Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
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Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.I received this e-arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is released 1/28/14. The Kindle price is $7.99 (1/28/14).
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.
A story within a story, this a modern day fairy tale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Yikes I didn't like this one as much. Which, if I may boldly say, is slightly refreshing. I have read some spectacular books so far in 2014, some of which you can check my Goodreads page for, and some you will have to stay tuned here on the blog to see!
I really wanted to like this one, I did. It was fairy tale-esque and featured a quiet girl, Ophelia, discovering her heart and courage. It also featured quests, mythical monsters, swords, and a Snow Queen! All the makings of a fantastic fantasy!
However, that's where my 'likes' end. This isn't a story I would want my child to read. It was scary, plain and simple. Dark corridors, ghosts, coffins sucking life out of little girls, birds that eat people, owls that eat fingers... And on top if it all, dealing with the aftermath of the death of Ophelia's mom. Ophelia's family is pretty bland. Her sister gets wooed away by the evil Snow Queen and forgets her family, her story is just background noise. Their dad buries himself in work and won't talk about their mom. Ophelia can't even turn to him for help and comfort which angers me.
Even the Marvelous Boy is only depressing with his tales of boring wizards, getting his finger eaten off, failing his quest, and being held captive for hundreds of years. In the end, well I will say only this: sad.
The author leaves it open for the possibility of a second book, and sadly, I know I won't be reading it.
As a middle grade book, "Ophelia.." felt extremely easy to read. Too easy for me, as my eyes glazed over several short, repetitive sentences. But for a middle grade reader it should be fairly easy, and teach several new vocab words along the way as well.