Monday, July 19, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: January 27, 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 247 pgs.
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.
Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.
I loved, loved, loved the concept for this book. Janni Lee Simner's young adult debut has an incredible setting: a post-apocalyptic America caused by a war with Faerie. The two worlds are linked, and both are nearly destroyed in the war, but there are other consequences no one foresaw. Now the children are developing magic of their own as some twisted side-effect of the war, and Liza's town has strict rules about magic.
After her father leaves her magical baby sister out to die and her mother disappears without a word, Liza realizes she has magic of her own, and she runs away in order to survive. There's a nice, cute boy who chases after her and the two eventually end up on an adventure, along with a girl named Allie and Liza's cat Tallow, looking for Liza's mom, who they believe is in Faerie.
What I didn't love: the author's prose. I liked most of it, I really did, but the way she handled the visions kept dragging me out of the story. It's a personal preference, and I just didn't care for the style. Here's a non-spoilery example so you know what I'm talking about:
I looked into the glass and I saw---
A man doing something---
A young girl running---
Other things always followed by a long dash---
Like I said, nothing major and totally subjective, but I didn't like it and it really took away from the book for me. There was also a bit of distance between me and the characters. I cared about what happened to them but I didn't really connect with them; though I did almost cry at one point, but that would be a spoiler.
Anyway, the premise and the setting alone were amazing enough to keep me turning pages. I was curious to know what happened to Faerie, what was happening to the rest of the world, and about the connections between certain characters. I will admit that my favorite character was Caleb, even though he doesn't get nearly as much attention as I'd like. He was a very interesting character. All in all it's a great addition to YA fantasy and a very original faerie story.
Visit the author online.
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