There are lots of books that involve fairies, and fairytale-like elements, but few of them do it well enough to hold my interest.
Ceri Evans' fae are neither necessarily good or bad by default, but have developed personalities that allow them to make their own choices and promises. A refreshing change in the genre, I enjoyed getting to know Jo's friends and enemies and uncovering their secrets alongside her.
Another pleasant surprise is that the book is not relationship-driven. It isn't about Jo and the fae-boy who saves her and makes everything all right again, like most books in the genre. Jo is on her own quest, and while her friends help her, no one does anything for her, and the primary romance in the book exists between her parents. Her stirring feelings for a friend do not become the focus of the book, nor does her love interest take centre stage.
Jo is a realistic teenage girl with a strong drive to solve the mysterious disappearance of her father. Not particularly a girly-girl, I think most teens, regardless of gender, would find it easy to relate to Jo. She is an admirable female character, and a welcome addition to the YA world.
This book sets up a series very well -- there are still more questions, more puzzles, and more things the book leaves us curious about -- but it also stands alone well. I'm looking forward to following this author.