I avoided reading this book for a long time. First of all, the title, cover art, and the fact that it's a long series just screamed "Super Nerdy Fantasy Book" at me. Second, I wasn't crazy about The Candy Shop Wars. I had to read it and like it because it is about my home town, but the dialogue drove me crazy and the whole story seemed annoyingly far-fetched. But my youngest brother gave me Fablehaven for Christmas, and I just couldn't let him down.
I cracked it open on a lonely night when I couldn't sleep, and the very first page roped me right in. I didn't know that it was set in the present, and the whole idea of the Fablehaven preserve was so unique and creative to me. I was all set to launch into the entire series until the grandma entered the story and the dialogue got unbearable. Grandparents don't talk in informative paragraphs like that--am I right? The ending was fine, but kind of flash/bang/boom really fast.
Overall, I loved the beginning. I loved the mysterious/kids-figuring-out-clues feel. I'm not ready to continue in the series quite yet, but I could see myself getting there eventually. Just how and why the grandma turned into a chicken in the first place had better come up and be important in later books or I'm going to be mad that he just brushed that off.