Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: Hapenny Magick by Jennifer Carson

Hapenny Magick

By Jennifer Carson

Blurb: Maewyn Bridgepost, the tiniest Hapenny, a race of little people, spends her days, from breakfast to midnight nibble, scrubbing the hearth, slopping the pigs, and cooking for her guardian, Gelbane, who never spares a kind word. As if life as a servant isn't bad enough, Mae learns that Gelbane is a troll and Hapennies are a troll delicacy. Years ago, a spell trapped Gelbane in Mae's village. Ever since, Gelbane has been chiseling away the magic protections and now Mae's home is destined to become a smorgasbord for half-starved trolls.

When her best friend, Leif, goes missing, it will take all of Mae's courage to friend her friend and protect her village.

When pitchforks, sewing needles, pots, brooms and a little magick are the only weapons at hand, the hapennies discover that great victories can be accomplished no matter what size you are, but only if you stick together.

Genres: Middle Grade Fantasy

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Pages: 160

Series: Hapenny Magick (book 1)

My Rating: 1 star

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Well, maybe it was a bad idea to read this. Middle grade fantasy has proven to not be my thing, unless it’s the Chronicles of Narnia, in which case I read it again and again. But…the cover. It’s just so cute. I couldn’t resist. 
The bad thing about Hapenny Magick is basically the bad thing, for me, about almost all other MG fantasies. It’s just too sweet and black and white for my liking, and the whole plot always seems like a children’s cartoon version of a watered-down Grimm fairy tale. 

First, we have the main character, Mae, who is a kind-hearted little hapenny with a cruel mistress and a nice little friend named Callum. She’s kind to animals. She’s obedient. There isn’t a bad trait in her body, even though she has every reason to act out at times, seeing as her mother has mysteriously disappeared and her mistress, Gelbane, mistreats her. You know, I really hate to use the word Mary Sue to describe Mae, but if the tiny hapenny shoe fits...
She’s just so perfect. She’s not really given very much of a personality, but the little that she is given just irks me with its perfection. I sound so grumpy right now, I realize that, but man. It was just so sweet it seemed false.

Then there’s Gelbane. She’s ugly and rude and cruel. The epitome of a fairy tale villain; even the illustrations of her look just as you would expect. She might as well have been made out of cardboard. 
The plot, too, is very predictable. It’s quite easy to see who will be the villain, who will be the hero, and key plot twists are apparent from some of the first pages. I have to say, I was rather disappointed.

The final thing that annoyed me were the illustrations. Out of all the things I did not like in the book, this is the one that may be much more “it’s not you, it’s me” than anything. It’s just that they don’t have the charming quality of the cover, and the pictures of Mae only slightly resemble the girl on the cover! Plus, I just don’t like pictures in books most of the time. It’s just not my thing.

I was really disappointed in Hapenny Magick. On the bright side, it couldn’t have taken me more than forty five minutes to read, so it’s not like I really had to labor to finish it. That was about the most positive aspect of the book for me, sadly.

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