Of Giants and Ice: The Ever Afters, Book 1
Derivative but fun fairy-tale adventure.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Of Giants and Ice isn't an especially gentle fantasy. Characters face real peril -- even risk death -- while carrying out missions and quests based on familiar fairy tales. Rory hides the truth about Ever After School from her family members because she doesn't want them to pull her from the program. She and her friends have difficult family backgrounds marked by divorce, poverty, and absent parents. They also engage in violent battles with magical creatures that lead to stabbings, beheadings, and the like. Teen characters use a few coarse words, including "suck," 'jerk," "crap," and "piss."
What's the story?
Eleven-year-old Rory Landon moves frequently, but everywhere she's known for being the daughter of her famous parents. Then she's invited to Ever After School, an afternoon program like no other: Her first day, she finds herself battling a dragon in Yellowstone National Park. At EAS, children train to be Characters in dangerous Tales that could begin at any time. Rory's surprised to find she's famous at EAS: It's rumored that she has a special Destiny. But her immediate concern is to stay alive and help friends Lena and Chase on a beanstalk quest. But this Tale is like no other, and the three kids get drawn into a larger drama: The imprisoned Snow Queen is plotting escape and a new, epic war.
Is it any good?
OF GIANTS AND ICE, the first in the Ever Afters series, is a fun read for elementary-school-age fantasy fans. It owes a considerable debt to Harry Potter and others in the magical school genre: an uncertain hero saddled with high expectations, loyal friends who rise above their bickering, wise teachers with questionable motives, a super-villain gathering up power to battle to the hero, etc. Rudimentary storytelling and a lack of imaginative richness result in a slight but enjoyable adventure.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about the trend of reimagining fairy tales for older audiences in books and films. Why do you think this is popular right now? What's the appeal?
Stories about special schools for witches, wizards, or kids with magical or super powers are also popular. What others have you read? How does this one compare?
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