as real as they can get, it is almost as though they have based them on real people.

This edition includes:

  • The Orphanage of Doom (book 4)
  • Blood and Thunder (book 5)
  • The Order of the Golden Dragon (book 6)

 

Additional features:

  • The Lost Journal of Eugene Washington
  • A collection of original Grimms’ Fairy Tales
  • Special features.

 

Setting it in modern day lends the writers, Brosky and Fontaine a lot of leeway to making the story almost believable. It is one I would recommend to anyone who is teenage or older.

Buy: Happily Never After (The Grimm Chronicles, Book 2)