Author: Louisa Klein
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Blurb: When paranormal expert Robyn Wise is offered an outrageous sum of money to cure a boy who is turning into a dead tree, she’s very sceptical. A politician ready to pay that much to make his son stop growing branches instead of hair? Come on! She’s more likely to be abducted by aliens. This is a trap. Or much worse. And, of course, it’s much worse.
The child is turning into a dark portal, created by a powerful entity determined to absorb Fairyland’s power. This means that not only queen Titania and her court are in danger, but the very balance of the magic fluxes.
Robyn’d rather stick a pencil in her own eye but to learn how to destroy the portal, she has to sneak into the Wizardry Council, a place full of wizards who are hiding something—though it’s certainly not their dislike of her.
There, she discovers a terrible secret that could help to overthrow Fairyland’s enemies for good, but puts her in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, and not as a bystander, but as the main target.
Firstly, I am not a patient reader. A book has to grab me from the very first sentence and keep going, without dawdling or deviating.
First Sentence: “Being alone, in the middle of nowhere, at night, is for sure a scary situation” – great opening line. It provided just enough intrigue with a liberal dollop of foreboding to get me reading. It’s also indicative of the author’s rather wordy style. While quaint at first, this style started to wear me down a little.
What I Liked: I liked the density of the fantasy world the author created. A variety of creatures were presented in this story from the children’s book pixie replete with acorn hat to the original monstrous Abomination. I appreciated the European setting, which made for a refreshing setting. The main character is very much a British Buffy Summers and I liked her never-say-die attitude.
What I Didn’t Like: Sadly, this story just wasn’t my cup of tea. The pacing was slow and the wordy prose often got in the way of the story making me skip paragraphs in search of the action. The cast of characters was large and often confusing. While this book is very British, I found that it was sometimes overdone. I’m not an expert but the British-ness seemed to border on caricature at times, which irritated rather than provided the comic relief I think might’ve been intended.
Bonus Points: The ghost – I loved this character whose quips often made me smile. Also, that cover is stunning and really suits the story.
My Rating: Giving a star rating to a book that just wasn’t for me doesn’t seem fair to the author. This is a story that a more patient reader might very much enjoy. The fantasy world is rich and varied, the characters are quirky and interesting, and the premise appealing. For anyone who has ever imagined what Buffy the Vampire: The British Invasion might be like, then this is definitely the book for you.