Review: The Seeing Stone


The Seeing Stone by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We said no still you looked

Now instead

Someone gets cooked.”

This is the second book of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Every action has its own consequences. Ignoring Thimbletack’s warning to destroy the field guide by Arthur Spiderwick, now Jared must deal with the problems caused by his stubbornness.

They begin with Simon, his twin, losing his cat and asking him to help him find the pet. Refusing, Jared goes to the library to look through the pages of Arthur’s journal when he witnesses an invisible force drags Simon to the woods. An awful understanding dawns on him: his twin is held captive by magical creatures that have mistaken Simon for him. Thimbletack’s warning comes true.

With the help of their older sister, Mallory, and the Seeing Stone that enables them to see what can’t be seen before, Jared goes into the woods to save his twin and catches sight of many magical creatures from the field guide in flesh, living in the vicinity unnoticeably.

What I do like from this book:

  • Though Mallory seems to be a bad older sister who loves to make unpleasant remarks to her twin brothers, she actually cares for them. Well, I’m not sure whether it’s her character or just because it’s an urgent and unusual matter, but I like her decision to turns around and saves Jared from the goblins trying to drag him when she almost reaches the safety.
  • Listen! Listen! You can see the magical creatures by having one spits to your eyes! I know it’s gross to have spit on your eyes, but you only need to have it once to be able to see the magic around you for the rest of your life. Isn’t that fascinating? Well, I know, the Seeing Stone is much more compromising, but it seems that the thing is only one-of-a-kind, meaning, we need to get back to the spit.
  • This book also includes a clipping from Pennsylvania newspaper reporting the “disappearance” of Arthur Spiderwick’s older brother, Theodore, in 1885, found among his papers (I do believe that the authors mean the real Arthur Spiderwick). It said that the local police believed that the boy was another victim of the bear attacks that had claimed the lives of other three children. It also included how Arthur, who was 8 at that time and apparently the witness of the attack, claimed that the bear was at least seven feet tall, with huge fangs, and looked like a troll. The police deemed Arthur to be severely affected and distressed and that his imagination must be running wild with all of the confusion and speculation surrounding the disappearance. I wonder which one says the truth. It is not uncommon that adults tend to not truly listen to or believe in what a child says, particularly if it doesn’t make sense. They will always blame it to a child’s imagination. Have a child witnesses a murdering scene and reports it to a policeman, the first thing comes to mind will be, “does this child just pull a prank on me?”. Whether the policeman will believe in the child or not is another matter. Have a child and an adult witnesses the similar crime, I bet the police will prefer the adult’s words rather than the child’s. So, imagine what adults will say when a child telling them that a troll lives in this world. The child must be imagining things. The child is unwell. And so on. It’s not that I’m on his side or anything. Maybe the adults are right, that the child was too shocked he couldn’t entirely understand what he did see. Maybe the child had a spectacular imagination that he could even see a normal man growing horns and wings. I am just curious whether somewhere at some time a child just reveals that there are other things beside humans living in the same planet and people just diminish the possibility of discovering a new world. It is too bad that the clipping doesn’t mention whether the disappearance is caused by something that can be explained by common sense.
  • I need to give a big hug and pat for Simon. Lose a cat, bring a griffin home. Well done, Simon.

What I don’t like from this book:

  • To be honest, I am a cat person. And it’s totally a big no for me to have a cat suffers in any way, let alone dies. So, I’m not particularly happy to find out the fate of Tibbs the cat, to be cooked and feasted by a bunch of Goblins. It’s not that I prefer it to happen to Simon instead, but still, isn’t this book for children? Am I wrong to have a child’s innocent wish to have Jared manages to rescue the cat and takes him back safely to their home?

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