This particular book features a complete story, originally told in multiple issues, about Snow White going off to the Farm where all the Fables who are not human-looking, who can’t blend in New York City, reside, for her bi-annual visit. What she discovers is that trouble has been brewing in her absence and that the person in charge of maintaining order has mysteriously disappeared.
It doesn’t sound so bad: there’s mystery, action, conflict, and it’s all wrapped up in a fantasy setting.
It all started with the fact that Snow White brought along her sister, who is on probation for a previous misdeed and no one corrects her on this – just because she manages the Mayor’s affairs. Talk about abuse of power! Then they go to the Farm, and pretty much the only thing that we find there are farm animals and various familiar wildlife – all things that are native to our version of earth.
Um… what happened to all the other mythical creatures that should be in there? Surely a millenia of human literature would populate that farm with all sorts of beasts of wonder and awe. How is it that the only ones that escaped their reality are these small creatures who probably couldn’t defend themselves? Surely some less conventional beasts were fast, strong and/or resourceful enough to make it out too?
Later in the book, we discover that there are a trio of giants and that they have been hibernating this whole time. Fine. Except that we are then expected to believe that they would agree to be turned into pigs for the sake of discretion, to hide from the human world more easily? Firstly, no biped would agree to be reduced to a quadruped, given that it puts them in a vulnerable position. Secondly, why didn’t they do this in the first place, when they first moved to earth? Ridiculous.
Snow White also digs up a dragon out of nowhere to wrap up the growing conflict, but we don’t know where it’s been and how they managed to hide that beast from everyone for all this time. But my main beef is that Willingham would have us believe that The Adversary is more powerful than these three giants and a dragon (who also ends up agreeing to be turned into a crow, b-t-w )? I can understand how sheep and pigeons could be vanquished, but these powerful giants and a dragon? Really?
All this to say that the series has so far left me way too incredulous to care about reading more of it. It’s not a bad series, per se, and I love the core concept, but I’ve all-too-frequently found it uninspired and short-sighted. If one is going to be ambitious, it’s absolutely crucial that one can deliver the goods. Unfortunately, I find that ‘Fables’ (at least the first part of the series), comes up short on too many levels to be worth more than a casual glance.