A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 21, 2010}   La Grande Quête de Jacob Jobin, vol. 1 : L’Élu by Dominique Demers

Plot: When Jacob finds out that his summer camp has been canceled, he decides to visit his estranged uncle Theodore rather than spend the holidays with his sister and her mean friends. The once hitch is that he’s never met his uncle and he doesn’t know he’s coming. Still, he is allowed to stay. He has second thoughts though when he finds his uncle cold and unwelcoming. Worse yet there isn’t a single TV in the house for him to play his video games on. But Jacob can’t stay bored for long. His uncle’s house is full of mysteries like the library filled from floor to ceiling with fairy tales and fairy mythology, and the room in the basement he may not enter a la Blue Beard. Besides it’s starting to look as though his rash decision to stay with his uncle was fate. Jacob Jobin is the chosen one and the fate of the fairy world rests on his shoulders.

Dominique Demers is  a huge name in children’s literature in Québec but this is her first real foray into fantasy so I didn’t know what to expect. I found the story a little slow to get started; it didn’t actually feel like a fantasy book until halfway through. But I have high hopes for the second book because once Jacob’s quest actually got underway, it was described in such vivid detail that I actually felt I was there (including a breath-stopping, claustrophobic wriggle through a tiny tunnel). Chosen ones and sleeping princesses are hardly new ground but Demers is a good storyteller and it always remains fun and accessible.


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