AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: Modern Faerie Tales (#2)
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Retelling
RATING: 5/5 Stars
When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.
But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends.
And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her new-found affection for an honourable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.
What I Liked:
- I'm going to talk about the plot pacing and writing style first because this is the thing I am most excited about! I have read an abundance of Holly Black's books, and have always found these two elements to be wrong somehow despite adoring everything else about her books. I am overjoyed to announce that finally it was perfect! The action moved along quickly enough for me to be completely and utterly hooked, but not too fast for my poor brain to handle. This is by far the best piece of writing I have seen come from Holly Black, long may it continue!
- Once again I can only commend Holly Black for her gorgeous imagination! The world of Faeries in these books is really very creative. It mixes terrifyingly dark with undeniably captivating beautifully. It sounds like a world I would love to explore, despite knowing it would be extremely dangerous. In this second instalment, not as much of the courts (Seelie & Unseelie) are seen, but I did get a whole new idea to think about: Nevermore. For Faeries, it keeps the Iron Sickness at bay. For humans it's a hallucinogen that gives the user an almost Godlike power. Amazing concept!
- The characters! Black has a knack for writing strong characters who look and think differently to the norm. These ones totally sucked me in! Val was a really very good heroine, and I adored watching her romance with Ravus (who is my new favourite Troll) blossom and the electricity between the two intensify. Her friends Ruth, Lolli, Luis & Dave were really interesting too. There was a tiny bit of stereo-typing, but I actually really loved these characters so much because the relationships they formed with each other were not only emotionally charged, but complex too.
What I Disliked:
- The only thing that got to me ever so slightly was Val's reckless nature. It all contributed to furthering the plot-line, but the fact that she would happily go along with anything and never mind the consequences was a little frustrating to read. Drugs? Sure! Sex with someone who is pretending you're somebody else? Okay! Stealing? Breaking and entering? Why not?! It was of course the point to highlight the danger that someone with such an addictive personality was in, but did she have to say yes to everything?
This book was amazing from start to finish! The pacing was nice, the detail, imagery and world-building absolutely gorgeous and I am a very happy reader right now because I have finally found a book by Holly Black that I couldn't fault (apart from the never saying no thing). If you are intrigued by Fairy Tales, like 'Beauty & The Beast', can handle a book with a lot of sexual situations, bad language and drugs and have a thing about Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance then don't even hesitate. Read this book!