Horns and Wrinkles
Joseph HelgersonBlurb: How can you tell if a river’s under a spell? River trolls, rock trolls, blue-wing fairies—the usual suspects—the stretch of the Mississippi where Claire lives has rumors of them all, not that she’s ever spotted any. But then Claire’s cousin Duke takes a swim and sprouts a horn—a long, pointy, handsome thing. After that, Claire doesn’t have much choice but to believe that something rivery is going on, especially since she’s the only one who can help Duke lose his new addition.
In the tradition of grand river adventures, Joseph Helgerson’s tale is as twisty and unpredictable as the Mississippi River itself, while an unusual cast of characters adds pepper to the pot. Readers of all ages will enjoy getting in—and out of—trouble with Claire and Duke in this nimble, sharp, and funny fantasy.
Genres: Juvenile, Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: September 11, 2006
My Rating: 2 stars
This book was definitely more quirky than funny, and not the good kind of quirky, either. It was the kind that makes you scratch your head and wonder what the heck you just read. Yes, the story is inventive; I will give the book that much. But it's still pretty bizarre, and I just could not bring myself to care for the characters in the slightest bit.
First, there is Claire. Claire's an overall 'meh' kind of character. I didn't not like her, I didn't like her all that much either. I wish her personality would have been fleshed out more; she started out as a character with a lot of potential; tomboy, can't relate to her sisters, loves frogs, turtles, and the like; but there really wasn't a lot of development from her at all throughout the book, and honestly, I personally don't think she contributed a lot to the story in the first place. She was just kind of a bystander in how everything ended up playing out, except for the very beginning.
Duke; he reminded me a lot of Dudley Dursley. He was mean, a bit of an idiot, and there was one scene where he just kept chowing down on food. I didn't feel any great love for Duke. Like at all. He was supposed to be unlikeable, though, so not a terrible thing.
The trolls, however, really annoyed me. I liked Frozen's take on them infinitely better; there was only one who was even slightly likeable in here.
The humor was simply put, bad. Not one thing registered as funny to me in this whole book, which is really kind of sad, especially when both the blurb and the cover claim this book is funny. It's not that it wasn't my kind of humor, either; the book really isn't that funny.
The storyline was really bizarre but really unique, I'll say that. I don't think I've ever read a book even slightly like this. Trolls themselves aren't something I see a lot in kid's/teen's books, but even if they were, I think this book would stand out. However, the storyline was so strange that I really never got into the book.
The one thing that I without a doubt loved was the illustrations. I never pay attention to the little pictures at the beginning of chapters, but with this book I would practically study them. They were adorable. And of course, this cover is just the cutest. I am seriously thinking of buying more of the illustrator's books just so I have the illustrations (and covers) to brighten up my day.
I'm giving this two stars because it was pretty imaginative, but other than that there weren't a lot of 'pluses' for me with this book.