Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 351 Pages
Release: July 2006
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Fablehaven sat on my shelf for months (maybe even a year) before I finally picked it up and read it. I've heard many great things about this series and after meeting Brandon Mull at Yallfest in November 2015, I was super excited to get into them. He was such a fun guy to talk to. And so, I finally read this book.
The thing I liked most about this book was the world building. Brandon Mull is a master at that, it seems. The story follows Kendra and Seth, who are sent to stay with their grandparents for two weeks over the summer. What they don't realize is that their grandparents are the keepers of a haven for supernatural creatures and breaking the rules will have dire consequences.
And that is where the world building comes in. All of the creatures and situations in Fablehaven were brilliantly described. There was mystery surrounding a lot of aspects, and questions that had to be answered. One of the easy ways to go wrong in world building is consistency. It's so easy to get lost in the world and have inconsistencies littered throughout. Here though, that didn't happen. Every time there was a new creature introduced I was fascinated.
The characters were not brilliant, but still felt real. Kendra and Seth were both young and at times acted very silly (like any 11 and 13 year olds would). They fought like most siblings do and that part was very relatable. What I liked most about them was the fact that we weren't just following one sibling, but both. Different chapters would focus on each of them. So you go to see some of their thoughts about their situation and each other.
The writing was far from my favorite. At times I found it rather cumbersome. As the story progressed I got more used to the style and it didn't bother me so much, but it didn't read as smoothly as I would have liked. This was one of Mull's earlier books, so I'm sure his writing has improved over the years. And it wasn't bad, it just wasn't great.
Overall this was a fun read and I will definitely be picking up the rest of the series in the coming months. And that cover. I really love the cover. I noticed something new every time I looked at it.