Through a series of blog posts yesterday (the first by Kait Nolan about character arc development issues, and the second by Susan Bischoff on Young Adult romantic fantasy that is non-Twilight-like) I fell into a new author: Melissa Marr.
I’ve been reading more and more books as eBooks on my iPhone, and have to say… the immediate availability and portability of that format is really growing on me; even the small screen is no impediment to a decent reading experience. So iBook came up with the eBook version of this tale with no issues (though I was perplexed by the dual listing, with one version $1 less than the other) and was away.
Her characters are deeply engaging and I had an impossible time actually putting the story down; in fact, I was up in the wee hours of the night finishing reading it.
The premise is that a 17-year-old girl has been hiding her in-born ability to see Fae her whole life, by following three basic rules:
- Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
- Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
- Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
Unfortunately, the Summer King has started dreaming of her, and has decided that has marked her as his own. So Aislinn is stuck trying to reconcile the rules with the change in the ways the Faeries are interacting with her.
I have to agree with Bischoff that Aislinn is the antidote to Twilight‘s Bella: Able to define her path for herself and fighting for the outcome she wants and has defined as being best for herself. She is able to make choices that move her out from under her Grams’ tutelage and direct her own path forward. She doesn’t allow herself to be bullied into a level of relationship she doesn’t want and she builds a new, third path forward by owning her own power.
This is absolutely a character I would share with any young woman struggling with her ability to integrate her hidden side with larger society. I am looking forward to reading the next books and novellas in this series to see how the other characters and relationships develop. I recommend this book to anyone who likes their fantasy to contain seeds of applicability in real life, with characters whose actions show an admirable inner strength.