Friday, September 23, 2011

Audiobook Review - The Unusual Suspects (The Grimm Sisters, Book 2) by Michael Buckley (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size:320 pages

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: April 1, 2007
ISBN: 978-0810993235
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Sisters Grimm series
Source: Audiobook from
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Grimm Sisters series by Buckley.  I thought the first book was okay, but a bit weak in characterization and plot.  This book was much better than the first book and I enjoyed it a lot more.  I listened to this book on audiobook and the audiobook was well done.  This narrator isn't my favorite but he does a good job of giving the characters distinct voices.

Daphne and Sabrina finally have to start school; they've been putting it off for as long as they can but if they don't start school soon their granny with get in trouble with Child Services.  So off they go to school.  Their first day of school is off to a bad start when Sabrina finds her homeroom teacher dead in the classroom wrapped in a giant web.  Something is killing off members of the faculty and the kids at school are eternally sleepy.  Sabrina suspects foul play from the Ever Afters; Sabrina, Daphne, and Granny Grimm have to wrap up this case before anyone else gets hurt.

The characters were better developed in this book than in the first.  I felt like we got to see more depth to even the side characters like Prince Charming and Snow White.  I still am not a big Sabrina fan; she is an angry and, at times, mean girl that I just don't like.  It looks like Sabrina's bad attitude will be address in future books though.  I enjoyed learning more about the characters, I really like Puck and Daphne and have high hopes for Sabrina in future books.

The plot was excellent, it was very much a fairy tale mystery.  It is a twisty turny plot that is fun and keeps the reader engaged.  I enjoyed the various fairy tale characters that popped up throughout the book and also enjoyed watching Sabrina and Daphne unravel the mystery.

One thing I really did not like was the absolutely obnoxious cliffhanger ending.  The story in this book is very nicely wrapped up, but then another story is started and left in an absolutely horrible place with a "to be continued" added on.  People who read my reviews know I hate this.  I don't understand why an author can't draw readers just by writing a well-written book.  Doing silly cliffhangers with obnoxious 'to be continued' statements is gimmicky and tacky and just plain annoying.

Overall I enjoyed this story more than the first book.  I thought the character development was much better and loved all the fun fairy tale characters (Ever Afters) we bumped into throughout the story.  The plot was twisty turny, fun to read and really kept me engaged.  The fact that this book ends on an absolute cliffhanger annoyed me a lot.  I don't understand why writers have to do that.  I'll read the third book, The Problem Child
, because I already have it on audiobook...if that one ends on another really obnoxious cliffhanger than I probably won't keep reading this series.

This series goes towards the following reading challenges:

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