A new book by Seanan McGuire (or Mira Grant, depending on the genre) is something I always look forward to since I discovered this prolific and imaginative author, and this one was no exception. It was originally published as a serial on Kindle, then released as a single book – much better from my point of view, because I don’t take well to waiting between installments.
The original concept is intriguing: what we know as fairy tales are just different aspects of reality that keep trying to intrude in our primary world, more often than not wreaking some kind of havoc, and a secret government agency works to keep the balance. What’s interesting is that most of these agents are fairy tale material themselves, somewhat “frozen” before their narrative can develop its dangerous potential.
As I’ve come to expect from McGuire’s books, the story (or rather, stories) develops on the fine line between drama and humor – the latter often tinged with dark overtones. Unfortunately the serialized aspect of this work seems to prevent a deeper insight into what makes the main characters tick, and they look a little less defined than what I’ve come to expect after enjoying her October Daye or Incryptid series.
The book is however a quick and entertaining read, and the character of Sloane – the archetype for the Wicked Stepsister – became soon my favorite, since I can’t resist a nasty-tempered, often foul-mouthed kick-ass heroine. My only regret is that McGuire has declared there will be no further issues – at least for now – in this series, and this is a pity because I know that her world-building gets better over time and “practice”, and here I’ve seen a huge potential that needs to be tapped and explored more fully.
Hopefully the future will bring some better news…
My rating: 6.5/10