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Monday, 29 June 2015
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher
Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper, but the birthmark is right there on the back of her neck. It shows everyone she was born with the natural ability to communicate, attract, and even control the tiny fairies whose nectar is amazingly powerful. Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.
Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.
The problem? Sierra’s queen wasn’t the only queen to disappear. They’re all gone, every single one, and getting them back will be deadly dangerous.
Sierra journeys with her best friend and her worst enemy -- assigned by her father to dog her every step -- to find the missing queens. Along the way, they learn that more than just her sister’s life is at stake if they fail. There are secrets in the Skyclad Mountains where the last wild fairies were seen. The magic Sierra finds there has the power to transform their world, but only if she can first embrace her calling as a fairy keeper.
Okay, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, I'd literally just DNF'd a different book from the same publisher and was feeling a bit blah. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and after some initial misgivings, I found myself enjoying the book immensely.
The book sucks you in to the story and the world, a world which is fantastically created on the page, and springs to life around you, making it easy to forget to the world and get lost entirely in the book. The world is literally so rich, and so is it's mythology/lore and so on and so on. You can really sink your teeth in to the book and the world, and I found myself utterly enchanted with the world and the characters and the creatures inhabiting it. I also immensely enjoyed the unique little twists to the story, I mean, if it's unique, I love it anyway.
This is a ridiculously good debut, I mean, I didn't even realise that it was a debut it's that well written. The pace is perfect. The prose is compelling, and beautiful and just....brilliant. There is so much emotion in this book, that oozes off the page along with the atmosphere.
A lot of the emotion comes from the characters (obviously) and their relationships with each other. The characters are so well written, with so much depth and so realistic they come alive as you're reading. The love between Sierra and Phoebe is just....incredible to read, the loyalty and the realness and the everything. The relationship between Sierra and Nell was fascinating, Nell is supposed to be her best friend but there's so much hostility that's not even disguised and distrust between the two of them, it was so strange, and then you watch them develop and form some level of respect for each other. There's awkwardness between Sierra and Corbin that I think everyone with a male best friend can relate to in some capacity, particularly the jealousy. There's also disgust, terror, resentment, anger, confusion, mixed feelings that can't quite be described, and all of these change and become other feelings as the relationships change and the characters develop. This book is brimming with emotion and you feel that emotion as you're reading, you feel what the characters feel and you root for them and it's an emotional journey.
I don't think I've ever actually read a book with this much emotion in it, so well done that it's coming off the pages and hitting you with it in waves. The book keeps you reading as you follow the journey and all the pitfalls along the way, and you end up losing track of time as you read until the books over and you're just like "uhhh....what day is it? What YEAR is it?" because you literally spent hours in the world of the book and now have no idea what the hell has been going on in the real world.
The plot was so strong, that as you finally reach the end you leave the book feeling satisfied with it and how it ended. There was no anti climax or predictability in the book, and I truly loved getting lost in the world and going on the journey with the characters and not knowing what was going to happen next. I'm very excited to see what else the author is going to do, what's going to come next from her. I'm kinda hoping for another story set in this world because I was so sad to leave it and this is definitely going to be a re-read until I can probably quote the whole ting, kind of book!