I just finished this book last night. My first, surficial impressions after finishing: first half was a struggle, second half was great. For me, parts of the first half seemed strained. It’s always difficult introducing readers to the world of your characters as a fantasy or sci fi writer, I think. Or even as a writer of general fiction. Some accomplish it with more grace than others. I’m on a real kick for reading stories about faeries these days.
This is yet another story about how a teenaged human girl finds out she is part magical creature (faery in this case). Puck plays a big part in this book, as the main character’s best friend (sent from the seelie court to protect her). Kagawa has a great, original idea for the plot — she’s got a third court in the faery world: in addition to the classic seelie and unseelie courts, she has the iron fey. The iron fey have sprung up from human’s feelings (or whatever) about technology, and as we know, iron is poisonous/harmful to most fey.
Our heroine is Meghan Chase (excellent character name, I think), and I thought Kagawa’s portrayal of her, at first, was a bit superficial. She seemed a little two-dimensional. (really? she’s in love with “that hot football guy” at her school – the one who doesn’t even know she exists? how original.) I also wasn’t a big fan of how Meghan reacted to finding out that she was faery – didn’t feel very artful to me. Not that it didn’t feel authentic, but it felt a bit … canned. HOWEVER. I will say, the second half of the book was fast-paced and carried me along on waves of its plot twists quite effortlessly. So much so that I will track down the next book.
For me, how much I like the main character is a big part of how much I like these teen fantasy faery books. So, while I applaud Kagawa for her imaginative idea of the iron fey, I would have enjoyed the book more if I had liked Meghan more. I think for other readers, the unique plot element might be more important though.
I feel a bit guilty about my lack of enthusiasm for this book, so please understand, Julie: I admire you for having the ladyballs to write a book at all. You rock.
I’m now reading Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes — I did this series backwards; read Fate a few weeks ago (the book that started my whole teen fantasy kick, actually!) and am now reading Tattoo. I’ll write a bit about both these books when I’m finished.