Book Review – Faerie Tale

Faerie Tale Book Review Cover by Casey CarlisleGoodreads:

Successful screenwriter Phil Hastings decides to move his family from sunny California to a ramshackle farmhouse in New York State. The idea is to take some time out, relax and pick up the threads of his career as a novelist. Good plan, bad choice. The place they choose is surrounded by ancient woodland. The house they choose is the centrepoint of a centuries-old evil intent on making its presence felt to intruders.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

What an amazing world Raymond E. Feist paints, melodic, mysterious and enrapturing.

For some reason this book reminded me of ‘Pet Cemetery’ by Stephen King, moving to a small town, curious children exploring the woods about the house and getting into trouble, ominous scariness lurking… you get the picture.

Source: deviant art - dragoroth

Source: deviant art – dragoroth

This was the first book into the world of Raymond E. Fiest for me, and I have to say, he has a vivid and unabashed style. It may get over-descriptive at times, but I was never bored or skipping pages ahead. ‘Faerie Tale’ is sufficiently spooky and disturbing in parts, and magic and fantastical in others. It still stands the test of time, holding it’s own despite being written over twenty years ago. This is no childhood story re-telling as of the likes of ‘Cinder,’ or ‘Beastly,’ Feist has created his own story based in mythology and cultural history.

I am not one to get overly terrorised by scary books – it takes a lot to get me worrying what’s under the bed or tapping at the window – usually having something to do with the unknown, believability and a great build up in the mythology or world building: and ‘Faerie Tale’ has it. Many nights I had my legs neatly tucked safely under me, away from hooked claws and chitinous legs which may lie waiting in the shadows. The pacing is a little slow, given Feist’s over-descriptive manner, but he builds great suspense. The novel can get a little graphic too: so be prepared to get uncomfortable or grossed out. Additionally, given the slower tenor to the story, the ending did feel abrupt in comparison, but well executed.

The family on which this tale is centred, The Hastings, are slightly stereotypical, but have their own flaws and quirks so they feel real and flesh out the story. The Father, Phil’s reactions to the events that take place in the novel are realistic and add legitimacy to the fantasy, which is needed to juxtapose the experiences of his twin boys, Sean and Patrick. Without giving away the plot, you see a great deal of loyalty and family bonds being tested, which is a great change from rescuing damsels in distress 😉

With more than one Antagonist, the main being Erl King, a nasty faerie leader, who is conniving and terrifying, really makes you fear the dark places. He is supported by the Magi – a human sect intent on aiding the Kings desires. They all weave a bloodcurdling and thrilling ride for the Hastings family.

Source: tumblr a-touch-of-magic

Source: tumblr a-touch-of-magic

A pleasant break from the recently released spate of Young Adult reads, I’d definitely recommend ‘Faerie Tale’ for those who love great escapist novels that buck the trend of star-crossed lovers.

Faerie Tale Book Review  Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

 Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle  

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Cinder

Cinder Book Cover for Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle, and forbidden attraction, Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This book was a big surprise for me. Fairytale re-tellings are not my cup of tea. Too many times they feel lack-luster and over-done. Occasionally, they blow your expectations out of the water: and ‘Cinder’ definitely did that for me. Throw in a science fiction element and you have my attention. Marissa Meyer writes in a beautiful yet succinct style, leaving your imagination to paint the picture of Cinder’s world. Many authors tackling a fairytale adaptation tend to be flamboyant, or over-descriptive, dragging you attention away from the story – or start to bore you. But this read was perfect.

Was the plot predictable?  Well, duh! We all know the story of Cinderella, yet given this, Marissa weaves a uniquely captivating story; and I only put the book down reluctantly for trivial things like food and sleep.

The biggest issue I had with the novel, and it’s miniscule given how much I enjoyed reading it, was a tendency to a little bit of information dumping (which in common in sci-fi), and I felt it would have leant great credence to the story having Cinder discover some of it on her own. She was such a strong independent character, her uncovering certain facts would have enhanced the story and her role in it. Besides that tiny point, I love, love, loved this book.

Cinder Book Review pic 2 by Casey CarlisleYou can expect a certain amount of spooniness with this story – Cinderella loses a shoe, so Cinder, in turn loses her cyborg foot… but it was handled beautifully. You could really feel Cinder’s struggle and oppression – several times I had to bite my tongue from vocalising my distaste at how she was being treated.

Every character had their own motivation, their own personality and I have to praise the author at the intricate web she wove across with futuristic landscape. The added touch of aliens (Lunar people) to the mix of class structure, cyborgs, virus plague, robots, and a hint of paranormal powers; it ticks all the boxes to keep my up at night to ‘just finish this chapter… and the next one… and maybe one more.’

There are certainly some fantastic plot twists to Marissa Meyers first instalment to this series; and the story does not really conclude, as it is continued in ‘Scarlet’ (a Red Riding Hood adaptation) which I am poised to read with much excitement. Yes, the Cinderella story is concluded, but the Cinder storyline is only just beginning…

Cinder Book Review by Casey Carlisle

    Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.