Book Review: The Grimm Legacy

5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

The Grimm Legacy CoverTitle: The Grimm Legacy
 Polly Shulman

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library? a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime?or captured by the thief.

My Review:

What if there were libraries that didn’t just lend out books? What if they leent out artifacts instead? And what if they devoted an entire floor to artifacts that most of the world wouldn’t believe in?

The Grimm Legacy takes that idea and runs with it, creating the mysterious library that houses the Grimm Collection, as well as collections based in William Gibson’s Neuromancer and the works of H. G. Wells. Elizabeth is asked to be a page in this wonderful place, and let me tell you, I’m beyond jealous!

Beyond the setting, though, I was a little disappointed. The plot is fine, if a little too easily wrapped up. The narrative voice reminded me pleasantly of Harry Potter (I loved the Doctor up in his office with his strange tests – such a Dumbledore!) But the characters all felt a little flat to me, with mostly a single defining character trait, and very little complexity. I could describe most of the characters (and by extension their goals) with a single word. They all fit neatly into their own little archetypal box and didn’t move out of it much.

Looking at it a little differently, my complaints mainly boil down to one thing: this is a middle grade novel. I’ve said many times that I’m not a big fan of MG lit, mostly because I’m well past that stage and those problems. I also believe MG novels shouldn’t be “dumbed down” or made less complex just because they’re for a younger audience, but that’s a rant for another day.

I guess what I’m saying is that I really loved the concept, and all my complaints are really my own fault for not doing my research and figuring out this was an MG before starting. If you like MG, and you like the idea, then please don’t let me put you off!


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5 Responses to “Book Review: The Grimm Legacy”

  1. Aww, I hate books that wrap up just a little too nicely. I find that tends to happen more in MG books.

    I do really love the cover for this one — it’s very pretty!

    • Anne says:

      And I HATE that we can say that it “tends to happen” more in books for a certain age group! I think I may have to do a full discussion post on that one because it is probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to books.

      In other news I deactivated one of my anti-spam plugins – lets see if it stops marking you as spam ALL THE TIME :)

  2. Alexia561 says:

    Too bad this one didn’t work for you, as it sounds like a great premise! I agree that MG books shouldn’t be dumbed down, as kids are smarter than they’re given credit for! They need to be challenged, so it’s a shame this one didn’t live up to it’s promise.

    • Anne says:

      It is a great premise, and if I could just get over my dislike of the “dumbing down” factor I’d have loved it! I just can’t get behind a book that seems to take the easy way out and simplifies everything – like you say, kids are smarter than we give them credit for!

  3. […] I reviewed an MG called The Grimm Legacy. […]

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