Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyPublishing Date: January 28, 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 240

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard 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 modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never, ever giving up.

Though I didn’t read this book from the perspective of someone who has read the original fairy tale, there is so much to love about it. If I had been able to read Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy as a kid, I would have been ecstatic. Swords are and always have been a huge interest of mine, so I really enjoyed that her father is an international swords expert. Ophelia is a great protagonist. She’s nerdy, stubborn, and all around fun.

I envisioned the museum from the story’s setting as this massive, almost epic place. I loved the descriptions of the different galleries and the museum’s seemingly forgotten corners, and loved the concept of the Wintertide Clock.

Foxlee really has a way with words. I was more or less captivated by the story she told. While there were some moments in the prose when it was a bit overly repetitive or where the story was a bit predictable for my taste (which I suspect is partially due to the book being middle grade), I really loved it overall. The descriptions were lyrical and vivid, the characters were distinct and enjoyable, and other than the pace slowing down a bit toward the middle, the book was hard for me to put down.

I was pre-approved for this title by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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