What I thought: Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

What I thought - Bones of faerie Oct 25I had initially planned to write a full, somewhat structured, review for this book as well as others that I’ve read recently. They were supposed to start into the posting schedule a couple weeks ago. Clearly that did not happen. It would seem I find the idea of posting a structured review daunting enough that I can’t bring myself to start writing. That being said, I do still want to share my thoughts on books with you all. So, I came up with something of a compromise. If I can’t write what I would label “reviews” at the moment, I will write less structured “What I thought” posts. Maybe they’ll function as mini reviews? Or, over time they may become more like a structured review. We shall see. So, (without further rambling), here is the first installment of “What I thought.”

I picked up Bones of faerie from the library over a month ago. This pick was not the product of an internet review, or a recommendation from a friend, rather I saw the most recent book on the New Releases shelf. And, since it doesn’t make sense to start a trilogy at book 3, I went in search for book 1. Surprisingly (this never seems to be the case for me) book 1 was in the library, so I added it to my pile of books.

Synopsis: Bones of faerie is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian, YA-fiction, novel with a bit of a twist. Instead of a devastating world war between humans, the war in this story took place between humanity and Faerie. Since magic was involved, the devastated human world bears the scars of plants that move on their own and ground that is difficult to grow food on. Fifteen-year old Liza grew up in a town that her strict father saved from destruction by ensuring that all traces of magic are destroyed; even if that magic manifests in the faerie-pale hair of his own newborn child. The story begins when Liza’s baby sister is left to die on the hillside overnight and her mother disappears into the dangerous forest. When Liza discovers she has some magic ability she flees to the woods where she eventually encounters people that live differently than the people in her village. Throughout the story, she travels to Faerie and back and learns that Faerie has been equally, if not more, devastated by the nuclear weapons used to end the war.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. The characters were well developed and the conflict, both within the world and within Liza, was well developed and built upon over the course of the story. The main quest, to travel to Faerie to find her mother, was paired with a personal journey quest. Liza, when presented with a reality different from the one presented to her as she grew up, had to figure out what to believe for herself. Was Faerie magic completely evil and wholly destructive as her father believed? Or, was it possible that Faerie and humans could live together peacefully and assist each other in the dangerous world left behind after the war? Simner created a well thought out and believable world that included both the familiar and the fantastical. I especially enjoyed how, despite the destruction and atmosphere that made most pre-war technology inoperable, things such as Tupperware remained.

Verdict: I am always hesitant when it comes to reading post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories. I either really like them, or I really don’t. There is rarely a middle ground, and I often avoid them because of that. After I read the Hunger Games trilogy (and loved it) I decided to try and branch out more often. I would say that Bones of Faerie is a good choice if, like me, you’re not entirely sure you like the genre. With its integration of a fantasy component it attempts to answer the questions typical of the genre, but in a less typical way. In short, it was a good read, and I recommend it.

There’s one other component I would like to include in these posts and that’s a rating out of 5. But I think that giving stars is just not exciting enough – so I’m going to give cups of tea. Sound good? I will look for a nice little image of a cup of tea to work with, but for now I’ll just need to use words.

I give this book 3.5 cups of tea out of 5

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