Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Johnny’s not your average hero. But a little magic changes everything. There isn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. It all starts with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess. And before Johnny knows it, he is on a mission in the Everglades, with only a flock of swans and a talking fox named Joe to help guide him against the forces of an evil witch.

This was a fun story. Actually, all of Flinn's stories (that I've read) are fun. But this is the first one where the fairy tale retelling is a mish-mash of a bunch rather than focusing on one. Such as:
The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Frog Prince
The Salad
The Six Swans
The Golden Bird
The Valiant Tailor
The Fisherman and His Wife
(and a tiny splash of Cinderella, with a twist, for good measure)

Considering the sheer number of tales woven together, I thought Flinn did a splendid job. She was true to the fairy tales for the most part, mixing them up a little here and there as they're woven together. I hadn't heard of a couple of these, so it was interesting to see them played out through Meg's and Johnny's stories. The pacing was quick and it was an easy read. A bit on the predictable side, but that didn't bother me. Fairy tale retellings are often predictable because I know the story ahead of time.

I only had a couple issues. First, the summary above confuses me. The story takes place mostly in the Florida Keys, not the Everglades. And the fox's name is Todd, not Joe. But maybe that's because I read an ARC and it hadn't been finalized.

The other thing that bothered me was how easy it was for the bad guys to fool Johnny. At times, he was very astute and narrowly avoided danger because he was paying attention and reacted quickly. But other times, he...well...wasn't. He even looked right at a big clue a couple of times and dismissed it. I have a hard time with characters who don't see the obvious because it's often a device to further the plot. So, there were a few times I wanted to yell at him to stop being so dense. :)

Still, this is a fun, entertaining read for teens of all ages.

For a chance to win an ARC, go here and enter a URL.


Anonymous said...

Nice review. This sounds interesting.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

What a great review. Thank you. And even with your few misgivings, it sounds like a great read. BTW - we keep bumping into each other over on YAlitchat. I just had to pay you a visit. Following now.

Unknown said...

Thanks for reviewing. I just came across this on goodreads the other day and was wondering how it was.

cleemckenzie said...

This is great--a fun story with frognapping involved. I'm up for one of these kinds of books. Thanks, Tabitha.

Tere Kirkland said...

Frognapping? That's a first for me.

Thanks for the review, I'll have to check out Cloaked.

Tabitha said...

Kelly - thanks! It a fun, light read.

Salarsen - thanks! I'd been meaning to stop by your blog for some time now, and I'm so glad I did. It's great!

Melissa - I really enjoyed it. It's a fun, quick read. Hope you enjoy it!

Lee - it'll put a smile on your face, that's for sure! :)

Tere - I had the same reaction to the frognapping. :) It was so unique I was immediately intrigued. And the tone of the story matched the silliness of the whole idea of frognapping. :) It's definitely a fun read.

Michelle Flick said...

This sounds great! The author seems very talented. Thanks for adding another one to my shelf!

Pam Pho said...

I have this I really want to get to it. I loved Beastly.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I enjoy reading books that make me laugh and this one sounds like fun. Nice review. Thanks.

Tabitha said...

Mflick1 - I've really enjoyed her books. If you like this one, you'll love Beastly and A Kiss In Time.

Pam - I did, too. I haven't decided if I'm going to see the movie yet because I have such happy images in my head. Not sure I want them disturbed. :)

Beverly - this will definitely put a smile on your face. Her other books are good for that, too. :)

Mary Witzl said...

I like the idea of frog-napping too. You can't help but wonder what kind of frog would be worthy of swiping.

Christina Farley said...

I actually ate breakfast with her at the Miami conference and was embarrassed to say I hadn't read her books or recognized her. (hides head in shame). I have just picked up some of her books to read!