Peter and Max (Fables Novel) By: Bill Willingham Illustrator: Steve Leialoha
This story stars Peter Piper and his incorrigible brother Max in a tale about jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Set in two distinct time periods, prepare to travel back to medieval times and learn the tragic back-story of the Piper family, a medieval-era family of traveling minstrels. Then, jump into the present to follow a tale of espionage as Peter Piper slowly hunts down his evil brother for a heinous crime, pitting Peter’s talents as a master thief against Max’s dark magical powers. Based on the long-running and award-winning comic book series FABLES, PETER AND MAX is its own tale. Readers don’t have to be familiar with the comics to fully enjoy and understand this book.
I’ve read several of the Fables graphic novels and I’ve had this book on my to read list for years, it’s crazy that it took me this long to read.
I found it fun to read this universe in novel form and I think it worked very well, however I don’t know if someone who’s never read the comics would appreciate it as much. There were several references to things that you wouldn’t fully understand if you hadn’t read the comics. I think someone who had never read them could understand what was going on, but I don’t think they’d fully appreciate it all.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the comics and I honestly don’t remember Peter and Bo, but after reading this I wouldn’t be adverse to finding out more. Peter was a master thief and Bo was an assassin, is that something you’d ever think Peter Piper and Little Bo Peep were capable of? That’s exactly what Fables is like though.
Some people call it an adult Once Upon a Time, but I don’t think that’s a good comparison. The writing in Fables is creative and entertaining and there are all kinds of twists. As much as I enjoy watching Once Upon a Time they just started another season with everyone losing their memories. Fables has taken the concept adult fairy tales and created an interesting and complicated world.
Anyways, back to the book. I did enjoy reading a novel in this world, but I thought there was a ton of build up with a couple paragraphs of payoff. It wasn’t enough for me. I understand why they couldn’t do a more detailed epilogue, but the ending was lacking and left me feeling unsatisfied, never a good feeling.
I would certainly read more novels written in this world and one day I will own all the graphic novels, but I’m a bit disappointed with Peter and Max and I bumped it down half a star.
Side note: Illustrations were great