Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series and this one
Book: The Hummingbird (Order of the Bell 3) by Jacob Devlin
Release Date: February 20th 2018
Tags: Young Adult / Fantasy / Fairytale Retellings / Peter Pan / Pinochio / Snow White / Alice in Wonderland
Other books in this series I reviewed
The Carver / The Unseen
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
In the aftermath of the great battle that left Wonderland in ruins, Crescenzo DiLegno and his two best friends have reunited with their families in Florindale, but the war wages on in every kingdom. The Order of the Bell is scattered, presumably left to the mercy of Queen Avoria, whose grip on the New World grows tighter every day. Cities have already fallen, the shadows have spread, and a fortress of nightmares has appeared in the heart of New York City.
Determined to take back his home and restore order to the worlds, Crescenzo must rally all the people he’s met from his adventures, from the troubled prince to the rebellious Lost Boys, and storm Avoria’s castle of illusion. The Carver’s war against the wicked Ivory Queen brews to an explosive finale, but dark secrets about her true nature have yet to emerge, and not everybody will be prepared to survive them.
Not too long after having read The Unseen did I start The Hummingbird and I realized this was actually the last installment. Unfortunately it doesn’t feel like this book made much improvements in the things that bothered me about the previous two.
The Hummingbird starts close to the ending of The Unseen and continues on at a similar pace. We sidetrack to Neverland to gather the Lost Boys for the cause in the first half of the book and in the second half of the book there is the end battle. I think I could have done without Neverland. It felt like it added little really. The Lost Boys played no role further in the book and their initial reluctance was so easily swept to the side by asking nicely. And that is what I mean with no depth as mentioned in previous reviews of this series. I cannot believe any of that would have made the Lost Boys said yes because we barely touch the surface on so many elements and underlying tensions between characters. Tinkerbell for instance was barely dealt with at all.
There are just too many character point of views to adequately deal and add in depth with for the amount of pages. And without depth of the character nothing ever quite reached me on an emotional level. In Neverland we could have really delved into Pietro and his relationship with The Lost Boys, Hook, Wendy and Tinkerbell and Zach who still has to deal with his dad being Peter Pan. But we do not get any of that.
Adding on to that is that the author is trying to go for the epic battle for the end but it felt unbelievably flat. This and that is tossed in as twists. Characters you think are gone or dead are tossed back in. Everyone suddenly throws their lives on the line for each other. This person dies, that person dies. Almost everyone dies. Betrayal. The evil queen isn’t quite so evil. And then everything gets reverted at the end. One big happy ending. To say I was extremely frustrated with that ending would be an understatement.
I will say that I think The Order of the Bell trilogy is a nice quick in between read for those that like fairytale retellings in bulk like Once Upon a Time and The Tenth Kingdom if you adjust your expectations.