I liked this YA Contemporary Fantasy better after reading more of the series.
Xandra Illuminata Smith has lived for the last three years with ghosts as parents but her life gets even stranger after her seventeenth birthday when she finds out that her mother is actually a Witch in hiding and her biological father, whom she knew nothing about, is a Fairy and King of the Fae realm.
Xandra is the first Witch Fairy to be born in thousands of years for very good reason. No one should be able to control that much magic and Xandra was never meant to be born at all but her mother has managed to keep her hidden away until now.
The Witches want her dead and the Fairies want her blood, for only her blood will reopen the gateway to the Fae realm and allow them back into this realm to take revenge on humans and Witches alike for having banished them hundreds of years ago.
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Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible
This is Book #1 of more than a dozen books in the ongoing "Witch Fairy" series. Books #1-4 are available in audio so far.
I had some issues with this book the first time I read it, but I liked it better after reading #1.5 (which tells this part again from Kallen's perspective) and #2. My biggest problem with the book is that it contains one of my strongest pet peeves - parents who keep dangerous, potentially life threatening, secrets from their children. If it weren't for Kallen, her mother's failure to prepare her would have ended with her death on the first day. (I have a rant post planned on this subject, so I won't say more here.)
I chose to read the next books in the first place because, even with the problems, the book had a lot of memorable scenes that I enjoyed.
Xandra: Secretly wanted to be Hermione when she was younger. She strikes me as a very typical teenage girl in a very untypical situation. She makes the best of what she has, and does her best to be a good older sister to her brother. I didn't always agree with her decisions though.
Kallen: A typical YA hero - rude, arrogant, and not unlikely to kill Xandra to stop her from fulfilling the prophecy. He grew on me as the book went along.
Xandra & Kallen: This is not a case of InstaLove, but InstaAttraction with lots of dislike. Nevertheless, the romance does go from 0 to 60 much too fast for my taste, and without enough details regarding why they each develop feelings (other than each is so attractive).
Despite his initial actions, there are several things I like about how Kallen behaves: He owns up to his bad behavior and sincerely apologizes; he doesn't move forward without checking that she is truly has feelings for him; and he makes sure she fully understands the fairy customs and implications of various actions.
This is our world with witch & fairy realms within it. Their magics have similar origins but very different methods of use. The geographical setting of the book is very limited (Xandra's house and the mountain where it is located) but well described.
The beginning did a good job of giving the background on their current circumstance and I really like the way the "story" of her parents is told. Everything moves very quickly. The ending resolves the current situation but sets up a cliffhangerish new one.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
- Her ghostly parents follow the internet connections to make sure her online friends aren't creepers.
- Xandra puts the smackdown on Kallen for his behavior and attitude.
- Her response to the darts.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Minor swearing / All the stuff about the fairies being naked after shifting / Their sleeping together without "sleeping together" - I never think that's a good idea. Plus, they end up pushing things to the point where they could have ended up going further than than they were ready for.
Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good, captures Xandra's slight snarkiness / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual, and it was just a touch fast
Talk to Me (pretty please)
- Can you recommend any books were the parents actually prepare their kids for danger (and the kids don't disbelieve)?
- What's your biggest bookish pet peeve?
- If you are a first time visitor, how did you discover my blog?
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