Johnny Marco, a simple cobbler, from Cloaked by Alex Flinn wishes his life was more exciting. He spends every day after school and during the summer working at his family owned shoe repair shop in the luxurious hotel Coral Reef Grand in South Beach. Johnny’s father left when he was two and he works to support his mother. His life changes immensely when the partying princess from Aloria comes to town and stays in the posh hotel. Johnny accepts the Princess Victoriana’s challenge of chasing down her brother (who has been turned into a frog by the evil witch Sieglinde). In return for finding the Prince of Aloria, the Princess gives Johnny $10,000 and promises to marry him. Johnny embarks on a magical journey with only the magic earpiece, the magic cloak, and the lucky ring given to him by his best friend Meg. The magic earpiece allows him to talk to animals that were once humans. The cloak allows Johnny to travel anywhere in the world as long as he wished for it. But you had to be very specific, because the magic cloak had a sense of humor, like dumping Johnny into garbage cans on a regular basis. Johnny encounters many dangers, many used-to-be’s (animals that once were humans), two giants, and one evil witch throughout his quest. Johnny also learns a lot about himself including discovering who his one true love is. Johnny also has to make many life changing decisions throughout the course of his quest. By listening to his new animal friends that are used-to-be’s, Johnny embarks on his own personal journey to find out who he really is and what he wants with his life.
I really liked how quickly Cloaked progressed. I was enthralled with the plot right from the beginning and I loved how quickly the different characters developed. Each character and their personality were needed to further the plot in the right direction. I also enjoyed how many different fairy-tales Alex Flinn was able to incorporate into this one complex novel. Parts of the story were very predictable, but overall the plot was unique. Many of the chapters started with a quote from one of the fairytales incorporated in to the plot. I really enjoyed the quotes, because it showed a little bit more of where the story is coming from. I also enjoyed the story because the fairy-tales that were incorporated are not the most common ones, so it was interesting to read some of the little known fairytales. The ending of Cloaked came as a slight surprise to me, but I won’t reveal why for fear of ruining the end for some of you future readers of this novel.
You can read an excerpt here.
Author: Alex Flinn
Page Nos.: 352
Release Date: February 2011