Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
Series: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles #3
Also in this series: The Nixie's Song, A Giant Problem
Published by Simon & Schuster on September 8th 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
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In the final installment of Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, Nick and Laurie had thought they solved their giant problems when they drove all the giants into the sea. But now, the Grace kids have come back to tell them they may have more trouble coming their way!
It turns out the giants control the population of Hydra, a dragon like creature that is creating sinkholes all over Florida. But with the mermaids refusing to return the giants to the shore, the nixie's still missing and the threat of a destroyed Florida drawing closer, the kids have to take matters in their own hands.
Will Nick and Laurie be able to stop the destruction they unwittingly caused? Can a new giant hunter help save the day? Can Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide help them out of this or are they on their own?
Find out in the final conclusion of the Spiderwick saga!
This book was good! It was a sort of mixture between the first two books. In the beginning, everyone was mad at each other again, and that lasted a while. Things were super depressing. Their parents didn’t blame them for running around and stealing cars and being shifty—they blamed themselves and went into counselling. View Spoiler »And then split up for a while. « Hide Spoiler Things took a dark turn there. But again, there were bigger problems at hand. Things slowly got better, the Grace siblings came to help, and plans were put into action. There were so many little plots going on that they kind of overlapped in annoying ways—like okay yes we promised to do this and this and this for y’all but right now we kind of have to go kill these things. Like, ASAP. Everyone’s priorities seemed pretty biased. But eventually things got done.
And Sandspur, the creature that was thought to be a hobgoblin—was no hobgoblin! I mean that really wasn’t a surprise, but he did turn out to be something that no one expected. View Spoiler » I mean really. He was something that wasn’t even in the Guide. Just in other folklore. But here he had DiTerlizzi’s own artistic flair. And I can kind of understand that. There must be some kinds of faeries that Arthur didn’t discover. « Hide Spoiler What he does is kind of hilarious, and unbelievable. Related to that is the fact that the wyrms were different from the ones that the Graces found. Like, a different species of the same family. Something like that. As Simon explained, it makes geographical sense. It just…wasn’t something they were prepared for.
The actual quest they were on seemed simple enough when you figured that aspects of it could cancel each other out and leave them with only minor facilitating tasks. Which they do. But of course, not without injury and other trouble. The tasks may have been simple but not easy. If that makes sense. They just weren’t too complicated.
Nick has to do a lot of figuring out in this book. A lot of introspection. He has to figure out what he wants. This is in terms of his relationship with Laurie and her mom Charlene, but also in terms of the quest they’re on. He has to decide if it’s something he doesn’t have to deal with or if it’s something he’s going to deal with anyway. He has to figure out if he wants to continue to be the person who doesn’t “bother.” Or rather, care. There is a really cool moment towards the end when he has this inner monologue about it. It’s some really neat character growth right there. And it felt like it needed to happen, too. I couldn’t have left the series satisfied without it.
It was good to see the Graces grow up too, without just completely changing and becoming jerks. They still squabble a little. But they’ve mostly just grown into older versions of themselves. Simon’s still nerdy—er, knowledgeable. Jared’s still defiant and headstrong. Mallory’s still a brave badass. And they’re all willing to do what’s right. It was nice how they all became friends with Nick and Laurie and Jules (Cindy had a lesser role in this book) and promised to meet in circumstances that don’t involve faeries. But I’m not sure they can avoid that for long. They all have the Sight. And faeries are everywhere.
This book had some fun folklore that I enjoyed looking up after reading. One of the concepts employed was the idea of a rat king. I may have read about it in some other book—it seemed vaguely familiar, in a way just as creepy. Most people think it’s still a myth—look it up—but I think it’s totally possible in nature. This book may have given it qualities that it might not possess View Spoiler » such as a hivemind mentality « Hide Spoiler but I think that just makes it cooler. And still slightly believable, I suppose. The other thing was what Sandspur turned out to be. No spoilers here. You’ll have to read it. It’s still hilarious and unexpected, even though that part is kind of brief. I still really miss Thimbletack and Hogsqueal though. I want more adventures with them and the Graces and far-off places and more types of faeries. I want them integrated in everyday life with everyone acknowledging them and having mundane conversations about baking cakes and feeding the animals and stuff. But as the end of the book says—if you want more stories, sometimes you just have to write them yourself.
This was a fitting ending to the series and the universe itself. It does leave you wanting more, but it gives you a lot to think and fantasise about. Also, I know I said at some point that nixies would be cool to hang out with, but now I think they’re rather annoying. Live and learn!
reaction upon finishing
That was pretty darn good!
this book in one word