Book Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Book Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Published by Random House LLC on January 28th 2014
Pages: 224
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A luminous retelling of the Snow Queen, this is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room.  He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen.  And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested.  Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.From the Hardcover edition.

One of my favorite fairy tales is that of the Snow Queen, so when I started reading Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy I found myself completely immersed at once. Beyond even the Snow Queen, I felt compelled to read this story, set in modern times in a museum in a city where it always snows. Ophelia is a quiet girl who couldn’t possibly fathom the adventure she is about to set on. Told between her point of view and flashbacks into the Marvelous Boy’s past, I felt the story pulled me in as a reader as I became interested in not only how the Marvelous Boy became a prisoner and how Ophelia would help him.

The museum itself had its equal parts curiosities and frightening moments as Ophelia has to explore into its further depths. Her quest begins simply, as she stumbles upon the Boy and has to find him a key. But then it becomes another key and suddenly there are terrible creatures hidden behind doors. Ophelia is a smart heroine, using her mind to keep her from being in danger too long. All the while, Ophelia does not see herself as a heroine until the very end, she assumes she can let the Boy go and he can fight the Snow Queen.

The villain of the story is easy to figure out, but I love how she fits into a modern setting and the way she pops out of nowhere and seems suspicious of Ophelia. The whole atmosphere was somewhat sinister, but with the bright hope of completing the quest to find the weapon that would destroy the Snow Queen. I loved the darker moments in the story, seeing how the queen was able to stay youthful, the various rooms and dangers that came with exploration.

I really fell in love with Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, which had everything I could ever want as a reader – a smart heroine, a fairy tale quest, and the dangers that come with such a book. I will be looking forward to reading any and all books by Foxlee. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is possibly the best middle grade book I’ve read in the past year.

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3 responses to “Book Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

  1. Man, I am so excited to read this one! It sounds exactly up my alley! I am so glad to read this review – I was really hopin it would be great. Plus I have some serious love for that cover.

    Have you read The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell? From your reaction to this one, I think you might like it.

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