Summary: At the end of the school year Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists--a potion master, a collector of magical relics, and a trapper of mystical creatures--to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear? (Image from Powells.com and summary from back of the book.)
My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Maybe because I already knew the characters; I was able to jump right into the story. This book felt like getting on a roller coaster that is completely enclosed, not giving you a chance to see all the loops and falls in advance. You really aren't sure exactly where the book is taking you, but it's exhilarating all the same.I enjoyed suspending belief for the couple hours it took to read. This story takes off quickly from where the last book left off. You're thrown into returning to Fablehaven under pretense that everyone is in danger.
Some of the themes explored are fear, betrayal, and trust. Right from the start the author baits the reader to trust characters and then switches on you. I felt it was great to show how the most dangerous people often try to gain trust under false pretense and then hurt you. It was explored many times in the story and each time you feel bamboozled. It was interesting to see how even as an observer you get trapped into trusting again only to be betrayed.
The pace was fast and action packed. I can only imagine kids will love the storyline and all the adventure. I loved the exploration of gravity defying vortexes and the traps and puzzles leading to the artifact key.
The only part that felt rushed was the ending. It felt like the last 30 pages were rushed to finish the already 400 page book. Otherwise, it was well written and thoroughly explored. I also liked the point that evil is patient and you can never be too cautious of when it will sneak in.
I'm excited to read the next in the series.
Rating: 4.5 stars--so close to being a book I adore, but not quite.
Sum it up in a phrase: An adventure into a mytical world, exploring ideas of fear and betrayal.