Cloaked

First Lines: I’ve never seen a princess before.  And it looks like I won’t be seeing one today either.

I’m a fairy tale junkie.  It’s a problem, but one the media keeps feeding, what with Once Upon a Time and all the upcoming fairy tale retelling movies like Mirror, Mirror.  So yes, I know my fairy tales.

Johnny’s life is not exactly typical, but definitely relatable.  For generations, his family has worked in shoe repair, which you can imagine doesn’t make much money anymore.  Anyway, it’s what Johnny spends his afternoons doing.  Until a princess comes along and asks for his help.  See, her brother has been turned into a frog.  The princess needs him back otherwise all sorts of terrible things will happen to her kingdom.  With a lot of magic and a little help, Johnny sets off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Maybe you can tell from the summary a bit, but it’s an amalgamation of about 6-8 fairy tales.  I give it props for that because just sticking with one of these really short fairy tales would have made for a very short book.  It gave the story more levels.

And even though I only knew about 2 of these fairy tales, the whole story was entirely too predictable.  I picked up on one major plot twist in the first third of the book.  So that sort of ruined that surprise.

I thought the book was alright.  It didn’t amaze me by any means.  Johnny was just an alright guy.  He refers to himself as “average” a lot, and that’s really all he is.  He doesn’t stand out among male protagonists.  I had to pick up the book again just to remember what his name was.  I’ll probably completely forget about this book in a month.  There wasn’t anything about it that had that spark.

Some of the other characters, I felt, were more dynamic than Johnny.  Like his best friend Meg.  She was awesome.  She kicked butt.  I thought she should have been the one telling the story rather than Johnny.  I thought she had more to say than Johnny did.  And she had a different perspective on things than he did.  It’s nice to have characters you can relate to, but if they’re too normal…they’re forgettable.

So yeah.  Overall, I suppose I liked it.  But I had too many criticisms of the story.

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