Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner | Review

Bones of Faerie (Bones of Faerie #1) by Janni Lee Simner
Published: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Random House for Young Readers
Pages: 247
Source: library
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.

Not your typical YA faerie book - this well written story gives us a different look at the realm of faerie vs. humans. A war has destroyed the human world and has left humans feeling as though they cannot trust anyone for fear that they will hurt them with magic. 

Liza, has been brought up to fear magic. She was easy to empathize with as she panics and feels she will be no longer wanted by anyone if she reveals her evil (magic) side. As she flees her town, her stubborn nature and strong will are what help her in the upcoming adventures and keep her moving forward. 

Liza is joined by a few misfits along the way; Matthew, a fierce protector, who is touched by magic and has been hiding it for years; Allie, the best friend with magical healing powers and Tallow a tag-along cat with a humorous personality. The four make a great team and rely on each others strengths to help them through many obstacles. 

There was a tiny glimmer of romance developing between Liza and Matthew, though Simner did not expand upon or explore the idea of their budding romance in this novel. It would have been truly exciting to see unfold while they are going through such an emotionally charged journey together. 

The use of American landmarks is quite creative. There are references to different rivers and landmarks from the state of Missouri. The destruction left by the war is so descriptive during the misfits adventures along the abandoned highways and cities. 

The one thing that is alluded to is that there are always two sides to a story. I think it would be wonderful to see both sides of the history of the war. There are glimpses here and there, but are never really elaborated upon, nor do they explain what started the war in the first place. The fae left the plants and forests to have magic within them that seek to kill humans, which is also not explained. This bit of dark magic makes Simner's tale that much more interesting and unique. I feel a sequel could be created that may explain the past war and could easily carry on with the characters in their new awareness of magic and it's uses. 
About the Author:
Janni Lee Simner lives in the Arizona desert, where the plants know how to bite and the dandelions really do have thorns; in spite of these things--or maybe because of them--she's convinced she lives in one of the most stunning places on earth.

Janni has published three novels for young adults, Bones of Faerie, sequel Faerie Winter, and Thief Eyes. A third Bones of Faerie book, Faerie After, is due out in May 2013.

She's also published four books for younger readers, as well as more than 30 short stories, including appearances in Cricket magazine and the Welcome to Bordertown anthology.

Reviewed for: The Long and Short of It: Aurora (YA Lit Review Site) - name on LASR is Snowdrop

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