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School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up
Willingham continues the devilishly twisted, wonderfully imagined tales of Fabletown in the eighth volume of this Eisner Award-winning series. Fabletown is a small village hidden in contemporary upstate New York where real-life versions of fairy-tale characters live out their lives. This book opens with Mowgli tracking down the exiled Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf) through the frozen territories of Russia and the deep forests of Alaska. Once found, he is offered a deal. In exchange for completing two dangerous tasks revolving around an impending war with the power-hungry puppet maker, Gepetto, Bigby will earn a reprieve. He will finally be allowed to move to the outskirts of Fabletown and live with his beloved Snow White and their young child. Much of this volume focuses on closing old plot threads and creating new ones for future issues. But Willingham does a solid job of explaining the background quickly, and the focus on Bigby's redemption creates a strong enough story line that it's still enjoyable for readers new to the series. The artwork blends realistic figures with slight touches of cartoony flash in the background. It works well with the mix of fantasy and realism in the story. While not as dark or as overtly postmodern as Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (DC Comics), this series holds much the same appeal to smart teens who enjoy quirky, inventive stories capable of breathing new life into the genre of fantasy and the form of the comic book.
—Matthew L. MoffettCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.