Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
This is a young adult book which alternates chapters between our world and the world of Faerie. Until of course, the worlds meet up.
The main characters are Harry from our world and and Pyrgus from the other world of Faerie.
Harry lives in modern day England, and his family is having problems pretty typical of the type you find in YA novels, but with a kind of a surprising twist. He finds solace with his friend Charlie (a girl, but not a girl friend) and by spending time working for an old man, cleaning his house. The old man is quite a character who believes in all sorts of conspiracy theories and has a house full of junk.
When we first meet blank he is being pursued through the world of faerie by some thugs and the book becomes action packed quickly.
The world of faerie has a cool combination of science, industry and magic. It has a steampunk feel to it. There are portals to get between Faerie and earth and the description of how these were discovered and then improved upon was really imaginative. I loved the orange dwarf with the poisonous bite who has a slot to put an information card in his head. Where can I get one of those?
There is more sickening violence in this book than in most YA books I read. The demon prince gives quite a description of what he is going to do to one of the heroes of the book. I did skip a half page or so when I was at the part with the glue factory and I figured out what was going on.
The glue factory owners were fun, in a very bad way. With Brimstone, the main glue factory owner, it almost seems a little stereotypical bad rich man (oh noes, he enjoys evicting widows) but I did like what happened to him.
Blue, Pyrgus' sister is a more interesting character than he is. Their father seems kind of bland and unbelievable. The part where Blue has uncovered evidence of a plot to kill Pyrgus and her father insists on just throwing away the evidence just doesn't ring true at all. His son has been poisoned and diverted to another world and he is concerned that his daughter has stolen a journal from someone who had been trying to kill his son and sends his daughter to bed without the book, which will be returned to it's rightful owner? Yeah sure.
What I didn't like - light faeries vs the dark faeries and the dark ones are evil. Could there not be some other way to differentiate between types of mythical creatures that are good and evil besides dark and light? I guess maybe it's just the classic way but it seems so ham handed.
I would have liked to have seen Charlie, Harry's friend, either have more of a presence in the book or just be taken out. The part with her in it almost seems like a false start.
However, there is a whole series of these books and it's entirely possible that she will turn up as a stronger character in the next one.
I did enjoy this book and will look forward to reading at least the next in the series.