By Maggie Stiefvater
First, let me start this review by saying that I absolutely love Holly Black’s faeries, and it is not right that I should compare Stiefvater’s faeries to Black’s. But again, it is nearly impossible to not do.
I really loved the way the book began. Deirdre is a gifted musician and she meets Luke, who mysteriously walks into her life, minutes before she is supposed to perform (on her harp) for a school competition. Luke is a very attractive love interest. I think the author did a fantastic job getting the whole sexual tension down between Deirdre, the main character, and Luke.
Luke is mysterious (we think he is a faerie…but we don’t find out until way way way later, that he is just another gifted musician whom fairies have captured as a slave, so he is now immortal, and makes human sacrifices for the evil Fairy Queen).
The prose was pretty and also funny. My favorite quote was “She is an overbearing cake with condescending frosting, and frankly, I am on a diet.”
James, the protagonist’s best friend/love triangle dude, wears funny graphic tees with sayings such as: “Sarcasm: just another service I offer” and “You: off my planet.”
There were parts of the book I found a bit surprising, for example, Aunt Delia turns out to me a “bad guy” for like a minute, but it’s never really resolved (maybe in book two?). And the ultimate “bad guy” is the Faerie Queen who we don’t meet up until the very end, although we “hear of her” throughout the manuscript.
I think Holly Black does a good job creating a world where the fairies are so vivid the reader can almost touch them…and she achieves that without going into high fantasy, which I think is tremendous.
Stiefvater creates a handful of fairies and although memorable, the description is not as detailed as Black’s. I do appreciate that Stiefvater keeps her fairies in a more “urban fantasy” kind of world vs. bordering on high fantasy.
I have not read Shiver yet, and that is supposed to be her work of art…thus far. That is definitely on my reading list.