Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beyond Spiderwick chronicles book 2: A giant problem

Title: A Giant Problem
Author: Tony Diterlizzi & Holly Black
Location: J Diterlizzi
Reading Level: juvenile

Nick Vargas and his stepsister Laurie are the main characters once again. Older brother Jules helps out some this time. You will need to have read book 1, Nixie's Song, before reading this book. There is no explanation to catch you up on what happened in book 1. Actually, having waited a while for the book to come in, it took me a couple pages to remember and figure out what was going on. If you are hoping for a connection to the Grace family you won't find it until the very end (as in the last page) when they are waiting to let the Vargas clan know what they found out about the giants.

The giants seem to be waking up in groups and are causing quite a bit of destruction as they fight for territory. Jack Noseeum isn't much help as he is almost blind, so the Vargas kids are on their own to figure out how to stop the giants. Mermaids and something like a hobgoblin are introduced in this book. The hobgoblin like creature is a bit of a let down since it doesn't help much or have the charisma of Hogsqueel(from the Spiderwick Chronicles). Taloa, the nixie in book 1, has taken off to look for her sisters herself. The mermaids are the only creatures who can help, but remember, fairies can't be trusted.

Bottom Line: A Giant Problem is ok. That's about all the enthusiasm I can muster for it. I didn't hate it, but I definitely felt a bit disappointed while reading it. It lacks something the other Spiderwick books had- just doesn't grab you. It may be that the characters just aren't developed enough to form a connection with the reader.The ending gives the reader an idea about the third book, The Wyrm King, and I can only hope the writers will discover what was missing in this one as the third book is suppose to be the last in this series that had a promising start.

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