This is the first book in the Books of Faerie series by Maggie Stiefvater. There is a sequel to this book called “Ballad” that was recently released; but I couldn’t find out if any more books are planned after that. I had previously read “Shiver” and liked this book more than “Shiver”. In general it was a good read.
Deirdre is a talented musician. She runs into a boy named Luke at a musical competition. Luke accompanies her on his flute, resulting in a stellar performance and a Grand Prize win. Then the 4 leaf clovers start appearing and Deirdre starts developing telekinetic powers. She is drawn to Luke, but can’t figure out who or what he is. As the plot unfolds Deirdre finds out that her life and the life of those she loves are all in jeopardy. She also finds out that Luke has a very dark past. Can she figure out what is going on and how to fix everything before things get too dangerous?
I liked this book better than “Shiver”. There is more humor in it. Deirdre is an interesting character, as is Luke. There is a lot of witty banter that occurs between the two. Deirdre’s friend James is also an excellent and intriguing character. The cast of Faeries in the book is diverse, if not as unique as in some other books. The store has more urgency to it than “Shiver” did and many more action scenes. Overall I thought the pacing was a lot better and the story was interesting.
This doesn’t get 5 stars because I am not sold on Stiefvater’s writing style. There is just something kind of loose about the way she writes. The descriptions don’t quite take me all the way to truly visualizing the scenes, and the characters are engaging but not desperately so. The action scenes are okay, but not as tightly written as they could be. I also feel that the fairy realm could have been a bit more creative and had more depth to it than it did.
I enjoyed the story more than Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series but not as much as Holly Black’s “Modern Fairy Tale” series. The story also reminded me of many of Charles de Lint’s works, mainly because of the musical aspect of the story tied together with the faeries appearing in a modern day world. I also think Charles de Lint’s books (specifically Mooheart/Spiritwalk) are better than this book.
Overall, a decent read and engaging. Not the best type of the story out there, but a pleasant addition to the genre. Fans of Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series or Holly Black’s “Modern Fairy Tale” series should give this one a go.