Reviews: Fables

Good story, but flawed and rushed

The first 12 books or so (including 1001 Nights of Snowfall) flow smoothly and richly. We get introduced to Fabletown and its movers and shakers, as well as the conflict with the Empire and the Adversary. But after War and Pieces, the series falls apart. Wilingham loses his focus and rushes along from plot to new plot to side story to yet another plot without bothering to handle the issues and complications he's already set up. He tries and fails to deal with multiple threads; very little of the side tales and threads weave into the whole.

Seriously, after Gepetto is caught, very little is done with him. We get a few pages of him wandering Fabletown, there's a short sideplot of him trying to take over the Farm that's easily dismissed by Rose in only one scene, some mention of Beast trying to arrange a marriage between Gep and the Blue Fairy that's dropped and forgotten...and Gep manages to get his hands on an enchanted seedling of the Wood? Again, dropped with no further mention.

Everything after War and Pieces feels like Willingham is trying to do too much, too fast, instead of letting the story develop. Bringing in those annoying Literals and Jack are only another distraction, brought in and dumped fast with no consequences to the plot. Cubs in Toyland is a tearjerking story, but has no bearing on the overall story. And that flaw is repeated over and over again: the tale gets sidetracked and derailed, multiple theads are picked up then ignored, and vital information that should be necessary to the plot backstory is thrown in at at the last minute (Snow and Rose's mother and the magic tontine is the most glaring offender there, seconded by the kids' prophecy). Worse, the author has problems keeping details straight; quite a bit of info that comes out in the end flat-out contradicts earlier books.

Overall, this is an interesting series and worth the read, but save your money and get it from the library.

Great story but with visible flaws (spoilers ahoy)

So I've been following this story from beginning to end, and it's been a fun journey. The drawings (for the most parts) are amazing, the characters are a lot of fun, and it has some really interesting and even epic moments here and there.

My beef with the series though would be the lack of character development and any real depth within the characters and their relationships, one good example being Snow, Bigby and their cubs of which we never really have focus on their interactions as a family. The kicker would definetely be when Bigby met his children again after four years and this received absolutely no focus. Snow was dreading having babies but after she had them, nothing else was said about it and she just sort of suddenly was accepting of the situation. At some point she asks North to be a mentor for her children on how to control their magic abilities. These are all just some examples of scenarios that could have been explored a lot more for heartwarming and character building moments, but they're all topics abandonded as quickly as they're brought up.

Of course this does not only account for Snow and Bigby, I'm merely using them as the most familiar examples. I feel this series overall can get a bit too much of "Tell" rather than "Show". Bigby being brought back to normal at the end happened way too quickly after all that build up and the ending climax with Rose waging a war towards Snow I thought was kinda pointless and forced, not to mention the ridiculously easy way of how it was solved; simply ask Rose what happens with Snow's children. Sorry, but you're telling me she never thought of that? I also didn't really get the point of ending it with showing all the dozens of people descending from Snow and Bigby after what is apparently several centuries later of which said couple are still perfect and happy. I think a Who Wants to Live Forever? topic would have been interesting to see the characters face at one point, but apparently no one is bothered by that in this universe? Oh well.

All this being said though, I have still enjoyed Fables and am very glad to have read it. There are still lots of great moments to counter the weaker ones. For me personally, those weaker moments just keeps the series from reaching its full potential and making it an amazing one, but as it is now, it makes for a strong 6/10 rating to me.
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