fables
Willingham, Bill, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins & Andrew Pepoy. Jack of Fables. 2007.

Jack the Giant Killer, Little Jack Horner, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, Jack Be Nimble, Jack Frost, and Jack O’Lantern…these are all names that Jack of Fables is known by.  As his shirt on the front cover says, ensemble books are for losers, so he now fronts his own story upon his escape from Fabletown. Kathleen has had only good things to say about the Fables books (Books: One, Two, Three, Four), so paired with me taking a class on YA Fairy Tale Fantasy and Popular Media at Dominican, this book was right up my alley (heads up: be prepared to see several fairy tale graphic novels reviewed in the next month or so). I have to read three books a week for this class, so if I can find a graphic novel adaptation, I will use it for both the class and this blog! 😉

For lack of a better term, Jack is a complete a$$hole. He thinks of himself as a charming trickster, and while he can hoodwink some, I found his bad-boy persona grating. Never a fan of playboys both in real life and in books I found Jack self centered, arrogant and insufferable. But, this book was fun for it’s sly mixing and matching of fairy tale characters.

Although I have not read the previous Fables books, this story is able to bring readers up to speed as to Jack’s banishment from Fabletown and what he did in the meantime before this book starts. His time in the real world is brought to a close and he is apprehended by a secret society and sent to the Golden Boughs Retirement Community, where fable characters are kept until they pass out of memory in the human world.

We meet a host of little known nursery rhyme  and lesser known fairy tale characters, including my favorite, Sam. I won’t reveal who he is (once I figured it out my mind was blown) or who else populates this book, for my biggest pleasure was figuring out who was who. Jack desperately wants to escape and enlists the help of one other crossover fable from the previous book, Goldilocks. Her story, and her relationship with Jack, is dysfunctional, but the two of them manage to put together a plan of escape.

The (nearly) great escape scenes were great and set up story lines for the future. While no fan of Jack, I will want to eventually read the continuing series. The artwork was great, and I cared for many of the supporting cast, so I want to see how these fables fare in the Mundy (mundane) world!

-Nancy

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