Monday, 22 February 2010

Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide

I've wanted to read "The Spiderwick Chronicles" for a long time. So I thought where better to start than the first book "The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1 The Field Guide" by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. It's going to be a long time until I finish this series because I only have the first book and am cutting back on book buying. If you don't know what the first book is about, here is the blurb:

We are very proud (and a bit wary) to announce the publication of The Spiderwick Chronicles. But beware, the faeries will use all their power to stop you from reading these books. Book 1 of The Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory, Simon and Jared get acquainted with their new home but find many unexpected things. It all starts when Jared Grace find their great uncle's book, "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You." and realises that are not alone in their new house. Now the Grace kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything to stop them...Its up to you to spread the word about their discovery. But heed their warnings, wear some red, turn your clothes inside out - all anti-faerie devices - and get ready to enter a world that you never knew existed...Its closer than you think!

I wasn't entirely sure what this book was about before I bought it. I knew there was a film about it and I'd seen clips of it. I'd glimpsed an intriguing world so I thought I'd ask for this book for Christmas. The main three characters are Jared, Simon and Mallory. I occasionally got confused between Jared and Simon. Mallory is the one who loves fencing and is also the oldest. I liked Mallory because I've tried fencing and I can see why she loves it. Jared is the bravest of the boys and I like him. He seems to be the one who always gets the blame for things though as he's been in trouble lately at school. Simon is a great animal lover and is the reader out of the two brothers. But it's Jared who finds "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide".

The plot of this story is quite good. However, not a lot happens in this book. I imagine the story will unfold a lot more in the coming books. But as a singular book, the amount of content wasn't particularly impressive. I'd like to read the remaining chronicles and then see the film. This book was enjoyable but I don't think it's worth reading unless you plan to read all the chronicles. I read this a few days after Christmas so my memory is a little sketchy but I flicked through it as it didn't take me long to read originally.

Overall, I'm giving this book 3 stars out of 5 stars. I'd like to give it more as it was enjoyable but there just wasn't enough content in the book.


  1. I really enjoyed this, but probably because I fell in love with Holly Black's writing in her Modern Tales of Faeries series which you should definitely read. They're amazing!

  2. I think the strongest part of the Spiderwick series is the artwork--none of the individual books do much to advance the plot, and the writing isn't a great example of how to tell a good story in installments.

    Be warned: Holly Black writes herself into the story later, if you're the kind of person who takes a dim view of that kind of thing.

  3. Thanks for the review! I've been wanting to read these books as they remind me of Lemony Snicket's, although they're probably quite different, heh.

  4. Spiderwick centers around three siblings who stumble upon their ancestor's handbook to the faerie world.Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles introduces us to Nick and his new step-sister Laurie. Laurie has a copy of Arthur Spiderwick's field guide that has been published.