THE LEGEND OF SHADOW HIGH by Shannon Hale

THE LEGEND OF SHADOW HIGH

From the "Ever After High" series
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The World of Stories is in danger, and it’s up to the offspring of famous fairy-tale characters and monsters to team up to save the day.

Fairy-tale characters don’t believe in monsters, and monsters don’t believe in fairy tales. Each group lives in its own carefully isolated island-world within the World of Stories. Then Frankie Stein and Draculaura accidentally transport themselves from Monster High to Ever After High, where they meet Apple White (Snow’s daughter) and her friend Raven Queen, the Evil Queen’s daughter (Apple and Raven's familial connection is unremarked upon). After mutual exclamations that these mythological figures really exist, the four girls band together to stop Raven’s power-hungry mother, recently escaped from mirror prison, from freeing Shadow High from the annals of legend. If they fail, the lands that make up the World of Stories will come crashing together, unmaking the entire World and destroying everyone in it. Third-person, present-tense narration with asides in the form of footnotes makes the novice Narrator, Brooke Page, a character who breaks the fourth wall. Self-awareness abounds; puns, literal interpretations of figurative sayings, and the series’ trademark portmanteaus (“fangtastic,” “spelltacular”) fill the pages and may strike many as precious rather than cute. Moreover, overuse of the same jokes grows tiring (how many jokes can be made of the famous “Pease Porridge” rhyme?—five, apparently).

This entry in the Monster High/Ever After High franchise may please fans, but it’s unlikely to win new ones. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-316-35282-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2017




Kirkus Interview
Dean Hale and Shannon Hale
November 25, 2014

In Shannon and Dean Hale’s new book The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Our reviewer writes that The Princess in Black has “action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?” The Princess in Black made it onto our Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 list, which is one reason we’re delighted to talk to the Hales this week on Kirkus TV. View video >

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