book review

Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

Goodreads: Strange things are afoot at Fablehaven. Someone or something has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. Seth discovers the problem in its infancy, but as the infectious disease spreads, it becomes clear that the preserve cannot hold out for long.

In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn. The Sphinx has always given sound advice–but is he a traitor? Inside the Quiet Box, Vanessa might have information that could lead to a cure–but can she be trust?

Meanwhile, Kendra and members of the Knights of the Dawn must journey to a distant preserve and retrieve another hidden artifact. Will the Society of the Evening Star recover it first? Will the plague eclipse all light at Fablehaven? Find out in Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague.

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I read and loved Fablehaven back in high school. I think I even did a book report on it. According to Goodreads that was back in February of 2010. I read Rise of the Evening Star (book two) in 2011. Why the big break? My public library didn’t have book three, and then I got distracted with other books/things and forgot to look for the books until I was making my Christmas list last year.

I was a bit confused going into this because I didn’t remember much that had gone on previously, so I had to refresh my memory by looking at the Wiki pages for the first two books. Grip of the Shadow Plague takes place a few weeks after Rise of the Evening Star, and it does not suffer from middle book syndrome at all. There was always something interesting going on from the first page to the last page.

First Kendra goes to the Knights of the Dawn meeting, which is like a masquerade. After, she’s sent to Arizona to find an artifact. While she’s in Arizona, Seth is at Fablehaven and people are being turned into shadows and creatures are turning evil. Once they’re reunited, the kids try to break the plague with the help of their grandparents and sanctuary friends.

Kendra was very mature in this book, the sap in me hopes there’s a romance subplot in the next book between her and Gavin. I hope he isn’t a bad guy, but now that I said that watch him be one. Seth matured quite a bit bit. I still found him to be immature and annoying, but at least he’s starting to make better decisions.

The plot is creative and well developed. It’s the perfect blend of fantasy with lots of suspense. We got to see a bit of Patton Burgess, the old Fablehaven caretaker. I’d really love for there to be a spinoff series following Patton Burgess and his adventures. He’s such a fun guy!

I’m actually surprised how dark this book was considering the back says ages 8-13. Lots of characters die. I know there are some parents out there who like to know things like that before they read a book to much younger children. There’s two deaths in Arizona and several deaths in the final battle scene in the last ~80 pages. I had to reread a few times to comprehend that characters were dying, it was taken pretty casually.

My Rating: tumblr_inline_nbptlpV9ce1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptlxaJcu1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptl5RKBV1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptlpV9ce1qdokuq 

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