I don’t think I will ever fall out of love with middle-grade books. There is something so special about the friendship, the simplicity of good vs evil and the most exciting adventures and quests.
Ever since I read «Nyxia» by Scott Reintgen two years ago, I fell in love with his engaging writing style, the intricate worlds that he creates and also his characters. I’ve mentioned before how much I love Scott Reintgen’s competitions and now, after reading «Saving Fable», I can also say how much I love his adventures.
Indira has been a character-in-waiting her entire life. So she can’t believe her luck when she’s finally chosen to travel to Fable and study at the renowned Protagonist Preparatory, a school known for producing the best heroes.
But Indira’s dreams of achieving hero status don’t exactly go as planned. A failed audition lands her in the school’s side-character track, and her best efforts to prove advisors–famous characters like Alice from Wonderland and Professor Darcy–wrong are constantly sabotaged. Indira is starting to feel like an evil antagonist might be to blame.
As the danger spreads, Indira discovers all of Fable is under siege. With her friends Maxi and Phoenix by her side, she pieces together clues that will reveal who is behind the dark magic threatening them all.
Thank you Netgalley and Crown Books for Young Readers – Random House Children’s for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
Scott Reintgen first middle-grade novel is, as he said, the Love letter to literature and books. And I couldn’t agree more.
In «Saving Fable» we meet Indira, a character in waiting, who lives in Origin where the characters can potentially be selected by an author for one of his future novels, or sent to the Quiver if no-one ever chooses them.
Origin was a hopeful place. It was full of characters who could still be chosen, who were still waiting to be invited into Fable to be trained at Protagonist Preparatory.
Once the characters are chosen, they move on to a different place to attend Protagonist Preparatory, the school where they learn all those characters need to know to become the best protagonists or their sidekicks.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – India has been waiting in Origin for a very long time. She has seen her neighbors come and go, and the house next to hers already changed three owners during her stay in Origin. But finally, her time has arrived to move on and go to this magical school, to learn everything there is to know about how to be the best character ever.
Brave, rightful and determined, Indira instantly got my attention. She was so easy to love, to root for and to wish that everything would turn great at the end.
2 – Every single book with a magical school in it will immediately make it to my favorite list. That is probably due to my love for Hogwarts, but «Saving Fable» brought back the memories of me reading and re-reading Harry Potter, hoping to one day receive the invitation letter to Hogwarts – School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Now that I got familiar with yet another magical school – Protagonist Preparatory, I’m not sure anyone which one I’d choose to attend when given the chance.
The classes Indira attended were so much fun! Especially, the one taught by Alic, from Alice in Wonderland, where her students would fall into the classroom at completely unexpected times and had to find a way to escape her elaborate traps.
3 – This point is a little difficult to explain. I loved the paradox of reading a book about characters-in-waiting that hope to be featured in a book someday, as they don’t know that they ARE already featured in a book! . Doesn’t that sound completely crazy but also kinda amazing?! 😀
4 – The best thing about middle-grade books is friendship. I love how quickly the characters usually become friends, but also how durable their friendship is. Of course, there are still a lot of bumps on the roads and turmoils that they need to overcome, but overall they will always be there for one another!
5 – Another favourite element of middle-grade books is, of course, adventure! Growing up, I loved reading adventure books and see these young characters, sometimes not much older than me, do incredible things – setting a camp, driving an air-balloon, save their parents, friends and the whole world.
Indira and her friends had a big task in the story and it was an amazing experience to follow them as they tried to discover the villain and prevent evil to happen to Fable.
All of the above, combined with Scott Reintgen’s engaging writing style, makes for a perfect book for a younger audience. However, I don’t believe that middle-grade books are only for children. Sure, there are certain books that children would appreciate more, written in a simpler way, but I often find myself reaching for middle-grade stories just because of their simplicity when it comes to right and wrong, to the great sense of adventure and remarkable friendships that last an eternity.