Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
Series: Castle Glower #2
Publication: Bloomsbury Children's (first published 2013), ARC, 235pg
Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Reading Level
Purchase at Amazon or add it to your Goodreads shelf
A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it... Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.
Strange things are afoot in Castle Glower: new rooms, corridors, and even stables keep arriving, even when they aren't needed. Celie's brother Bran, the new Royal Wizard, has his hands full cataloguing an entire storeroom full of exotic and highly dangerous weapons, while Celie has her hands full . . . raising the creature that hatches from a giant egg she finds! Will they be able to find out what's making the Castle behave this way in time? (from Goodreads)
When I started reading Wednesdays in the Tower, I was under the impression that I remembered the first book better than I did. Turns out I don’t! Who ARE all these characters? Prince who? Castle what? There’s no background/reminders of things past (except for ocassional “remember when that thing happened but we won’t talk about it more” scenes) so if it’s been a while since you read the first book, I recommend re-reading it before reading this one.
That said, I DO remember the first book having a lot more tension in the plot. The castle is going nuts in this book, doing some truly spooky stuff, and that does provide a lot of tension in itself. That’s all kind of negated with the cuddly griffin running around, though, doing adorable baby griffin stuff and taking up the majority of the plot. While the first book was conspiracy-scary-woah, this second book is mostly adorable babies. Which is fine! But I was hoping for more of what I liked in the first book to show up in this one.
This book FEELS like the middle bit of a series (I don’t know if it IS the middle of the series, though), which can be a bad thing when you don’t immediately have the next book to read. The plot is simple and short, and if I HAD the next book I’d have moved on to it right away just so I could get a better taste of what happened in this book. The characters don’t develop into anything better/different than what they started out as. The baddie shows up for a bit but he mostly doesn’t matter. And the griffin, while adorable, doesn’t do much besides wreck bedrooms and learn to fly.
However! The stuff that shows up as worldbuilding background stuff was very cool. I liked learning more about the history of Celie’s kingdom, and of the people who lived there before. And I really liked how the characters found out about it: through research and history and archaeology and digging around! The mystery of what the castle is and what griffins mean to the royal family was a very nifty plot, even if it wasn’t as action-conspiracy-thriller exciting as Tuesdays in the Castle‘s plot had been.
I think what I need to do is reread the first book and then reread this one– it’s not the book’s fault I don’t remember half of what I thought I did, and I think it’d feel less like half the story got chopped out if I had something to bolster it up behind it.
Read: April 13, 2013
It’s interesting that I’m not more freaked out by the castle. Usually self-aware houses are CREEPY, but this one is benign (mostly) and kind of whimsical, so it’s never scared me.