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Monday 4 March 2013

The Grimm Chronicles Blog Tour: Review + Interview

Author: Isabelle Fontaine & Ken Brosky
Publisher: Createspace
Page Count: 386 pages, Paperback
Date Published: August 3rd 2012
Find it on Goodreads: The Grimm Chronicles
Source: Sent for Review

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms’ stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.

For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series: Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

I have always been in love with fairy tales. When I was little, I cherished the nights when my mum or dad would pull out my big fairy tale storybook and read me The Twelve Dancing Princesses or Rumpelstiltskin and I adored anything Disney, of course. Then when I grew a little older I started exploring the original tales and for an eight year old who loved The Little Mermaid, it was a bit traumatizing, learning what happens in Hans Christian Andersen's original story. But nevertheless, I still love fairy tales, whether they be the dark and intense stories that Hans Christian Andersen or the Grimm Brothers wrote, or the happily-ever-after type stories from Disney and in my storybooks. Therefore, when I was contacted to review The Grimm Chronicles, I was SO excited.

Alice was a strong and intelligent protagonist whom I grew to really enjoy. She was refreshing and I adored the fact that she volunteered at a library because of her love for books. She was a normal high-school girl who gets sucked into an adventure where she needs to hunt down the 'corrupted' characters of the original Grimm's fairy tales. Her amazing sidekick, Briar Rabbit, was a delight to read. He was funny and spunky and written very well. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a different take on fairy tale re-tellings and I really appreciated the fact that it was intense and there was quite a bit of action. I thought Alice was a fantastic protagonist and Briar was a great companion who added a nice sense of comic relief to the book. I also loved the fact that the authors included the Grimm Brother's stories in the back for the readers to be able to read the stories that inspired their book! Such a good idea! I can't wait to see what comes next in this exciting series!

Can you describe your book in three words?
Smart. Funny. Exciting 
Is there any important message you'd like your readers to take out of your book?
Yes! I feel like a broken record that this point, but I don't think I can stress it enough: too much American media (games, music, movies, TV) focus on violence as a solution to problems. In The Grimm Chronicles, our hero--Alice--has to approach her real-world problems using non-violent methods. That means conflicts that pop up with family, friends and school all require solutions grounded in a principle of "do no harm." American media are obsessed with these ridiculous stories with catchphrases like "Sometimes, you have to break the law to win!" and "There's nothing sweeter than revenge" and so on and so forth, with an extra helping of melodramatic music to go along with it

This is a Young Adult series. That last thing Alice should be doing is using violence against another human being to resolve her conflicts. Now, that doesn't mean she won't kick some butt when she's fighting monsters ... but even in those instances, she uses her brain as well as her fists. Knowledge is power, and the more she knows, the more successful she'll be in fighting those monsters. But when she has to deal with another human being? Well, you'd better believe she's not going to use violence to get what she wants.

There's more. We're trying to create a positive role model for Young Adults. One who doesn't have to rely on cheating or tricking or hurting other people in order to succeed in the real world. Yes, dealing with monsters is different. Bottom line: Alice is a hero, not a superhero.
Who was the most difficult character to write?
Probably Br'er Rabbit. Because he's a rabbit. What do giant talking rabbits like to eat? Lettuce? No way! Lettuce is mostly water. It's a leaf. It may be well and good for a little pet bunny you get from the pet shop, but Br'er Rabbit is five feet tall. He's got a big belly. He needs something a little more filling. And since he's a folk hero come to life, he probably doesn't have to worry about calories too much. So cookies are definitely on the menu.

Now, what is he afraid of? That was an easier question to answer. All I had to do was look to my dogs for inspiration. What are they afraid of? Knocks on the door. Cardboard boxes. Vacuum cleaners. Even though Br'er Rabbit isn't your normal little bunny rabbit, he's still an animal. And all animals fear the vacuum.

Is there a character in your book that reminds you of yourself?
Oh, I put a little of myself in every character. When I was in high school, I used to get a little bowl of French fries for lunch. I'd slather them with ketchup, just like Seth does in the books.

Who are your author-inspirations?
Right now, I'm most inspired by the authors who are doing experimental stuff, like David Mitchell and Mark Z. Danielewski.

What were your three favourite books when you were young?
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson, and ... I forget the last one. You know, it had that guy in it who did those cool things. And stuff.

Where's your favourite place to read and write?
I like taking the laptop all over the place. That way, I can put down a few pages here and there. I work better when I'm not too focused.

Favourite colour?

What do you like to get from the coffee shop?
Iced chai.

 Name three songs on your playlist that everyone should listen to, in your opinion.
"Oblivion" by Mastodon, "The End" by Dust for Life, and "Musical Chairs" by Fair to Midland.

TV or movies?
A couple TV shows, and that's about it. Restaurant: Impossible and Game of Thrones, especially.
Coffee or tea?
I'll drink a good cup of decaf. But it has to be good. No acidic aftertaste. It should be bold, but not have a smoky aftertaste. It should have just a hint of cocoa or earth flavors. When you add cream, it should swirl around a bit, not instantly turn the coffee brown. It should smell good. It should pair well with chocolate-chip biscotti. 

1 comment:

  1. This does sound interesting and I hadn't heard of it before. I read a lot of The Brothers Grimm stories in college for a children's lit class I took and I had no idea at the time how... different these fairy tales originally were. And like the author said, I like how Alice is acting in a cool way that is non-violent in this one. Thanks for sharing! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books


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