Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Fablehaven Rise of the Evening Star, Brandon Mull
Kendra and Seth have been home from their first visit to Fablehaven for awhile now and are nearing the end of the school year. Kendra has increased confidence from her experience and Seth has new perspective. Sort of. He's still pretty young. Anyhow, a threat enters their lives and Grandpa and Grandma Sorenson request the help of the kids in helping "care for the grounds" since Grandpa fell off the roof and can't do as much. Well, truth it, the Society of the Evening Star is after the Relic hidden on Fabelhaven's grounds.
Kendra finds she has more powers bestowed upon her by the Fairies after they kissed her that help her with things. Seth is still fairly reckless, but DOES show a little more caution.
In order to remove the relic and give it a new home, new characters are introduced. Coulter, an older man who has been friends with the Sorenson's forever, Tanu a large friendly Samoan man whose talent is in obtaining and mixing powerful potions, and Vanessa a beautiful, stealthy woman who has a penchant for breeding her own magical creatures and harnessing magical powers from them when possible. But someone is a double agent. Kendra and Seth are left to fend for themselves and save Fablehaven once again.
Once again, Seth is reckless-but this time he also uses reason and deduction and knowledge from previously learning closely. Kendra also shows extra courage she didn't know she had.
This book also discusses feminism in a small degree, as Coulter simply refuses to allow Kendra to come on a mission because she is a girl. But his reasonings are out of respect-he doesn't feel like women should be subjected to certain things, and that way of thinking is admirable. Although Kendra (who admits she wouldn't want to go if given the choice) just wants to HAVE the choice. This could bring up a lot of good conversations, about how some things are gender discrimination and how some things are genuine respect and how to tell the difference-whether or not you agree with it. Coulter wasn't doing it JUST because of her gender, he TRULY wanted to protect her from things he felt wouldn't be good for her to see because of the nature of the female character. Like it or not, some things ARE genuinely wired differently in males and females.
It also brings up the issue of how you can know if you can trust someone or not. Sometimes the people you SHOULDN'T trust are the ones who give you the most reasons that you SHOULD trust them. But Kendra and Seth are young and haven't learned yet. Heck, I'm in my 30s and I'm STILL trying to learn who I can trust or not-and when I find I CAN trust someone, I have to figure out to what DEGREE are they trustworthy.
All in all, I was a little less annoyed with Seth. I didn't see some of the twists coming at all, and I enjoyed it. The book leaves with a HUGE cliffhanger ending making you question just about everything you THINK you know about this world. So while it's taking a bit more time to suck me in than other series, it's definitely reeling me in now!