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Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Post: Cloaked, from Sheila @ BookJourney

Our guest post today comes from Sheila @ BookJourney.  After you've finished reading it, I'd suggest hopping over to Ashley's blog for a giveaway from Sheila!

When I seen this bookish adventure coming up hosted by Misty at The Book Rat and Ashley from Basically Amazing Books, lets just say my "spidey senses".... were activated...
I had not read any of the "New" fairy tales but have many fond memories of fairy tales as a child...
... and I remember my Great Grandmother reading these stories to me, large hard cover books with gorgeously detailed pages read so often that I knew the words before I could read them.... and who knew then that those stories would stick with me a lifetime? 
So... the question was when I was asked to create a quest post about a fairy tale book of my choice... could I bring the magic of those books back?

Fairy tale is a type of short narrative that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments.

I personally find this interesting as in todays stories of wolves, vampires, fairies and feys - they are considered paranormal and not fairy tales at all.  

And my quest began.... did I want to read and review a classic fairy tale... or did my literary mind into  a new fairy tale and see what they were like... not knowing of course, old or new - if I would be able to capture that fairy dust again that makes a fairy tale come to life...
"flip flip flip" I went through the pages of fairy tales I found on-line and "click click click" as I went through the books on Amazon until.... finally
I settled on Cloaked.
I liked that is seemed to be a mix and match of old fairy tales put in a blender to make a new one... it was both old and new.... both classic and new release....  that appealed to me.  I also liked that this was the other of Beastly which I have not read, but know of and know that it is also being made into a movie.... that too appealed to me. 
So - with no further ado..... I bring you....

Cloaked by Alex Finn

So you start with a teenage boy named Johnny who works at his mothers shoe repair shop in a pretty sweet hotel in South Beach, Florida.  In years past his relatives were called cobblers, but now... well that just sounds like a dessert. 
Johnny spends his free time hanging out with his BFF Meg and dreaming of designing his own shoe line that will bring in so much moolahthat his mom will no longer have to fret over keeping the electricity bill paid up and deciding between food for dinner or the rent on their home. 
Then one day a famous Princess shows up at the hotel and she is too gorgeous for words.  Johnny can not help be drawn to her and in a chance meeting the Princess shares with Johnny a story that is so unreal it has to be true, of her brother the prince being kidnapped and turned into a frog (maybe that is frognapped).  Johnny takes on the role of "rescuer" when the Princess offers him a large sum of cash as well as her hand in marriage if he succeeds in bringing her brother back to his former self.  For Johnny, this could be an answer to all their money issues as well as marrying the Princess?  How is this not a win win?
Yet all is not as easy as the newly appointed frog catcher would think for many evil forces are at hand to stop Johnny on his quest.... such as witches and giants, and six enchanted swans, a talking rat and a talking fox.... and each new character Johnny meets seems to have an agenda of their own and his one task turns into many....
and in the end as Johnny works through all the hoops to get to his dreams... he really has to rethink his dreams and what he really wants is not what he thought at all...

My adventure forward into this fairy tale was interesting.  It was not a "pick up and love it from page one" style read for me.  It took a while for me to warm up to our young Johnny and the wild craziness of talking animals, a magic cape - of course - ALL MAGIC CAPES appeal to me.... seriously, who wouldn't want one of these!), a crazed killer teen and a witch for a mother, giants, and of course... smoking hot looking shoes.....
yet as I committed myself to experiencing this book, the more I read - the less it felt like a commitment and it became actually fun.  Silly fun yes, but fun all the same.  I enjoyed the beginning of each chapter as it gave a little quote that was from an old fairy tale and then the chapter actually tied in with the quote.... brilliant.  Really brilliant.

As long as the shoemaker lived all went well with him, and all of his undertakings prospered.

~The Elves and The Shoemaker

Author Alex Finn incorporates several lesser known fairy tales in to this book.  they are The Elves and The ShoemakerThe Frog Prince,The Six SwansThe Valiant Tailor, The Salad, The Fisherman and his Wife and The Golden Bird.  I love this idea of fairy tales within a fairy tale and for that I really found this book to be a fun adventure. 

Thanks, Sheila!  Don't forget to stop by Basically Amazing Books for a giveaway from Sheila, everyone!


  1. Well-written review!! I was different in the fact that I was grabbed from page 1, but other than that I agree whole-heartedly! ;)

  2. So I thought, from the first paragraph of your review, that Cloaked was going to be a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, but it's even better that it's an amalgam of several lesser-known ones (especially since The Six Swans is one of my favorites)!

  3. Good review! It took me a couple of chapters to get into Cloaked, too, but then I loved it! I wrote a review, too. :)http://liedermadchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/book-review-36-cloaked-by-alex-flinn.html

  4. I loved Beastly, which is also by Flinn. I'm definitely intrigued by Cloaked now!

  5. I really want to read The Six Swans now and it is because of this book! :)

  6. This may not have been a book I was pulled to by myself, but after reading more about it now, it has been added to my TBR stack.

    I love the idea of meshing together all of these different tales, and can't wait to experience the finished product!

  7. This was a great review. I'm really lokking forward to reading this book!


  8. Thanks for the review, I'm kinda excited about this book now.


  9. I haven't read this one yet, but I loved Beastly and can't wait to read this one. Thanks for reviewing Sheila!

    dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

  10. I love the book cover! And the idea of Cloaked is really interesting. Thanks for your honest review!

  11. Waitwaitwait... there's a fairy tale called "The Salad"? Did I read that right?
    Nice review! You really put a lot of thought into what book you would review, and it sounds like you picked an interesting one.

  12. *whew* they are lesser-known fairy tales! I knew my mom used to make up her own versions of the classic ones, but I got worried when I had no memory of these!

    Great review, sorry it wasn't a page-turner from the beginning though.

  13. Sounds like a great remix. I wish it was more lovable from the very beginning, but at least it picks up. :-)

  14. I read Alex Flinn's Beastly way back, before it was even going to be a movie and I must say, I do enjoy her retelling. She has such a modern spin of things and her characters are realistic and relatable. To me anyway....

    Great review =)

  15. This one caught my attention too because it seemed like such a fairytale mashup. Maybe it's just me, but a lot of the Alex Flinn fairytale books take a while to get into. At least that's how I felt.


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