Book Review: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Is there a better antidote to a lonely teen existence than a dose of fairy-tale magic? Elizabeth has yet to make friends at her new Manhattan private school, and she feels equally alone at home with her remote father and taskmaster stepmother. Then Elizabeth’s teacher recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, and as Elizabeth befriends the other pages, she begins to learn that fairy tales aren’t just fantasy and that many of the special collections’ artifacts belong to her favorite childhood stories, including the magic mirror from Snow White. Just as Elizabeth learns about the repository’s impossible wonders, some of the most powerful objects, and then some of the pages, disappear, and she finds herself leading the dangerous rescue. Captivating magic fills the pages of this exciting new novel from the author of Enthusiasm (2006). The story occasionally loses momentum, but action fans will find plenty of heart-pounding, fantastical escapades as the novel builds to its satisfying, romantic conclusion. ~ from Booklist.
I have a great fondness for modern-day fairy tales or any book that melds the two together. I picked up The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman when searching the shelves of the YA section at my local library for another book and was pleasantly surprised to find an original story that kept me interested until the very end. Who knew that the artifacts from our favorite fairy tales would be kept in the basement of a New York repository? Including the seven-league books, a mermaid’s comb, and the sinister mirror from Snow White! But when fakes are beginning to turn up in the place of the real artifacts, it seems the fairy tale is turning a little dark.
I genuinely liked the main characters and enjoyed the fact that the heroine ends up with the boy, just not the boy she thought she wanted. The big, giant love-story in the book is between two secondary characters and sort of sneaks up on the reader. The villain of the story doesn’t really show up until the latter half of the book and only has a passing scene in the first half. This means that the villain is genuinely a surprise but it also means that the reader may have trouble fitting the character into the scheme of things. He sort of comes out of nowhere and it’s hard to fit a new character, especially a character as big as the villain, into the book’s cast so late in the game.
The Grimm Legacy is a good book with an original idea that I am happy to recommend to any reader looking for a little magic in their everyday lives.