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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it!
even i liked the original series a little more, this was a fun and interesting plot and the illustrations,as always,magical!
Published 16 months ago by vaso k

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Chronicles
Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi crafted a brief but captivating fantasy story in the "Spiderwick Chronicles" series, and it was all done through a glass metafictional (with the pretense that they were just telling the story told to them). They take that concept a bit farther in the sequel series, a trio of tiny little books called the "Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles,"...
Published on 16 May 2010 by E. A Solinas


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Chronicles, 16 May 2010
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E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles Boxed Set: The Nixie's Song/A Giant Problem/The Wyrm King (Hardcover)
Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi crafted a brief but captivating fantasy story in the "Spiderwick Chronicles" series, and it was all done through a glass metafictional (with the pretense that they were just telling the story told to them). They take that concept a bit farther in the sequel series, a trio of tiny little books called the "Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles," which are diverting but just don't have that magical edge.

Nick is angry -- his father had just remarried, saddling him with a room-sharing stepbrother and a weird stepsister. Laurie is obsessed with faeries, unicorns and all sorts of fluffy fantasy things, and her bible is the Spiderwick Field Guide. But after getting a four-leaf clover, Nick is shocked to see a bizarre creature creeping across their yard... and according to Laurie, it's a nixie.

But that's not their biggest worry, now that they can see the faery creatures. While searching for a new nixie pond, the kids encounter a fire-spewing giant, a longtime family of giant-killers (named "Jack," naturally), a freaky little goblin-like creature named Sandspur, sinkholes, and an ancient wormy horror that Nick and Laurie have unwittingly given a strategic edge to. But they have some formidable allies as well: the Mallory kids from the "Spiderwick Chronicles."

"Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles" isn't quite as magical or gripping as Black and DiTerlizzi's original series -- Nick is too much of a sullen insensitive brat, and the first volume of the trilogy is a rather bland affair. However, it does improve in the second and third parts, and while the back cover of the third book proclaims "It's over!", the door is left wide open for Black and DiTerlizzi to continue the series someday.

The first volume is rather flaccidly plotted, since it basically consists of random attacks (both by and against the giants) and Nick spending a lot of time griping and sulking. But after that, Black's writing gives a genuinely magical atmosphere to the mundane Floridian setting ("its green skin fading to white in places and dry as a leaf"), and provides the faery world with a sense of beauty and danger (the visit to the merpeople, "their long fins seeming to float, their scaly bodies lashing the water languorously").

And there's lots of weird faerie creatures, methane-breathing dragonets, merpeople, rocky dumb giants, and one weird little creature nobody can identify. What's more, Black and DiTerlizzi remind us constantly that these creatures are not like us -- they can be scary, demand promises be kept, and have creepy senses of humor.

Nick is not a terribly likable protagonist initially, especially since he spends the first half of the story griping and sniping and making huge errors, and the second half trying to fix them. While annoying at first, he does eventually prove his mettle as a hero (and becomes a little less obnoxious). Laurie serves as a solid female lead, and Mallory, Simon and Jared serve as a solid trio of faery-fighting veterans.

"Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles" starts off weakly, but gets progressively better as Black and DiTerlizzi finally get into the plot rather than Nick's post-remarriage gripes. Not as magical as the first series, but worth reading to those who enjoyed it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it!, 8 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles Boxed Set: The Nixie's Song/A Giant Problem/The Wyrm King (Hardcover)
even i liked the original series a little more, this was a fun and interesting plot and the illustrations,as always,magical!
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