Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB by Adam Shaughnessy


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The debut title in a new series featuring unseen realms, Norse mythology, and a pair of most unlikely heroes.
“What is the Unbelievable FIB?”

That's the question eleven-year-old Prudence Potts discovers on a baffling card no one else in Middleton--except ABE, a new kid with a knack for solving riddles--seems to see. Then a mysterious man asks for ABE and Pru's help investigating mythical beings infiltrating the town, and that's just one of the things Pru finds hard to believe.
Soon Pru and ABE discover another world beneath the surface of their quiet town, where Viking gods lurk just out of sight. They must race to secure the Eye of Odin, source of all knowledge--and the key to stopping a war that could destroy both human and immortal realms.
Author Adam Shaughnessy draws from classic lore to create a new world where uncertainty opens the door to magic and the last thing you should do is believe your own eyes. Fans of Rick Riordan and Diana Wynne Jones will delight in the charming characters, abundant puzzles and plot twists, and sly humor of this first novel in a new series.

MY TAKE:
I was intrigued by the premise of the book, plus the part in the summary that mentions that fans of Rick Riordan and Diana Wynne Jones will like the book.

In The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB, Pru is a budding detective who stumbles upon a mystery in her town. Together with her new friend ABE, they must find out exactly what is going on, what it has to do with the Eye of Odin, and save their town and the world.

While there are elements here and there of Rick Riordan's and Diana Wynne Jones' works, it had other stuff added in as well. The intro had me thinking of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The book then was something like Harry Potter + Norse and Russian mythology + Howl's Moving Castle + Once Upon a Time.

I thought the reason for the mysterious card and the presence of the strange man was pretty cool. It certainly creates opportunities for future books that make use of characters from different mythologies, not just the Norse one.

The plot twist concerning who the real villain was, as well as his alter ago, was brilliant as well. It's tricky enough to keep you guessing for awhile, but then you realize that the clues had been there all along.

I liked ABE a lot. He seems like a sweet kid. I wasn't really a fan of Pru, though. She is still a child, and it very much shows in her occasional lack of self-control. I think if this is a series, then Pru will become more likable as the series progresses and she matures.

Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It has a whimsical tone.
  2. It uses characters from mythology cleverly.
  3. This book has plenty of potential as a series.

THE BAD:

  1. Pru can be annoying sometimes. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You like books with characters taken from mythology.
  2. You like mysteries.
  3. You like books about magic. 

RATING:
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