Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Pay the Piper" by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple


Not watching some dumb TV show while Mars made spooky commentaries. 
Yet somehow Callie believed Alabas. Believed what he was saying. Believed him down in the urpy part of her stomach. And afraid she was going to be sick, she slipped away and ran out the nearest door marked EXIT.

Callie, a fourteen year old girl from Massachusetts, doesn't expect anything exciting to happen in her town. She lives in the sort of area where the biggest crime is a boy running away from home and hiding in the neighbor's tree for a night.
In fact, even the bands that play in her town are.. well... fairly unknown. None from her top 5 ever get there... Heck, none of her top 20 have ever played in her town.

When the announcement comes that Brass Rat- a band who plays somewhere between folk and rock- is having a show in her town... Callie is shocked. Sure, Brass Rat might not be on even her top 20 (maybe her top 25, though), and she might prefer either straight rock, or straight folk... But it's definitely more than she expects to happen.


But sometimes, things aren't always what they seem... And you should be careful what you wish for. Strange as it might sound... it just might be time to pay the piper.
But what if they can't?


"And one thing I am certain I did not mention..." Gringas spoke calmly as the creature popped the screaming horse into its mouth whole, "is that the guardian is immune to magic."
Sighing, Alabas pulled two long knives from twin sheaths at the small of his back. "You did indeed leave out a few details, my lord."

As most of my friends know, I love retellings of fairy tales. I eat them up. Not quite literally.
So, when my mom gave me a stack of books, and I found out that one has to do with the Pied Piper, I knew I  had to read it. Even if it wasn't quite a retelling. (Not quite.)

So, I read it... And I really liked it!
The characters (particularly Gringas) were very interesting. I found Callie a bit flat, but she was still fairly fun to read about, anyway. Nicky was... Amazing. He acted just like a little brother, and Callie's annoyance at him was spot on.
I also thought the conflict about being the middle child was interesting, as well, if a little bit dramatized. (I know quite a few middle children... They do not seem scarred from life from their birth order.)

I have to say, also, the ending was amazing. At least the one about Gringas. The one with Callie was... a little forced, as was the bit before the ending, but the last few pages? Genius. I loved them. Well. I loved Gringas in general, which might not be good. Oh well.

Either way, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone else who likes a good retelling of a fairy tale. I have another one of the "Rock 'N' Roll Fairy Tale" books on my book shelf, and thanks to this one, I'm definitely planning to read it.

1 comment:

Cat said...

This sounds excellent! I really enjoy fairy tale re-tellings as well and it's by Jane Yolen!? I loved The Devil's Arithmetic (although, this book and that one seem to have a world of contrast, haha!) so I'll definitely have to check this out.