Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Wells Bequest
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
First book The Grimm Legacy was an absolute delight for me so I was thrilled to discover this companion novel! This book is loosely related featuring Jaya, the younger sister of Anjali, both of whom played important roles in the first book and of course the backdrop for both is the New York Circulating Material Repository. While the first book played with fairy tale items, this one takes a turn for the science-fiction side looking at items from HG Wells' novels as well as others.
Our new main character is Leo, son and younger brother of scientists whose own interests tend more toward the fantastical. He however is shocked when a tiny version of himself along with a beautiful girl, both on a time machine, appears in his bedroom. This sets off a journey that leads him to the aforementioned repository where he discovers that some of the creations he's read about are real (like HG Wells' time machine from the titular novel), meets the beautiful girl, and must confront a jealous rival.
Leo was a good kid. Probably my favorite thing about him is his concern over possibly messing up the future through his time travel. I loved his caution and how it was necessary to balance out his counterpart, the lovely Jaya, an experienced page whose enthusiasm takes over the adventure. She easily rushes forward ready for anything.
While both of the leads were good, the villain was pathetic-I don't really remember the villain in The Grimm Legacy but I did not find this book's villain scary at all. I found him deranged and possibly in need of some medical health. This was the biggest point of frustration for me and I found that his simplicity brought the story down to more of a middle-grade level. Additionally I found a bit of the time travel confusing although further reflection has mostly brought it into line-I did enjoy those sequences but I found it very young for my taste.
Overall: A cool companion to The Grimm Legacy; while your reading experience will be enhanced by reading both in order, I don't think it's necessary and if fairy tales aren't really your thing, you could probably skip it and dive right into this one.
A Reader of Fictions
Random Musings of a Bibliophile