OBS presents the the December Book Face-Off: Faeries! Vote for your favorite (or let us know what your favorite book is!)
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Aislinn has always followed the rules. Her Grandmother has drilled them into her since she was a young child. Don’t stare at invisible faeries. Don’t speak to invisible faeries. Don’t ever attract the faeries’ attention. Aislinn has developed the skill to ignore them. She walks past them without flinching, even when the faeries are pinching or touching others around her like they love to do. Faeries come in many shapes and sizes and Aislinn has seen them all. She’s seen them in the glamours they wear in order to pass as humans and can pick one out of a crowd even when they are trying to blend in. Aislinn has never been surprised by what she has seen them do – that is, until they start breaking the rules.
Wings by Aprilynne Pike. Fifteen-year-old Laurel has led a sheltered, homeschooled life in a very small town, so when her parents decide to move and enroll her in high school, she has trouble getting used to her new life. A life, as it turns out, that’s not at all like those of other kids. One clear sign is a winglike blossom that blooms on her back. Oh, and her new best friend, the scientifically minded David, reveals under a microscope that her cells are more plant than animal. But it takes an encounter at her old home with the handsome but decidedly different Tamani to convince her that she is a faerie. She also learns it’s up to her to save her land from the evil influences that are trying to take it away from her and her family.
Ballad (and Lament) by Maggie Steifvater. James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala’s life and his soul.
Tithe (A Modern Tale of Faerie series) by Holly Black. Sixteen-year-old Kaye Fierch is not human, but she doesn’t know it. Sure, she knows she’s interacted with faeries since she was little–but she never imagined she was one of them, her blond Asian human appearance only a magically crafted cover-up for her true, green-skinned pixie self. The novel begins in a bar in Philly, where Kaye’s alcoholic rock-singer mother’s boyfriend tries to kill her. For their own safety, mother and daughter quickly move back to grandma’s on the New Jersey shore where Kaye grew up. This ugly turn of events was all rigged by the Faerie world, as it turns out, a world Black describes in deliciously vivid, if rather overblown, detail. Kaye, a drinking, smoking, foul-mouthed high school dropout in the land of mortals, soon finds herself embroiled–as a human sacrifice, no less–in a battle between Faerieland’s Seelie and more malevolent Unseelie courts.
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. It has been 20 years since the war between faeries and humans destroyed everything. Liza, a teenager living in what was once the Midwest, has always been taught that magic kills. When Lizas mother gives birth to a faerie baby with hair clear as glass, her father abandons the infant on a hillside to die; Lizas mother then runs away, and Liza begins to have magical visions of her own. Petrified that her powers might cause death, Liza flees into the woods with her friend Matthew, only to be attacked by deadly trees and rescued by a woman with magic. The plot quickens as Liza realizes that the woman is connected to her mothers past, knowledge that propels Liza into a dangerous journey into the land of Faerie, in search of her mother.
Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson. The faery world is crumbling. During a disaster called the Sundering, these small, fragile, winged creatures lost all of their magic save that which allows them to fly, and they live inside a great oak tree, fearful of people and animals. True friendship and love are foreign to them. Worse, they are falling victim to a kind of dementia they call the Silence, and are dying. Into this picture comes Knife: tough, brave, adventurous, and soon taking on the job of Queen’s Hunter. While defending herself against an attacking crow, she is rescued and taken home by a human. Knife becomes convinced that the mystery of their lost magic and the dementia are connected to the faeries’ fear of humans and becomes committed to saving her community. The heart of the book lies in the relationship that develops between Knife and the human Paul, who is a paraplegic. Anderson draws on echoes from countless fairy tales and legends about the relationships between human men and faerie women to enrich this gripping and involving story.
Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist. Feist, author of the popular Magician fantasy trilogy, turns to the horror genre in this slick, only partially successful novel of a very modern family newly settled into a house on the edge of an enchanted woods. Each member of the family, retired actress Gloria Hastings, her novelist and screenwriter husband Phil, his teenage daughter by a previous marriage, their twin eight-year-old boys, and a dog and a cat-is touched in some way by “the Bad Thing,” as the boys call it, which turns out to be a forest spirit out of ancient folklore. Feist builds atmosphere with intimations of the supernatural that soon escalate into outright violence.
Faerie Lord (The Faerie Wars Chronicles) by Herbie Brennan. Henry Atherton has been desperately trying to forget about his friends in the Faerie Realm for the last two years, which is a bit hard considering his responsibility of looking after Mr. Fogarty’s abandoned house and temperamental cat. It is while tending Hodge that Pyrgus and Nymph make a sudden reappearance.
Only…Pyrgus has aged considerably due to a mysterious disease running rampant throughout Faerie that is causing them to grow old at an alarming rate. With very little persuasion, Henry plunges back into Faerie to aid the realm in the search for a cure. But soon he finds himself far, far away from The Purple Palace and in a desolate land with only an intelligent and primitive blue-skinned boy for company. Now it’s a race against time to find a miracle that will save all of Faerie…
Chronicles of Faerie: The Summer King by O.R. Melling. A story that is lyrical and mesmerizing in subject and scope. In the year since her twin sister’s death, practical and pragmatic Laurel has had dreams filled with fairies, giant birds, and questions about a king. While back in Ireland at her grandparents’ home for Honor’s memorial service, Laurel encounters a messenger from the Fairie realm who tells her that to save Honor, she must find the Summer King to light the Midsummer Fire. Hoping to bring her sister back, Laurel forces herself to share Honor’s belief in Fairie and enlists the help of Ian, the village bad boy. Their relationship is complicated by the fact that she was on a date with him the day Honor died by falling off a cliff wall into the ocean. While trying to complete their task in the allotted time, they encounter a cluricaun who may or may not be telling them all he knows, ravens trying to stop them from freeing the Summer King, and unexpected things about Ian’s true nature.