Wednesday, December 31, 2014
By Claire Legrand
Simon & Shcuster Books for Young Readers, 2014. 464 pgs. Young adult.
Claire Legrand has rewritten a magical version of The Nutcracker by creating an entirely new world and characters based off the ballet. When Clara's mother is murdered in a steampunkish version of New York City, she wants to find out who is responsible. Her father is a gang lord but not helpful or concerned, and Clara can't take the gang or the disintegration of her city. This leads her on an adventure to a world filled with mages and fairies and some pretty intense and scary moments. She is joined by her godfather's nutcracker statue that has turned in to a man, and meets some delightful friends on her way. Clara's struggle for what she has to do is palpable and I couldn't wait to see what Clara decides to do in the end.
The book reads a lot like an enchanting movie with strange robots, evil characters, and a heroine you can't help but love. The combination of the two worlds and Clara's involvement in both was exciting. I liked that this was taken loosely from The Nutcracker but was completely different. I also got to Skype with Claire for the teen book club and she is so awesome. If you like fantasy, winter, action, or want to try something different, try this. There are some pretty steamy moments, so if romance isn't your thing, just be warned.