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Literature / The Sisters Grimm

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L to R: Puck, Daphne, Sabrina

The Sisters Grimm is a children's fantasy mystery book series written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by Peter Ferguson. The series consists of nine novels published from 2005 to 2012, which collectively tell a Fractured Fairy Tale based around crimes that happen in the small town of Ferryport Landing.

Ferryport Landing is a town where nothing is what it seems and fairytale creatures, called Everafters, roam the streets. Sometimes, mass destruction follows them, and somehow, none of the humans notice the strange magical happenings, although this can be attributed to the effects of "forgetful dust".

The main protagonists, sisters Sabrina and Daphne Grimm (respectively 11 and 7 years old at the start of the series), are related to The Brothers Grimm. After the girls' parents disappear mysteriously, they skip around foster homes and end up going to live with a grandmother they didn't know they had. Upon learning of the existence of Everafters, they join the family business of solving mysteries, which are possibly linked to the disappearance of their parents, all the while dealing with the 4000-year-old trickster fairy Puck.

However, the Everafters are kept in Ferryport Landing by a magical barrier, and within the town exists a group of Everafters with plans to escape and Take Over the World known as the Scarlet Hand. As the only known way to destroy this barrier is to kill all members of the Grimm family, the sisters' mysteries end up building to an all-out war against the Scarlet Hand.

All the books, in order, are:

  1. The Fairytale Detectives
  2. The Unusual Suspects
  3. The Problem Child
  4. Once Upon a Crime
  5. Magic and Other Misdemeanors
  6. Tales from the Hood
  7. The Everafter War
  8. The Inside Story
  9. The Council of Mirrors

Tropes and other misdemeanors:

  • Academy of Adventure: In book two, Sabrina, Daphne, and Puck are enrolled in Ferryport Landing Elementary. The children are practically zombie slaves, the teachers are evil, the school's guidance councilor tries to kill everybody, and the principal turns out to be the Pied Piper and is controlling the human students.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Puck and Mayor Charming have a problem with names. Ms. Smirt never refers to the sisters by their proper names.
  • Action Girl: Nearly all the women in the book.
  • Aerith and Bob: Baba Yaga and Jacob Grimm is just one example.
  • The Alleged Car: The Grimm family's beat up old car is so loud, you cannot have a single conversation inside it.
    "Are we close to Faerie yet?"
    "Oh, I love chili, but I'm afraid it doesn't love me," Granny shouted back.
    "No, not chili! Faerie!" Sabrina cried. "Are we getting closer?"
    "Why no, I've never kissed a monkey. What a weird question."
  • All Part of the Show: When the Jabberwocky breaks into the school.
  • Artifact of Death: The Vorpal Blade and any other magical item.
  • Ax-Crazy: Little Red Riding Hood, anybody?
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Very frequently between Sabrina and Puck.
    • The two of them having that conversation after Oberon's funeral.
    • Puck pulling a Deus ex Machina and saving Sabrina from falling to her death in Once Upon A Crime.
  • Babies Ever After: Eventually, Puck and Sabrina get married and have two daughters.
  • Badass Creed: "We are the Grimms. This is what we do."
  • Badass Family: The Grimms all fight crimes, sometimes against creatures that could possibly eat them. Definitely badass.
  • Bad Future: Yes it was. Fortunately, the heroes were able to change it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Puck and Sabrina, inasmuch as a couple of twelve year olds can have. They eventually get married.
  • Big Bad Friend: Mirror was the Master all along.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Obviously. Except it's actually the spirit of ferocity removed from an ordinary wolf using the North Wind, which can enter people and transform them into the Wolf.
  • Big Damn Heroes / The Cavalry: Puck has his moments, although he always tries to pass it off as a Villainous Rescue. So does Prince Charming.
  • Big Eater: Daphne and Puck are said to have bottomless stomachs. The only way to wake Daphne up is to tell her breakfast is ready.
  • The Mad Hatter: The real Mad Hatter who was the judge in a court case.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Sabrina has to tell her mom and dad that Puck is not her boyfriend as they watch him pull a prank on Sabrina.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Daphne and Sabrina learn karate from Snow White.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Trying to act like the hero is what got Puck into major trouble with the Jabberwocky.
  • Time Travel: The Grimms toy around with the concept in book 5 in ways like meeting the future Sabrina and Daphne as well as fixing the Bad Future.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Puck does insist he's a bad guy and it is beneath him to help people.
  • True Love's Kiss: Sabrina and Daphne's parents are woken from their enchanted sleep by this; their dad's ex-girlfriend kisses him, and he then kisses his wife awake.
    • Puck eats one of the poison apples from Snow White's story, and Sabrina then has to kiss him.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The kazoo that controls the wind in Tales From the Hood. Sabrina and Puck had no idea what it was for until Sabrina blew it and it literally blew the bank away.
  • Wham Episode: Book 7, considering it deals with a huge war amongst the Everafters and is reasonably quite a climactic point in the series.
    • The end of almost all the books. They are, after all, mystery stories.
  • Wham Line: The Reveal of The Master's identity.
    Sabrina: You sick, twisted monster. Do you know the nightmare you have inflicted upon my family? You're a horrible, evil worm!
    Pinocchio: I'm not the Master!
    Puck: Why should we believe you?
    Mirror: Because I am the Master.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shockingly of all, it comes from Puck.