This was a Christmas gift for a very special little boy who is a HUGE fan of the Spiderwick Chronicles. His face lit up like Times Square on New Year's Eve when he opened this present.
Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
|Number of Pages|
Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
6.75 x 4.50 x 0.90 Inches
Nick and Laurie managed to save Jules in the last book in the trilogy, but the problems facing them are only escalating. The giants are in the ocean, leaving their home vulnerable to whatever creature it is that the giants fight. Before they can fight it, they need to figure out what it actually is. Also, their parents are only complicating the situation. They take the whole family to counseling, where they reveal to the children that they think they moved too fast, and that the family should separate for the time being; Nick and Jules with their dad, and Laurie with her mom. The decision is made over the children's protests. Laurie is angry at Nick for not saying he wanted them to move in with them, and he doesn't know how to apologize. The family is splintered, angry, and hurt, and they still need to save Florida. Nick calls Jared, and they meet the Grace children at Jack Noseeum's house, asking Laurie to sneak out to join them. The sink hole in front of Jack's place is the largest they've seen yet, and Mallory recklessly plunges in to investigate. She finds small, black, wriggling creatures, that look a bit like salamanders; she is down in the pit for no more than a minute before she starts to gasp for air and passes out. The children haul her up, and Simon and Nick deduce that the pit is filled with methane gas. Using Jack and Arthur Spiderwick's research, and the Grace children's past experiences, they come to a few conclusions. First, salamanders grow into dragons, and these salamanders must be a different species than the ones Jared, Simon, and Mallory encountered earlier. Two, these dragons grow in such a tangled mound that they become entwined together, forming a hydra, a creature with many dragon heads. Third, the giants naturally eat salamanders, which keep the dragon population low, preventing them from creating a hydra. With these facts, they have no choice - they must bring the giants back. Fortunately, they find the nixies trapped in a kiddie pool in Jack's backyard, and they make a new plan. They will use the nixies' song to lure the giants back to land. After Nick narrowly escapes the mermaids' anger, their plan works, and the giants lumber back to Florida. Jack's grandson, the lawyer, returns in time to keep Nick from being a giant snack, and now they at least have one adult in their group. They need the extra help, because it appears that the giants aren't enough to stop the hydra. The children soon realize that a grown hydra is lurking somewhere nearby, spawning the many baby salamanders and sinkholes that are popping up all over. By analyzing the spread of the many sinkholes, the children trace the pattern to a central point, an old deserted mall, and head there to confront the source of all their recent troubles. The final book in the series (and maybe all Spiderwick collaborations, sadly) maintains the same high quality of storytelling as it brings problems to a climax and conclusion. The Vargas children must work with the Grace children to fix the fairy problems, and mostly have to rely on their own intelligence and instincts, since few of the adults know what is happening. Even when Jack Jr. arrives to help he ends up breaking his leg during the final confrontation. The children are the heroes, and the spotlight stays on them. The authors spend as much time building character as they do complicating the plot, which is what brings these stories above the level of many other books of children's fantasy. In particular, Nick evolves a great deal, and his final acceptance of his new family is a crucial component in the climax. The ending is satisfying, and believable, in the context of the world so vividly created in this series. I loved seeing the Grace children again, older and tougher, and I deeply appreciate the way the authors bound together the fairy problems with the family problems, and resolved both issues. Although I have not mentioned them yet, the illustrations continue to be amazing, and a central part of the story itself. My only disappointment is that the series is over, because I love these Spiderwick books so much that I would eagerly read more.
This is the third and final novel in the "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles" series. This book was a pretty good one. I still think that the original Spiderwick Chronicles were much better, but if you liked the second novel in Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles than this book won't disappoint. Nick and crew have realized that luring the giants out to sea was a bad idea. With sink holes popping up all around town and slimy black things writhing in those holes, they have realized they need the giants to take care of an even bigger problem. This time the crew from the original Spiderwick Chronicles is along for the ride (Simon, Jared, and Mallory). Having the original Spiderwick characters in the story added a lot to this book. The main characters in this book are just a bit dull and non-engaging; adding in the Spidewick Chronicles siblings spiced things up a bit. The plot moves along really well and the story is an interesting one. I still did not find this book as exciting or engaging as the Spiderwick Chronicles; but it was on par with the second book in this series. The series is wrapped up nicely. The closing poem does hint that there are possibly more Spiderwick Chronicles adventures in our future. Whether that was a hint of another series to come, or a little ditty telling us to go out and have adventures I am not sure. The book can be enjoyed by all ages. Older teens and adults may find it a bit dull compared to the original adventures.
Although it's been three years since I read the previous book, I still found that a lot of what made the Spiderwick Chronicles such a fun read (the mystical, faerie adventures mixed in with young family dynamics and siblings learning to depend on each other) was still there. Beyond The Spiderwick was billed as the last tales of the Chronicles, with the toss back as a small challenge to young readers to begin exploring and writing/ creating their own adventures. In that manner, the series does wrap up properly with the final battle of The Wyrm King re-establishing a harmony of sorts between humans and faerie folk. Fans of the previous books will definitely enjoy this final chapter :)
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