AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: Modern Faerie Tales (#1)
PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
RATING: 4/5 Stars
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms-a struggle that could very well mean her death.
What I Liked:
- The vivid scene-setting. Holly Black certainly has a knack for detailing the Worlds she writes about. She set the scene beautifully in the 'real world', and I enjoyed reading about the nearby forests or Rave parties that Kaye attended. But as well as that, Holly Black's descriptions of the Faerie world, whether she described the dark and deceitful Unseelie Court, or the colourful yet alien Meadow where the Seelie court reside, I was fascinated!
- I loved the huge amount of thought that Holly Black had put into the Faerie world, and her take on Faeries as a creature. Many a book that includes Faeries lumps them together as one species, and we are instantly drawn to the idea of little winged creatures, a little mischievous, but often harmless enough. Here, we are introduced to the darker side of Faeries as a race and the danger that their charm could be. Each Faerie is different, in looks and in personality. As for the world itself, Black puts a lot of thought into the politics of each Court, their rituals, their treaties, their fears, everything. It was so wonderful to read such an in depth and different take on an often overlooked creature.
- The characters. Kaye is a likeable heroine, I didn't find myself getting frustrated or annoyed with her in any way. The characters that she encountered throughout the book were easy to relate to in their own way. And I loved Corny! He was such a great character and I would so happily read more of him!
- The romance. The ongoing attraction between Kaye and Roiben is sizzling and I really liked watching it build. Some of the plot twists that Black put in really developed their relationship in interesting ways, and I always looked forward to moments between the two of them and seeing where they were going. Roiben was everything you want in a romantic lead, mysterious with a hint of danger, but also kind and protective as the romance progressed. Kaye had the ability to think for herself too, without turning into too much of a doting damsel, so that was nice.
What I Disliked:
- There were a fair few moments that were a bit too fast. As in 'blink and you miss it' kind of fast. The problem with that is that the events were pretty significant a lot of the time. It didn't really ruin anything in terms of the flow of the story and wasn't a huge problem but it did make things a little confusing at times.
- I wanted a bit more! The book is a very fast-mover, and most of the time I liked this. But it meant that some events were a little skimmed over, and I felt that a longer book would have helped with this. I would have loved to see more Roiben and Kaye time for example, or a bit more development between Kaye and Corny's rather sudden friendship.
I really loved so many things about this book. The world-building was fantastic, the characters very likeable and the romance well-written. Black's take on the Faerie world was nothing short of amazing and I could happily read stories on it all day, the detail involved is so intricate. It could have benefited from being a little longer I think, to build up to some of the bigger events a little more and develop some of the character relationships better. It was a great read though and I can't wait to get onto the second in the series, 'Valiant'.