April 19, 2011

Book Review: The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Sisters Grimm #1)

Title: The Fairy-Tale Dectectives
Author: Michael Buckley

From Goodreads
In book one of this bestselling series, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)—some good and some very, very bad. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it's up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day

My Review
My daughter has been bugging me for a looooong time to read this series. I set it on my desk to add to the TBR pile.  Well that day I was avoiding work, so I picked it up and started reading.  I was immediately pulled into the story, and that pull took me all the way through to the end.  What a great ride it was!

The Characters:  I liked Sabrina and Daphne.  Sabrina was a very protective older sister who didn't want anything bad to happen to her little sister.  This was so clear that I didn't find it annoying when she did certain things because I knew she was just worried Daphne would be hurt.  I liked that Sabrina was a take charge kind of girl that was willing to bend the rules a little (ok a lot) to do what she felt needed to be done.  Daphne, on the other hand, was the perfect opposite of her.  When Sabrina wanted to play it safe.  Daphne wanted to jump in with both feet!  When Sabrina tried to be rational, Daphne accepted the what was happening without question.  It completely balanced the story.  Many times I wanted to be Daphne and jump in, but sometimes I wanted to be Sabrina too and just be safe!  Being able to relate to both sisters made the story much richer because I could see it from many sides.

The Plot:  From the start I knew something was up with Grandma Relda.  It was kind of set up that the reader got things before the girls.  This can be hard to do right because sometimes the reader can be left rolling their eyes at characters that are far too clueless.  Michael Buckley walked this line well.  He clearly let the reader know their was more to the story, but at the same time kept them discovering with the girls.

What I've heard over and over about this series is the pace of plot - that it doesn't stop even right at the end.  I couldn't agree more!  There really wasn't a dull moment.  I think that's why, even though I started to read to avoid work, I couldn't put it down.  From the time the girls got off the train at the and into the old rickety car, the story spun out.  I had to know how would the girls work things out?  Could they trust who they turned to? Should they just give up?  Would they ever believe their grandmother?  What happened to their parents? How bad are giants!?!?  It was fun!  And as it twisted and turned to the final scene I was glad I had avoided work so that I could discover with Daphne and Sabrina who they really were and what they were capable of!

Oh I did have one complaint.  I wasn't a fan of Puck. He was just basically annoying to me. I hope he's a character that grows on me as the story goes along.

Final thought:  Giants and pixies and the big bad wolf oh my!!!
Best stick-with-you image: Going into the mirror
Best for readers: Who like action, twists and girls who know how to use their brains
Best for ages: 9+ (really anyone, any age, who enjoys a good story)
Similar Stories: Fablehaven Series


  1. Hmmm... I read the 2nd book in the series and didn't particularly enjoy it at all. For me it dragged and just seemed a little too elementary, even though I regularly read MG. I wonder if it would have made a difference if I'd started with Book 1? Your review, and the countless positive things I've heard from students, make me not want to give up on the series...

  2. I love this series! I most recent book (7? 8?) but haven't read it yet. I may actually reread all of them first :)
    Great review!

  3. I read this one a few years ago and totally had plans to read the rest of the series since I found it so fun. Sadly I never remembered to look for them when I'd go to the store (MG series are always in a different location than the non-series and not in an easy to note place!). I really need to get back on my quest to read them all!

  4. I read this one awhile back on my mom's suggestion-she loves this series! It is really fun-pairs well with Sarah Beth Durst's fairy tale series as well.

  5. I read the first one but no others. I definitely need to read the series. Thanks.

  6. Puck was a little annoying, and the series is a little long. Anything over five books, and the students sort of lose interest.