Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review/ Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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


Mad Scientist said...

I've really seen this book around. It looks like it is a borderline book. Perhaps, something for when I need a different read. THanks for reviewing this one.

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Mad Scientist

A Canadian Girl said...

Thanks for the review. I enjoyed Beastly so I'll probably see if the library has this one when it comes out.

Aylee said...

I liked Beastly well enough so I was thinking of maybe checking out this one or A Kiss In Time. You're right: Flinn does write fun fairy-tale retellings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with fluff! Maybe I'll read A Kiss In Time first since you like it better.

Small Review said...

Hm, I enjoyed A Kiss in Time and I liked Beastly (though not as much), but I'm on the fence about this one. I think I'll try it out, but I may wait a while. Thanks for your review.

Staci said...

I loved Beastly and still have to get to Kiss in Time. I understand how too many stories can be a bit too much. I like fluff every now and again so I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to read this if I came across it at the library.

Jessica Lawlor said...

Modern fairy tale mashup? Sounds like a pretty cool read just based on that alone!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great honest review! It seems that the main problem of the book is too many fairy-tales crammed into one story. With retellings, it's best to stick to one or two. But I'm glad it was still a fun read for you and not torture.:)

Oh, I'd love to be your student! Seriously, I think your students are so happy to have you.

Melissa said...

Oh no, that's too bad that this wasn't your favourite of alex flinn's. I'll definitely still read it, but I'll keep your thoughts in mind. Love your honest review, Jan! :)

Jenny said...

Really nice review Jan, I've only read A Kiss in Time, but loved it because it was just what you said - fluff, but entertaining fluff. Too bad this one falls a little short, maybe it's because too many stories were combined into one?

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