Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Book Review: Fairy Keeper

Fairy Keeper by Amy Bearce

4 stars

Verdict:
Young girls will love this one!

Shorten blurb:

Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper.

Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.

Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.


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If you love magical folk, you’ll love this book. Fairies, merefolk, unicorns... Bearce has created a beautiful world with a beautiful name: Aluvia. I absolutely love how the fairies are like pesky bees, producing nectar that can be turned into a drug. It’s brilliant set up which I tip my writing hat to.

The idea that really sold the book to me was Flight: the illegal hallucinogenic that can be produced from fairy nectar. It makes a few appearances throughout the story, but it’s not really what the book is about. In a way, Fairy Keeper is really about how human greed can destroy beautiful creations.

Sierra is strong and likeable character. Because of her abusive father, Sierra has a darker side, but she realises what she could become and tries to act better. I enjoyed how she grew as a character, especially when contrasted against her best friend, Corbin, who has lived a sheltered life in comparison. The third main adventurer is Nell, Sierra's nemesis who has also had a rough lot in life. Again, fantastic set up. Nell definitely spiced up the story in more ways than one.

As much as I loved the set up, I have to be honest. Bits of it dragged. It felt overwritten in places, and the camping was a tad repetitive. I know its middle grade, but the main 'issues' wouldn’t progress and yet they would be discussed again and again through the third person, over the shoulder narrative. It grinded the pace to almost a halt at once point, but it did pass.

The love aspect was a bit tricky. At first I liked how the romance blossomed, and how things just weren’t going to be easy for Sierra. Ultimately, she has to understand another point of view, and I like how it didn’t turn into a love triangle in the traditional sense. Then again, something happens later which I can’t help feel the book would have been better if it didn’t go down that particular route. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say it felt a bit forced.

This is still a fantastic read with a really exciting ending. There are lots of great action scenes, twists, well-built characters, and a great round up in one book. It won’t leave you hanging in uncertainty, and it definitely made me want to read on.

Source: Curiosity Quills through NetGalley.com