The first part of the collection though is more of a jumping off point for the Jack of Fables spinoff series and features Jack (of the beanstalk fame, also of be nimble and many other adventures). He has a big plan of how to make his mark. He has managed to acquire some funds - best not to ask how - and heads off to Hollywood to start his own movie studios. His plan is to make the biggest selling fantasy movie trilogy ever. Jack being Jack, the stories to be told are, of course, his own. All goes swimmingly until the Fables powers that be catch up with him.
Whilst I didn't mind Jack's story, it really was the second part of the novel that really shone for me, and it may even be my favourite section of the Fables books I have read so far. In this group of episodes, we follow Little Boy Blue deep into the Homeland. His mission is to get close enough to the Adversary to assasinate him and maybe he might be able to find his true love, Red Riding Hood, while he is at it. At his disposal he has a whole arsenal of weapons all concealed in his blue cloke. Will his weapons and skill be enough to match against several different worlds of Fables characters who will do anything they can to stop him - particularly as he gets closer and closer to the Adversary.
I loved the humour in this whole section; the trolls talking about their human girlfriends serving up chicken and saying it tastes like snake, the birds having a conversation about how the female birds always fall for the crows - the bad boys of the bird world, the fights against the three horseman, and so much more! I was reading this part on the train and I am sure I spent the whole train ride smiling broadly as we got further and further into the adventure.
While it was no big surprise to me as to who the identity of the Adversary was (I had picked it a couple of books back as I think most readers would have) I did like the other twists that the story took as part of the big reveal.
The other thing that happened in this collection is that we were introduced to a new characters who I am sure will play a big role in future episodes, and that is Mowgli from the Jungle Book. I also really liked the hint that there are plenty of other fables characters and worlds to be explored with African, Asian, Indian themes. I wonder if they would ever do one featuring Australian fairy tales or Dreamtime tales, although it might be difficult to do so whilst still maintaining the necessary respect for indigenous Australians.
One other thing I would say about this volume - I really missed Bigby! Hopefully he isn't gone for too long.
I don't know if I have mentioned this or not whenever I have posted about the Fables series, but my library doesn't actually own any of these. If I want to read the series, then I have to request it via interlibrary loan from whichever libraries in the state have a copy and then wait for it turn up at my library. I am lucky in several ways. The first is that this service is still free, and that so far there is always at least one library that has had a copy of the next instalment - long may that continue!
The other thing about interlibrary loans is that once I do get the book, the borrowing period can't be extended, so between the transit times and the restricted borrowing times I am reading one Fables book every six to eight weeks or so. It feels like a pretty even and good pace to be reading them at. Expect the next review in six to eight weeks.
Over the Hills and Far AwayOther artists include Mark Buckingham, David Hahn and Steve Leialoha
Have beaten back the Adversary's first advance into their world, the residents of Fabletown must now prepare themselves for the full-scale ware that is such to follow. For one particular Fable, this means skipping town to launch a new career as a venal Hollywood mogul - a path he hopes will be paved with gold and immortality. For another Fable, though, it means a journey down a much more dangerous road - one that winds thorugh the Fables' old Homelands into the very heart of enemy territory, where the mystery of the Adversary's identity will finally be revealed.