Think you know paranormal romance? Alex Flinn gives the genre a twist in this modern fairy-tale mash-up!
Johnny’s not your average hero. But a little magic changes everything. There isn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. It all starts with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess. And before Johnny knows it, he is on a mission in the Everglades, with only a flock of swans and a talking fox named Joe to help guide him against the forces of an evil witch. (Publisher's summary from Goodreads)
I am a big fan of Alex Flinn’s fairy-tale retellings. So much so that I am now using both Beastly and A Kiss in Time in my classroom to not only teach compare/contrast writing, but creative writing as well. So naturally, I was quite excited to get an ARC copy of Cloaked recently when I attended a conference in Orlando. While I did enjoy Cloaked, I have to admit that I was not as taken with the story as much as I was Flinn’s first two.
As the summary mentions Johnny the protagonist in Cloaked is a reluctant hero. Ever since his dad disappeared he has been working hard to help his mother keep the family’s shoe repair business going. He also hopes someday to design his own shoes. Johnny is a likable character who is very responsible and hardworking. His devotion to his mother is quite endearing. So when a Princess appear at the hotel where his shoe repair business is located, and she offers to pay him to locate her brother, who has been turned into a rat, he reluctantly agrees despite his skepticism. From here the story has some hilarious and unusual consequences that end up changing Johnny’s life completely.
As I mentioned I did enjoy Cloaked, but I found the combination of several different fairy-tales a little much. "The Elves and the Shoemaker", "The Frog Prince", "The Princess and the Frog", "The Six Swans", "The Golden Bird", "The Firebird", "The Brave Little Tailor", "The Salad", and "The Fisherman and His Wife" were all woven into Cloaked. I do; however, admire Flinn’s ability to interconnect each of these fairy-tales into one complete story with modern settings and conflicts. While Cloaked from a reading stand point is mostly fluff, it is still a fun and entertaining read that once again highlights Flinn’s wonderful imagination and her love of fairy-tales, and to be honest there is nothing wrong with a little fluff now and again!
Source: received ARC copy from publisher