Monday, 10 March 2014

Review: Ever Shade

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy

Title: Ever Shade
Series: A Dark Faerie Tale, #1
Author: Alexia Purdy
Published: Lyrical Lit. Publishing; 2013
306 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
 Description (from Goodreads):

For Shade, a chance meeting with a powerful Teleen faery warrior who wields electrical currents and blue fires along his skin has her joining him on a treacherous mission for the good Seelie Faerie Court across the land of Faerie. Magic and malice abound and nothing is what it really seems to be.

The evil Unseelie Queen and her treacherous allies are round every corner as Shade makes her way across the breathtaking landscapes of the world of Faerie, which exists alongside the mundane human world. Shade discovers her own uncharted magic and meets some of the most powerful warriors in Faerie while battling evil dryads, conniving Teleen guards and challenges on her life with every step in a world where nothing can be taken for granted.

My Thoughts:

 I struggled to make it through the whole of Ever Shade and probably only did because I got this through Netgalley. My main problem was with our protagonist, Shade. She was impulsive, gullible, reckless and plain old stupid. She whined and whinged and snivelled her way through the book constantly moaning or crying or complaining. It was insufferable having to listen to it all. On top of that she made some of the absolute dumbest mistakes over the course of the book. You would think that she would learn about the first time but no, she didn't.

It started with her breaking into an abandoned warehouse and seeing some sort of weird magical battle between a "lightning" guy and a witch-like lady. You think she would've been a little scared or freaked out by what she saw but no, instead she has a two-minute conversation with the guy who tells her that he is made of lightning and can shoot the stuff out of his hand. She admits to hearing voices in her head - Yes, just like that. It isn't like anyone would think your crazy or anything!? - and he says he'll take her to an oracle. She agrees, thinking that she "might as will", and then proceeds to lets him lead her deep into a forest (where no would hear her scream) all the while her mother is anxiously waiting for her to return from school. Along the way she sees demi-fey creatures and doesn't freak out once. I'm sorry but look this isn't probable. I get that fey books aren't exactly part of the realistic fiction genre but seriously, as if we could believe any of this for a second.

I could explain for hours more about all the carefree acceptance that Shade maintains as she is, rather abruptly, introduced into the fey world. The oracle, Ilarial, then drops some pretty big bombshells about Shade's life and past that will change pretty much everything in her life and Shade just accepts it straight away. Little freaking out, little doubt, little care. She just goes along with it as if it doesn't really matter. The cries about small things. It seems as if she is always snivelling about one thing or another.

The plotline in general didn't make much sense to me at all. They were on a quest to save the Seelie Court. The whys and hows where lost on me however. Shade played an important part but I didn't quite understand why her and what did the journey to the Fountain even achieve? I didn't understand the significance of it all.

With all this negativity I was hoping that I could pinpoint some positive thing to mention and I was hoping that the writing would be that. It so much better to have a beautiful style of writing and a bad plot than bad plot and bad writing. There isn't really anything to pinpoint and criticize with
Alexia Purdy's style other than it seem to focus on rather pointless description and some of the metaphors weren't quite... right. They were a little, well, awkward. During a battle the arrows flying past their ears were described like buzzing bees. Bees? Don't bees buzz around lazily leaving little dotted aerial loops behind them? I just don't see the connection to arrows... but getting back on point. The writing just wasn't up to scratch for my liking.

What I can be positive about is the fey lore. There were numerous things in the general plot that were far from unique and borderlined clichéd but I really enjoyed the new concepts introduced such as the Teleen faeries. Also Soap made me laugh a bit.

To be real nit-picky, something that really bugged me was the amount of times that author used of the word snickered. Was it the word of the day or something when she wrote this? It is mentioned 19 times within the space of 100 pages. For some reason it really drove me insane.

Overall, this wasn't a bad book it just wasn't for me. It was a bad mix of
The Treachery of Beautiful Things and The Faerie Guardian. With some tweaks to the beginning and a personality-change for Shade this could have been so much better.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Alexia Purdy and Indie Inked through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

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