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May Bird and the Ever After Paperback – 23 May 2006
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Befriending a spirit named Pumpkin who had saved her from becoming really dead, she sets off to find the book of the dead, a book that can give her the answer to getting home.
May stats out as a low self esteemed child who has only one friend, her melancholy Sphinx and with her mother pressuring her to go boarding school to help her change she really doesn't see anything good in who she is until she makes friends in Ever After and confronts all fearful things before her.
This story has a great character development and a fantastic unique story, admittedly I found characters such as Pumpkin to be described to match spot on that of the Nightmare Before Christmas character Jack, and May to be like Coraline (which after checking the publishing date found was coincidence as this book was made first.) However with characters like Somber Kitty the Sphinx and Bogey, the author really does show this was a book of its own creation.
While May does seemingly glide through Ever After without much distress some of the characters are quite grotesque and the few parts she has problems are great nail biting moments.
I really enjoyed this book, its a refreshing read to say the least. However my main annoyance was Pumpkin with his lack of fighting spirit, I found his whining and fear to be a downfall to the story and the few parts he does show courage doesn't really make me think better of him.
Also before reading this book, I have been pestering my partner for a Sphinx as i find them rather adorable, reading this book just makes me want one so much more and when I discovered Somber Kitty was a Sphinx I couldn't help but use it as an excuse to say its a sign that I should get one ;]
Already ordered book 2!
But then she enters the realm of EverAfter, and the balance of the work becomes a very imaginative, but very crowded and sketchy, clone of Oz. The plot develops into a quest with strange companions to avoid the bad guy and get home again.
Any particular chapter is interesting. Almost every sentence introduces a new imaginative element. But, it's like the reading version of a sugar high after a while. And at some point you just stop caring, because you know the plot arc, you tire of the unrelenting "creativeness", and , most importantly, you don't really care that much about what happens, because May Bird is just like a game piece being moved around the board in a complicated fantasy game, the rules of which you don't quite understand.
Now, all of that said, this is still a book that you might want to try. We know the Oz tales, but your young reader probably doesn't. And the book is certainly readable. I just wouldn't get too invested in the whole trilogy until I tried out this book one.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
May likes to go snooping around in old buildings looking for treasure, and one day she finds a hidden letter dating back to 1951, which somehow has her name on it. The envelope contains a letter and a map, and soon May is setting off across the Endless Briers towards a supposedly non-existent lake. Naturally she finds the lake, and falls in, and when she gets out she can see dead people, supposedly with her new-found sixth sense. For some reason she returns to the lake, and enters the Ever After, filled with ghosts, specters and other nasty things that go bump in the night.
Assisted by her ghostly guardian, Pumpkin, she embarks on a quest to find the Book of the Dead, which is supposed to tell her how to get home again, as well as the meaning of life and everything else, but to get it she must escape the clutches of the evil Bo Cleevil, his pal the Boogeyman and his dogs, and the gross ghouls who guard the book.
Confusing in places, gross in others, but highly imaginative, this one is for kids with slightly morbid tendencies.
Amanda Richards, September 2, 2006
Thankfully I finally remembered the name and purchased all three books used in very good condition. I did recieve a tracking item with this purchase and I do recomend this book for those with an enjoyment of occult.
It has mild cliches but it's nothing over done where as it's unbearable to read. I love this book and I can't wait to finish it.
Book series: 5/5
Seller: 4/5 Silver Arch Books- Their service was very good! However, I am taking off a short rating due to the fact that they did not include a tracking number/ tracking services.