Day 86: The Grimm Diaries, Volume 11-14 by Cameron Jace
Summary From Goodreads:
10.5) Happy Valentine’s Slay by Wee Willy Winkie The real Sandman Grimm sheds a light on what happened in Jawigi, and tells about how some of the teens in Sorrow spend their Valentine’s Day.
11) Children of Hamlin by the Devil The Devil tells the story of the Piper of Hamlin, who he really is, the historical events he witnessed, and his relationship to Ladle Rat. Most of all, why they call him the Black Death.
12) Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale by Jack Madly Jack Madly stole a sack full of baby teeth from Bluebeard’s enchanted castle, which reminds him of when he first met the Tooth Fairy when he was a child; a memory he wishes to forget.
13) Ember in the Wind by the Little Match Girl All the Little Match Girl wants is to sell her matches so she uses the money to eat and find shelter from the cold. But no one in the cruel city of crowded London helps her. Eventually, she learns something about who she really is, and it changes her life forever.
14) Jar of Hearts by the Queen of Sorrow The Queen of Sorrow, still trapped in the Dreamworld summons Cassandra, the fortuneteller, to ask her about the identities of Lost Seven. The problem with Cassandra is that she’s cursed that her predictions will never be believed. The Queen is still determined to believe her, but it will cost more than she can bargain for.
That’s right, another Cameron Jace post, the second in a special back-to-back of Grimm Diaries prequel reviews! When I found out the final prequels were released a bit earlier than I thought I couldn’t resist reading them right away. I have loved all of the other prequels and since The Queen of Sorrow AND Ladle were mentioned as being a part of this group I was psyched to dive in. Since the summary from Goodreads already has a short summary of each prequel that is included I will skip that part of my usual reviews and do my standard list post (standard at least for multiple pieces in one review). In the interest of not confusing you I’ll do the list in the order they are read rather than my inverse order of favorites, without further ado my review of Volumes 11-14! (10.5 not included, review of that here)
Prequel 11 – Children of Hamlin: I loved the Devil as the narrator. He was hilarious and I’m so glad Jace made the change from Ladle’s mom to him, great move. I found certain children just as grating on the nerves as the Devil did, which is saying something given how much he gets annoyed by them, and that speaks to how great Jace is at making the characters really “pop” in his stories. As for the characters in the story the Devil told, (story within a story, we’ve got some Inception type stuff going on here) I really felt bad for the Piper. It wasn’t his fault he turned out the way he did, and as much as I love Ladle it is hard to argue with siding with Piper given the circumstances, stupid Hamlin adults. The story is rich, the parallels to history are funny but compelling and it moves along at just the right pace. Really enjoyed this one.
Prequel 12 – Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale: This was a rather crazy tale. Demon worms in your teeth, a combination of Jack (think beanstalk), Hansel & Gretel (who is just lovely by the way) and Wendy (yes THAT Wendy) for characters and a goofy villainous duo of Yakkity Tak and Sweeny Todd made for quite the story. We find out more about how powerful Gretel is and what allowed her to finally test her powers out for the first time, why Wendy turns out to be the character she becomes (sorry but I don’t want to spoil it!) and the perils of magic not fully thought through. There is a lot of build up and fleshing out of characters before the story really takes off but I think that it will be worth it when the full-length novels come out, and besides, they were quite enjoyable to learn about anyhow! Also, not that it will work out (due to his refusal to marry for reasons he hasn’t shared…yet) but I think Jack has a thing for Gretel, not that I blame him. Very entertaining.
Prequel 13 – Ember in the Wind: This was one story where I was unfamiliar with the original tale it was based off of, The Little Match Girl. I thought it started off a bit haphazardly but it paid off with yet another stunning reveal as to who she becomes and what it could mean for that tale in the full-length novels (you’ll have to read the prequel to see which one I mean). I don’t know if Jace’s intent with these prequels is to constantly feel bad for the characters within and wish to help them even though we are powerless to do so, but if so well done. Reading about the suffering the girl endures will break your heart and curse those who would leave someone so sweet and innocent to such a fate. She is pure and though she inherits a gift that could change that quality in her I hope it does not. Very moving.
Prequel 14 – Jar of Hearts: Another look into the Queen of Sorrow gives us a bit more understanding as to why she is hunting the Lost Seven as well as how she has gained much of the information that was previously hidden from her. Jace brings Greek mythology into the mix with the character Cassandra, as he did at the end of the prequel I recommend you read her story, it is quite interesting indeed. Though I understand the reasoning behind the conversation between the Queen and Cassandra going over so many details I think it made the story drag a bit especially since the reader could have inferred much, if not all, of the information exchanged between the two in previous prequels. It was somewhat of a default recap even if it wasn’t intended as such. I get the purpose behind Jar of Hearts but it was the only one in this group that I didn’t enjoy that much.
Prequel 15 – Welcome to Sorrow (Bonus Prequel): This is a short geography lesson delivered by a hunchback. Honestly there really isn’t much more to say that the previous sentence doesn’t convey, but it is pretty funny.
Overall this was a very strong set of the prequels. It is not the last of the prequels overall, but it will be the last released before the first full-length novel Snow White Sorrow comes out. I highly recommend you get all of them so you can do a fun little marathon session, it won’t take you long to read them all I promise, though you won’t even notice time going by while you are diving deeper into Sorrow. It’s quite the series of adventures! Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 87!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #86/365