Tag Archives: urban fairies

Tithe by Holly Black

15 Nov

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Book One of The Modern Tales of Faerie

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

I was really excited to read this book. I love stories about the fey and I had heard Holly Black was a Great in the YA world. I love her essays and reviews of other YA books so I thought this would be an instant favorite of mine. Let’s just say…that wasn’t the case.

I was so confused throughout this book. The story jumped around much I felt like I was on a literary trampoline. I just plowed through it so I could get to the end where maybe all the random BS in the plot would make sense. The storyline and thought process of the main characters as well as their narration was so disjointed that a majority of the time I was so baffled I had reread paragraphs over and over again just to follow the conversation. The characters made assumptions and decisions that the reader didn’t/couldn’t understand because there was nothing that led up to the conversation. It was just BAM “I love him” BAM “I will take on a Queen” BAM “Now I am scared and confused.” It was an insanely frustrating read and in my opinion, poorly written. (I do refuse to give this book only one star though because I am hooked just enough to read the second book. Maybe it’s more because I want Black to redeem herself or maybe it’s because I like the story? Not too sure. But I think option A.)

Kaye is a teenaged high school dropout. Roiben is a good faery forced to go bad. And then they fall in love… *sigh*. NOT. This romance is so unnatural in the way it developed I was uncomfortable with it. There were sparks of connections I clung to but overall the relationship was…. creepy? Creepy, unrealistic, sorta like the weird pedophile thing going on. And yes, I will go to the pedophile route because Black doesn’t ever give us an understanding of Roiben’s age vs. actions vs. understanding. So all I can think of is “Dude you are like 300 years old going after a baby foul mouthed 16 year. Gross.” I don’t understand why YA authors feel the need to create that heart-stopping-instant-love-at-first-sight crap. It’s an plot piece that’s hard to control and keep balanced because when it’s insta-love, readers can never feel a true connection or understand it. Add on that none of the characters were fully developed, none had ANY sense of human emotions or self preservation and you got yourself recipe for disaster.

As I said before, I was not impressed. But I am hoping that this was just a warm up and that Holly Black will bounce back with a second book that my WSOD meter will like better. I looooved Holly Black’s short pieces, I really hope that I just read this in the wrong mood.

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

6 Nov

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(Books of a Faerie Two)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

After reading Lament, I wasn’t necessarily running to the library to rent Ballad. But after reading Ballad, I wanted hightail my faerie-loving-ass to the book store to buy the third book in the series. (Which was going to do until I found out book three is not yet published -_-)

Anyways, I think Stiefvater had a nice warm up with Lament and hit her stride with Ballad. Dee annoyed me in Lament with her star-struck teenage love and I was worried that the story would continue down that road in book two. But alas! I was wrong. And I am very happy to be proven wrong.

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie is written in James’s perspective. I find James much more realistic and down to earth than Dee. I want to be friends with James. I want to play music with James. And I think Nuala is a bad ass, despite her need to wring humans dry in order to survive. They both have feelings that we can relate to. It’s not the punch-drunk-shot-gun love that Dee and Luke have in Lament, it’s true feelings. And the best part is, we get to watch those develop! In a natural and uncreepy way. James is a good guy with a great talent, and his lust to be better doesn’t outweigh his sense of reality. I like that he actually learned from his experiences in Lament (i.e. faeries are evil and manipulative) and doesn’t bow down to Nuala automatically. I also like how Nuala changes. She goes from evil-doer to real-person compassionate. But it’s not a switch, it’s a process. Stiefvater takes the time to actually build a story and create a realistic situation this time and I couldn’t help but root for James and Nuala. Because I felt like this time (thank goodness), I got a chance to know and understand them. I could relate to them. It was awesome.

If you like fairies but thought Lament was shallow, trust me when I say book two is leaps and bounds better than book one. It’s definitely worth the read.

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