The Carver by Jacob Devlin



Genre: Retellings, Fairytales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Pages: 368

Published July 19th 2016 by Blaze Publishing, LLC

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THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.


I’m the girl who never wanted to grow up as far as reading went because I love sticking my nose in pretty much any retelling out there that involves a fairytale or folklore. The more twisted the better, for me.

A debut author who is coming out with a book with some beloved childhood favorites? Sure, I’m on it. However, as I began to get further into the book I found myself scratching my head. This book is classified as a Young Adult and some context might be aimed at older teens but the overall feel has a pre-teen feel to it. The conversational pieces came across as childish, but there were also complex pieces that would likely go over a 12-year old’s head.

The story itself bounces back and forth through three time periods, which can be a little frustrating when you just want a particular plot to move forward, but it allows you to see the way past – the past – and the present time. There are many, many, many, [and much more,] characters that are introduced that play minor and major parts, but they are almost haphazardly thrown into the mix. Kaa the snake [Jungle Book,] Hua Mulan [Mulan,] Merlin, [Sword in the Stone,] there was a lot going on and it felt like more of a distraction as well as a hindrance than something that would aid in the plot.

I couldn’t dive as deep as I wanted to into this book, the description of the times/world was there but I wasn’t able to delve into this story like I wanted to due to the aforementioned issues.

Overall, I found myself teetering from a 2-2.5. Ideas were there, but the execution wasn’t there for me. The characters were a bit interchangeable and the dialogue also wasn’t there for me.

Who is your favorite fairytale character?


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