Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Review - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's The Nixie's Song

The Nixie's Song: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles Volume 1 by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: September 18th, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 162 Pages
Rating: ★★★
To Buy

In Florida at the new Mangrove Hollow development things aren't going Nick's way. After the death of his mom he decided it would be better to just not bother with anything and look where that's got him... a new fairy loving step-sister, Laurie, and now has to share a bedroom with his older surf board loving brother Jules. Laurie's favorite book is Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide (yes, they are doing the self referential author thing like Lemony Snicket). Whilst Nick humors Laurie on a walk looking for the fae he finds a four leaf clover. Later when a storm starts to brew and Laurie dances in the rain Nick heads for home. From his window he sees a body in distress, thinking it's Laurie (he did leave her in the woods afterall) he rushes outside but finds it's a faery, thanks to the four leaf clover he can see her, and enlists Laurie's help. They dump her in the developments lake, where she starts to recover. As a thank you Taloa gives the children the gift of sight (which horrifies Nick, because now he can never not see "them") and asks their help to find her sisters, well actually more blackmails them into helping, because when they refuse Nick's Dad's car gets filled with sand. They begrudgingly help Taloa and end up finding her sisters are dead and there's a giant about, who only stops his rampage because of Taloa's voice. They realize they need help and decide to go to the book signing that Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi are having nearby. Jules and his girlfriend Cindy take them to the talk where the authors turn out to be useless, but they find Jared and Simon Grace (not their real names) and they offer their help. There turns out to be an old friend of Arthur Spiderwick's, a giant expert, who lives nearby. The three children, Simon having gone home, rendezvous at the man's house and find drawing's by Arthur Spiderwick that could prove useful. They attempt the noose like trap for the giant but in the world of faeries things are not as they seem. Then Noseeum Jack, the giant expert, arrives with portents of doom, giants are like cicadas and every 500 years they all rise, this happens to be now, and if they don't all become like "Jack the Giant Killer" Florida is going to burn. Can they stop it from happening?

I like that in the not-really-but-really-it-is sequel to The Spiderwick Chronicles, that we get such a different setting. Instead of a very old New Englandy Victorian ruin we get a very new sub development in humid Florida. Also I can relate to Nick, the pudgy, indoor loving, video game playing boy who just tries to keep his head down. The faeries are just as annoying and singsongy as ever, all with the expected undercurrent of menace. I do have to wonder about Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's growing up with their two Spiderwick arcs dealing with broken homes. Of course this one is more hopeful because it's a family trying to come together and become a family, versus the fall out of a shattered marriage. It's like The Brady Bunch only with giants and merefolk versus a football to the face. The whole book is coming to terms with and dealing with what is unwillingly thrust on you, whether a sister or a nixie. I do find it annoying how they love to cliffhanger the overly short, quickly read book with a year wait for the next one...but then again, sometimes the suspense of what is to come is better than when it actually you'll see in my upcoming review of A Giant Problem!


Will there ever be a real Spiderwick sequel? I wonder if they're done with that.

I think they're done with it. I mean all the characters were here and at the end it seemed conclusively the end by their little rhyme.

I always love the art work in these DiTerlizzi and Black stories and the way they are such beautifully produced books. I like the idea of a story about the nixie, water sprites.

Oh my god yes! They are so amazing. You should go on Tony DiTerlizzi's website if you haven't yet. Just the studies for his drawings are beautiful.

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