by Regina Doman
I was quite sleep-deprived when I posted last night, so hopefully that entry made as least a modicum of sense. Don’t ask me why I posted a picture of Gypsy Jack; I really have no idea.
Alex O’Donnell is the fifth installment of Doman’s Fairy Tales Retold series, and was definitely my favorite. Alex, whom we first met in Waking Rose, has finished college and is heading home while he decides what to do next. He’s been dating one of Rose’s friends, Kateri (the crazy activist one), but Kateri, unknown to Alex, has decided that this relationship just isn’t going to work out in the long run. When Alex invites Kateri to come visit his family, she decides it will be the perfect opportunity to break up with him in person.
However, when she gets there, the O’Donnells are nothing like she’s expected, and life gets complicated fast. Alex’s dad has accidentally received a large sum of money – and events go haywire from there.
First off, I have to say that this book isn’t super realistic, but at the same time, it’s plausible (even if not probable), and that keeps the story going. The O’Donnells are fantastic, and I actually ended up feeling like Kateri wasn’t good enough for Alex (about my only real gripe with this book was that it really felt like Kateri expected Alex to do all the changing to make their relationship work instead of acknowledging that they both had weaknesses that they needed to work through). If you’re interesting in ninjas, sword-fighting, computer-hacking, or running your own hotel, this is definitely a book for you.
Although this story fits with the others – Rose and Fish even make a brief appearance – it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. There are religious themes throughout, but it’s not a preachy book. Doman does a fantastic job tailoring her modern story to fit the original Ali Baba, and the snippets of the original tale at the beginning of each chapter of this book really tie things together.
All in all, this book is a rollicking adventure that I definitely recommend. 4/5.