booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
[personal profile] booksofafeather
Short review: A girl discovers she is part faerie, and is taken to the faerie world, but starts finding it's not so beautiful and happy there.... This book promises a lot in the beginning, but, the story is very predictable, the non-humans are treated in a negative way, and it feels not serious enough or emotional enough to catch your heart. The "wings" in the title are also in the book hardly at all. Disappointing, for winged people and for general readers.

Writing: Not so good... the main character emotions aren't described very much or very strongly so you don't understand why she does the things she does, and often, she contradicts herself. The silly humour feels very empty and keeps you from taking the story too seriously. The story is an obvious one, but the writing makes it even more predictable. It's fun and fast to read, but by the end I was getting bored.

From a winged person's perspective...: In the beginning it seems like it might be a good book for winged people. The main character begins to awaken to her faerie self, feeling the strong need to dance under moonlight, and then begins to grow wings. The itching sensations of wings coming out are described strongly, maybe too strong for some, as it might trigger feelings of longing, but winged people will feel understood about the longing to move and grow in certain ways. There are a few interesting things, like how she notices three-dimensional space more when she can fly, and there is some beautiful winged dancing. But, most of the book doesn't have any talk about the wings at all. It's like they just disappear, which is the worst thing you can do writing this kind of book! It also shows non-humans as bad and scary, including bird people. And, her feeling about having wings is mostly "I'm special". No descriptions of beautiful flight, or how she feels happy to come home. In the end, it isn't that good for winged people, and there are much better books that do better all the things that it does.

Trigger warnings: The main character using words like "weird" and "mutant" for herself because of what she is. Showing non-humans as ugly and frightening.

More thoughts...: This book gave it a nice try, but, there are too many flaws. It's called "Wings: A Fairy Tale", and the back of the cover says "What if wings suddenly sprouted from your back?", but, the book isn't about that at all, it's deceiving. The book is really about "what if you were half faerie and you were taken to the faerie world", with only a few small parts about wings after the part where she grows them.

And, even that part isn't written very well. I've never met a fae who wasn't proud of who she is and very much feeling that we have to shake up the human world a little bit. It seems like that is just normal for fae. But, the main character only seems to have very human thoughts... about whether she is a freak or whether the wings make her "special" among her friends. There isn't a lot of fae magic in this book at all.

The book also jumps around in its message and it's never clear what the story wants to say. When Tamisin, the main character, calls goblins "things", the other main character (who is half goblin) protests against the use of "things" and says that jackal and hawk goblins were once thought as gods. But the story isn't consistent about this, swinging back and forth... it's hard for that message to sink in when the goblins usually act evil, in a stereotyped way. Human attitudes are usually better than non-human ones, and half-goblins are better than goblins. There are some interesting descriptions of magic, although, alchemy doesn't work like that.

A few small descriptions, and, the beautiful cover, are mostly what to like about this book. I will give it one and a half... if you're just reading it as a fun story, it's two out of five, but there are much better books to read. It was written in 2008, and it feels like it was written to make money from the popularity of romances like "Twilight" about a girl who is loved by someone non-human. I suppose I should expect that if I find very recent books about winged people, the quality might get worse... sadly because of the "Twilight" excitement.
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