I just finished The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly.
The book is about a boy named David who lives in London during the time of World War II. After the death of his mother, David's father remarries Rose and has a child, Georgie. David misses his mom and has a hard time adjusting to this new life. Meanwhile, the books start to whisper to him and he is lured to another world, the world of fairy tales (kinda) when he falls into a crack in the garden of his new house.
In this new fairy tale world, he finds that all is not well. He meet many new people, some good and some not so good. He is also introduced to the crooked man, a truly evil person, in this new world. The fairy tales stories in this world are a little different than the ones that you are familiar with. The rest of the story is essentially David trying to find his way back home to London.
I thought the book was well written. The voice of the narrator was very much like the voice of Grimm's fairy tales. The story seems to be told in a 'far off' manner.
The pacing was good once you got to the fairy tale world. The first part, when David is in London, seemed to drag.
The retellings of the fairy tales were very interesting. I actually liked the twists.
The character in this story are very memorable and some were truly frightening as fairy tale monsters should be. Leroi, who is half man, half wolf is pretty frightening and a memorable character and so was the crooked man, the trickster.
I'm not quite sure who John Connolly wrote this for. It is essentially a fairy tale but this fairy tale is NOT for kids. It is violent and often a little disturbing. The book reminds me of the movie Pan's Labyrinth; it has the same flavor. I don't know if adults would really want to read this either because it is essentially a fairy tale. My guess is that most adults wouldn't really have a taste for it.
I thought the entire part about snow white and the 7 dwarves was a little out of place. There is a seriousness throughout the entire book except for this one part. It made the flavor of the book a little uneven.
I have no other conspicuous weaknesses that I can think of.
I liked the book once it got to the fairy tale world. The book had memorable characters, some brave and some disturbingly frightening. It is essentially a suspense/horror in the context of fairy tales. I thought it was well written. I would recommend this book keeping in mind that it is a little disturbing. Think, Stephen King meets Grimm's fairy tales. Well, I guess just Grimm's fairy tales in itself is pretty disturbing. Good times.
Drop a like or a comment if you read this. It blesses me. :)