Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Review: Feyland: The First Adventure

Feyland: The First Adventure
Feyland: The First Adventure by Anthea Sharp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There was nothing actually bad about this book, but there was also nothing fresh, hence the three-star rating.

The premise (a virtual-reality game gives access to the Faerie Realms) has been done before, notably by Clive Barker. The prose is mostly competent - I only spotted a couple of minor errors - and the descriptions are multisensory, but to me it seemed conventional and predictable in its imagery.

The heroine is a rich girl whose worst problem (outside being targeted by the Fairy Queen) is that she might have to leave her expensive private school and go to an ordinary high school with no choir, because her father is being transferred for work. (Her father is obviously extraordinarily well-paid for an IT project manager, or else has inherited money; they have at least three staff.)

The real-world part of the setting is generic, with made-up cities in an unnamed country, which served, for me, to diminish the story's grounding in reality and thus the contrast between the real world and the virtual/fey world.

The plot is linear and unsurprising, and, in this short prequel story, ends up introducing a lot and developing very little. There's one moment of forced character development as the main character realises a very obvious parallel between the two worlds and her actions in both, but otherwise, she doesn't grow or change.

Finally, characters named Jennet, Thomas Rimer, and Tam Lin are just a bit unsubtle.

If you love this kind of thing and want more of the same, or if you've never read anything like it before, it's a perfectly OK book, though the plot is nothing special. But if you're looking for something fresh and original, I wouldn't look for it here.

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