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I liked it BUT....
on 8 November 2012
i love the way Steifvater writes, so for me it's difficult to not to find her novels to be Gold. But if I'm completely honest, which I feel I shoul be since you don't want to be buying a rubbishy book, I'm not convinced this is her best. Actually, as a series I found Lament and Ballad to be half as gripping as the Shiver series; I even liked her stand-alone novel "The Scorpio Races" a billion times more. So what happened that made it all go down hill?
Dee is no longer our narrator, which is fine because James is a hilarious character and I found him to be more than fantastic as the lead - how nice is it to see the story from the guy's perspective for once? We get to see how hurt James was by Dee's actions in the previous novel "Lament" and his unfailing love for her (alongside his absolute hatred of her!). James and Dee have enrolled at Thornking-Ash - a boarding school for the musically talented, which just screams of faerie interest! Which is exactly why James meets Nuala (or so she tells him, her real name remains unknown predominately), a dangerious faerie muse. A Leanan Sidhe - a beautiful faerie with the ability to exchange musical inspiration for years of human life.
Nuala is a brilliant character for the most part. She's fiesty and exciting, despite her inherant badness, and even gets her own first-person chapters which was interesting. Dee however doesn't get a look in. Her narrative is excluded from this novel and replaced with text messages she would have sent James but didn't have the bottle to.
The problem is, aside from James and Dee's failing relationship/friendship and the newfound relationship/friendship between James and Nuala there really isn't a lot to this book. Nothing seems to happen. The main plot honestly doesn't kick off until a good three quarters into the book when Nuala and Dee appear to be in danger. So although I enjoyed the new perspectives, the jealousy from Dee and the witty yet vicious faeries, I just couldn't love this book - and believe me I tried.
Still a good read, but not at all Steifvater's best. If there were ever to be a third installment released I can confidently say I wouldn't pick up a copy which is such a shame because the characters are brilliant but the world just isn't interesting enough for me.