By Polly Shulman, published by Oxford University Press.
Elizabeth Rew lives a pretty ordinary life in Manhattan until one day, her mysterious teacher Mr Mauskopf, recommends her a job in his old workplace. Mr Mauskopf used to work in the New York Depository- a weird and wonderful library. Except instead of books on the shelves, it’s priceless, countless, antique objects. From Mary Antoinette’s wig to rare china tea sets… you name it, the depository has it!
When Elizabeth’s new work friends at her new job start acting strangely whenever she mentions a certain collection- the Grimm Collection, which is much lesser talked about than any other. Elizabeth realises that there must be something special hidden there… and when she walks into the collection room for the first time, she discovers that the items in the Grimm collection are from the Grimm Fairy Tales, and they are magic! Soon, Elizabeth finds herself catapulted into a unique adventure, along with her new friends. Can she, Anjali, Marc and Aaron uncover the mysterious evil source that is stealing some of the magical Grimm items, in a complex conspiracy involving massive mythical creatures, thieves and strange disappearances?
I enjoyed The Grimm Legacy so much! The author has put a really genius modern twist on the most well known, most loved fairy tales, and I loved reading it. The plot was complex and layered-but not difficult to grasp at all- and kept me guessing about the ending all the way through. It was well structured, and the excitement and suspense was consistent throughout, which kept me reading. Also, the plot was very unpredictable; with some brilliant twists thrown in. For example, I really wasn’t expecting teenage love to complicate and spin the story around! That was very unexpected, and clever.
I loved the narration- it’s been a while since I’ve read such a greatly told, first-person story. The main protagonist, Elizabeth, had a strong voice which really involved me with the story. I really connected with her, and I’m sure other readers will too- she’s witty, fun, and experiences not only fantastical events but everyday, relate-able ones too. Like, when she was always ignored at home, and made fun of because of her big feet. Every other character was really satisfactory too. Every single one had well developed backgrounds and personalities, and were all very three-dimensional. I especially liked Anjali, Marc and Aaron- the supporting characters. They were funny at points, adventurous in others, and all round realistic teenagers.
In all, The Grimm Legacy is a seriously brilliant read. It has a layered, fun plot with fantastical themes- great for any fairy tale lover. With great characters, effective structure and a satisfying ending… what’s not to love?
*Also- look out for book two- out June 13th! It’s called The Wells Bequest, and based on a science-fictional (H.G. Wells based) collection in the depository with different, all new characters! (Sniff, no Elizabeth :(. Oh well.)*