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Faerie After Review

Faerie After - Janni Lee Simner

Release Date: May 28th, 2013 from Random House Books for Young Readers

Series: Conclusion to Bones of Faerie Trilogy

Summary from cover


"After a devastating war between humanity and Faerie, Liza's world has forever changed. Plants and trees became aggressive, seeking to root in living flesh and bone, and newborn children were discovered to have magical powers. Liza was one of these children, and with her abilities she brought her mother back from the ruined Faerie realm and restored the seasons to her own. 


Now there are signs of a new sickness in the forest. Piles of ash are found where living creatures once stood. Liza investigates and discovers that the Faerie realm has continued to deteriorate, slowly turning to dust, and that its fate is inexorably lined to that of the human realm. To find a solution, Liza must risk crossing over, putting herself and all she cares about at risk. Will Liza be forced to sacrifice her life and the lives of her friends in order to save both worlds?"


Sigh. I really tried to like this trilogy. Believe me. I did. After the first book, I decided to give the author another chance with Faerie Winter (not on this site for a review), and that disappointed me. Faerie After held the last string of hope I had for this great idea that Simner had going. Sadly, the whole trilogy did not live up to my expectations.


The characters weren't believable to me, and throughout the trilogy little information about the characters was scarcely presented. Each character had his or her own repetitive phrases, especially the main character who came off more annoying than independent and powerful. (Which I believe was Simner's expectation.)


As for the plot, Faerie After followed the same plot in the same format from the other two books. Something happens in the World, and Liza, Matthew, and Allie have to travel through the woods to find whatever will help stop the evil going on. After some time, it gets boring having to read about the same adventures that are just told in a different way. 


I found it hard to imagine Faerie and the World (like the forests, towns, etc) as well. There was some description, but I was left confused about the whole scenery and how everything looked. As for the description of the War itself and how it started, Faerie After did a relatively better job at shedding light on the subject than the other two books did, and I really appreciated that. 


All in all, the Bones of Faerie trilogy had an amazing starting idea with the post-apocalyptic aspect and the War between the two worlds. Unfortunately, the execution and the world building did not do the idea justice. However, I did like the uniqueness and the creativity that Simner brought to the table, but I feel that if she spent a little more time sorting out the information she wanted to include, this trilogy would have received a better rating.

Bones Of Faerie Review

Bones of Faerie - Janni Lee Simner

Release Date: January 27th, 2009 from Random House Books for Young Readers

Summary from GoodReads


"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."


Whenever I hear that a book contains faeries, or something along the line of faeries, I instantly want to devour the story. Bones of Faerie, sadly, did not fuel my hunger. The overall idea of the book was intriguing to me in the beginning, and I decided to give it a chance to see how it all played out.


A war between Faerie and humans was interesting right off the bat. I have never encountered another author writing about the subject matter of a war between the two worlds before. Despite the uniqueness of the plot description, the overall book did not live up to the expectations I hoped it would.


There was not a lot of information about the war at all during the duration of the plot. The only information given was that the war left the World (the human realm) with plants and animals genetically mutated to search for the taste of human blood, and the war lasted around 20 years. That's it. I was left questioning the whole history aspect of the war throughout the entire book. 


The main character Liza, the overall pace, and the content left me feeling like I was treading through water to finish. Reading felt more like a chore than something I do for pleasure. The actions of the main character was annoying and she repeated herself often enough that I would skip over her lines if I noticed the pattern. As for the content, it seemed that the author was biting off more than she could chew in this case. Different elements would be thrown into the story line and instead of feeling shocked about the development, I felt confused and wondering how those elements tied into the specific scenes they were presented in. 


Overall, I was highly disappointed with this book. The overall idea of the plot and the characters was intriguing, but the way that information was presented led the whole thing to go downhill. I had high hopes for this, but I will still give Simner a chance and read Faerie Winter.


I Hunt Killers Review

I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

Release Date: April 3rd, 2012 from Little Brown Books

Summary from cover:


"Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.


But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take You Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could-from the criminal's point of view.


And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.


In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret-could he be more like his father than anyone knows?"


Now let me tell you, I love a good mystery. Throw in a murder investigation....and you have one happy Emily. This book drew me in from the very beginning and had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. The constant longing to find out the murder's identity and the story about Jasper Dent's early childhood kept me hooked. I couldn't put the book down.


The best part of it all? The two conflicts within the book itself. Not only was Jazz searching for a killer that was mimicking his father's 100+ murders, but Jazz depicted the true psychological debate between Nature vs. Nurture. Was he bound to be a killer by genetics? Or did he have a chance to be just another "normal" teenager like he has always hoped to be?


I found the book to be believable in not only the plot, but the characters as well. Each character was his or her own person with their own personality traits, and I really enjoyed that. The diversity of the characters really helped to move this book beyond the search for a murder and towards the reflection as Jazz as a person rather than a monster. 


Even though there was a romance in the book, it was not the main premise of the plot itself. The overall outlook on the book could have plummeted, like many other books have, with an over-emphasized relationship that turns from a minor aspect of the book to the entire rest of the story itself.


Barry Lyga did a wonderful job balancing both the plot and it's different conflicts with the relationships between Jazz and his friends. I recommend this book for someone who is looking for a well-written mystery that keeps the reader nose-deep in the pages to see how the whole search for a copy-cat murder unfolds and Jazz's psychological journey to self-discovery.