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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Haunted Halloween Tour - The Carver by Jacob Devlin

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes! Read on to find out what our dear friend Pietro from Jacob Devlin's The Carver worries about at night...

Book review

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Review by Suze
Crescenzo thinks his father just makes wooden toys, he doesn't seek anything behind them. His father is Pinocchio and he knows there's something terribly wrong. Crescenzo's mother and his best friend are missing. His father is smart enough to leave clues before he's being taken as well. When Crescenzo's being told that his father is from a different world and that fairytales are real he doesn't believe a word. However, the evidence keeps piling up. Together with his friend Pietro, who's actually Peter Pan, he goes on a quest to find his missing loved ones. Will they succeed?

Hansel's heart is aching because of the disappearance of his sister Gretel and he's willing to do anything to get her back. He even buys a mine because he thinks he'll be able to find her there. Instead of his sister he runs into great evil, a witch who's far more powerful and cunning than he could have ever imagined. Will he fall into her trap and will she manage to put him under her spell or can he fight her?

The Carver is a book about disappearing fairytale characters. There are a lot of them, but as they're all well known the story never becomes confusing. I loved following Crescenzo. He's stubborn and unwilling to believe, but he has a good heart and will eventually see what happens right in front of him. I liked the combination of characters. They are from all kinds of stories, for example Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Ridinghood, Peter Pan, Snow White, Mulan and many more. Some of them have children, so there are some additions made by Jacob Devlin too. He lets the fairytale characters work and interact together like it's the most natural thing in the world, which was fabulous.

Jacob Devlin makes sure there's a clear common thread in his story. The Carver is set in different times and above each chapter the reader can find when and where the scene is taking place. He makes his story easy to follow this way and the reader can focus entirely on the action. There's a battle of good against evil and evil is very strong, so good has quite a big problem. I was curious to see if they would be victorious, but as there's an open ending I need to wait just a little bit longer. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. The Carver is a fast-paced story with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I really enjoyed reading this book, its a lot of fun.

About Jacob Devlin

When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

Find out more at


Guest post

Hey everybody! Pietro Volo here, your favorite character ever from The Carver and the handsome, dashing alter ego of your favorite Lost Boy, Peter Pan.

Friends, I know what they say about me. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve listened to the songs. If I’ve understood them correctly, the stories ask you to believe the following:

That I am still a ten-year-old boy.

That I need a bottle of Gorilla Glue to stick my shadow to my toes.

That I’m going to fly into your children’s windows and whisk them off to some isolated world filled with man-eating gators and pirates, kinda like how I picture Florida.

There was a time when all of this might have been true, but it bewilders my brains to believe that all these stories handle this so casually. The songs are slow, soulful, and even a little touching. But now that I have a fifteen-year-old son? Dude, I’m freaked. What if there’s another me flying around world and he’s determined to snatch moody teenagers right out of their beds and zoom them off to a place where we can’t get a hold of them because AT&T doesn’t reach that far? This is scary. Zack doesn’t even wear pants to bed.

*clicks on flashlight and points it under my chin*

That is one of my worst nightmares. The other one is a terrible dream that I have all. The. Time. You know who else likes to fly through your window while you’re sleeping? The Sandman. He’s supposed to bring you some nice REM, but when he gets sick, we all get these recurring fever dreams.

You’ll never guess what my nightmares involve. There are some tiny changes from night to night, but they always involve one freaky element that kicks me--hard, I’ll have you know--right in the Assassin’s Creed parts I and II. One time, I was on top of Mount Everest. Don’t ask me how my lazy bum got up there, but then there was an earthquake that brought the whole mountain down. Another night, I was standing on top of Clocher de Pierre, the bell tower offering the best view of Florindale, and my shadow took a torch and lit the base on fire. I’ve also been on a tightrope across two skyscrapers, and my wife and kid are at either side holding Santoku kitchen knives. How fair is that, Sandman? But my least favorite is probably the Ferris Wheel, which is clearly falling apart as I swing back and forth at the very top by one hand.

But wait! you say. You can fly! I get that a lot when I talk about nightmares. You can fly, you can fly, you can fly. Well, hey. You ever have those dreams where you’re being chased by like, a leathery winged demon, or a dude with a bloody axe, or an animatronic orangutan from Disneyland? And sometimes, your feet plant roots into the carpet or you suddenly weigh a hundred thousand pounds? That’s me. That’s Murphy’s Law. When the Ferris Wheel crashes into dust, you don’t get to fly.

Yeah, the Sandman’s a friggin’ jerk. You should hear about how many times Prince Liam’s had to fight off a dragon with a toothpick, or Snow White’s twisted dream where her feet turn into apples. Hansel? Pretty sure his nightmares are drizzled on a graham cracker and loaded with a generous coat of pure sugar. Hey, that might be a beautiful dream for you and I, but that guy probably wakes up plastered in sweat. Gross!

I wanna share something a morally grey, shady magical fairy once told me on one of the scariest nights of my life. Do not be angry when your shadow eludes you, she said. After all, shadows are born from the light. The world can be a real scary place sometimes. There’s violence and pure hate. There are hateful queens, chameleon wolves, and aquamantulas. There are deceptions and cancers and poisonous fruits, and Space Mountain breaks down when you’re in line. And the Sandman doesn’t care. But, I’m here to remind you that it takes a light to cast a shadow (unless it’s my shadow--this thing doesn’t obey me or physics or anything.) Find your light source. It can be anything. Family. A hobby. A good book and a Netflix show to binge on. Or, you know, me… But whatever you do, I really hope you don’t turn to a mirror to solve your problems. I mean, you can, but good things don’t usually happen. That’s another story for later.

Happy Halloween, Lost Children! BOO!

About The Carver


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The girl in the red hood has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

The Prince looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

The actress is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world...

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.


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