Friday, November 27, 2009
This review contains spoilers.
Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.
So, I promised that I would give fairy/faery/faerie (even Holly Black could not seem to pick which spelling she preferred in this book) after being considerably disappointed with Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Well, I am glad to say that I liked Holly Black's Tithe much better. It wasn't really great, but it wasn't as bad either.
There were some instances where I really liked Black's writing style and others where I didn't. I found the characters smoking, especially in the first half of the novel, to be excessive. While much of the smoking and drinking was fairly well in context with the characters that she was trying to portray, sometimes it seemed like a miracle that they could get out a single word between puffs.
For a brief moment I thought that it was really cool that Kaye was half Japanese for some multicultural variety as a main character, only to immediately realise that, no, it is just a major giveaway to the fact that she is not really human. This was even more firmly cemented when she compared her own looks to that of the fairy, Roibin. It was good though that she didn't become gorgeous as a pixie and even greater that she was green.
I liked that sometimes black and white, good and evil were not so clear cut. That in giving the solitary faeries freedom some of them are inclined to go out and wreak havoc on mortal lives whereas Kaye had mistakenly judged them to be like her own faery friends. I also liked that there was some grit, darkness, and cruelty.
I did not mind this book so much but I am not really loving it either.