Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (276 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night …

Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword. But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return. Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.
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Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

She has nightmares. She hears people screaming and sees monsters. Why does she have these dreams?

This is a revamp of the traditional fairy tale and Ms. Ting gives us a much more lengthy tale with lots of detail. This is a full bodied read.

Jaclyn lives with her parents on their secluded farm. Her parents are loving and they have a good life together. Her mother is suggesting it’s time for Jaclyn to find a husband and settle down but Jaclyn is happy where she’s at and has no interest in men.

When she hears her father having a secret meeting in the barn, she listens. There are sheep missing and the monsters are walking again. Maybe that’s why she’s dreaming about them. Her father is going to take three sheep with him and set a trap. A few men are going to go with him. When he leaves in the morning, she’s in the back of the wagon, hidden.

There’s a battle with the monsters that mimics her dream but she didn’t foresee her father and his friends being taken prisoner. How is she going to save him?

Ms. Ting writes a story that keeps your attention and makes you wonder how it’s going to end. She even introduces Jaclyn to her love before the tale is over.

The author has added a religious base to the source of the monsters that’s a bit unusual for a fairy tale but the way she did it made sense.

This was an enjoyable read even with the sad parts. This story will stick with you after you’ve finished the book. Ms. Ting has a good touch with fairy tales.

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