The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy
Polly Shulman
Putnam, 2010

This is one that caught my eye several months ago, but I didn't get a chance to read until I snagged it from the New Books shelf at the high school. The blurb made me think it was going to be an adventure along the lines of The Librarian or Indiana Jones, but with only stuff from Grimm fairy tales. And that was a part of the story, but not all of it. Shulman actually seemed to focus more on the characters and their development throughout the story than on really fleshing out the 'magical' Grimm items. While that probably makes it a better story, I'd still have liked a little more detail -- I mean, come on! It's a library that has stuff. Really, really cool stuff. Like Seven-League Boots and Snow White's Stepmother's mirror and anything you could think of from one of Grimm's fairy tales. (Not to mention all kinds of other things, from history or literature). Call me a geek, but that would be the coolest library job EVER. (And yes, I am a leetle envious of Flynn Carson in The Librarian).

Now that you've got a glimpse of what caught my attention about this book, let me say it is definitely a fun read, even if it's not quite as "geeked out" as I might prefer. The characters are realistic - hanging out in a high school this year has helped me recognize better when high schoolers are portrayed realistically or not in the YA fiction I read. I could definitely see these kids showing up in a high school. Their adventures are a little surreal, but they're supposed to be - and, there's this nifty little thing called 'the willing suspension of disbelief': if you're going to read fiction (and enjoy what you read), you need to be friends with this idea. I would never expect this to happen in real life, but at the same time, The Grimm Legacy reads as if it might actually happen - if, you know, it could happen. The challenges are real, the motives ring true - people aren't perfect, and even the 'good guys' have an oops-moment or two. It's a fun read, a fast read though. I felt like I flew through the book. I'll be interested in seeing if Shulman returns to this idea and writes any more novels about the Repository ... There's so much stuff there to write about!

Book provided by my local library.

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