This middle grade novel by Melissa de la Cruz was a fun start to a new twisted fairy tale series: The Chronicles of Never After. The first book, Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, follows Filomena Jefferson-Cho as she anxiously awaits the release of the last book in her favorite series: The Thirteen Fairy. She’s disappointed to learn that it has missed it’s publication deadline, and is even more confused to encounter Jack Stalker, the main character from The Thirteenth Fairy series, on the streets in Pasadena. Jack convinces her that Westphalia is real and that she has to travel to Westphalia to help him defeat the evil queen, his nemesis in all the stories. I really enjoyed this blended story of a fan actually stepping into the fantasy world they have previously devoured. It’s a funny mixture of reverse cosplay as Filomena recites the spells needed along the adventure to help Jack and his friends.
As a Filipina, I was tickled to read that Filomena’s dad is Filipino/Korean and her mom is British. I was able to read this novel thanks to NetGalley. I’m looking forward to more books in the series and I can’t wait to share this with my daughter. Fans of twisted fairytales and the Descendants series will enjoy this book.