Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 star Review: Thorn Jack


Human blood makes them matter. They have gone through rivers of it, to see, breathe, hear, taste, become. ~from the journal of Lily Rose

Superstitions are useless, and fairy tales are lies.~Finn

She seemed, at once, some penanced lady elf, some demon's mistress, or the demon's self. ~Keats

Haunting and beautiful. Intensely descriptive words move like a spell being woven around you, telling a story that is both old and new. Thorn Jack is a book that's meant to be read slowly, giving readers a chance to savor the poetic writing style and allow themselves to be drawn in to the dangerous world of the faefolk. 

There is something dreamlike about the way Finn maneuvers thru life after her sister commits suicide, as if she isn't quite present, which becomes more obvious as she makes new friends in a new town. At first, it doesn't seem like she'll ever embrace the fresh start her father envisions when they move to Fair Hollow, but the introduction of Christie and Sylvie give her a more solid foundation where a real life seems like an actual possibility. That new path is quickly shaken when she accidentally interrupts a wake, and later when Jack asks her dance, both actions that unknowingly have consequences she's ill prepared for.

Finn begins as sad and damaged, an easy target for the deceptive and mischievous fairy folk, but she hides an inner strength that shows as she goes thru the story. Her determination to save Jack from the Fatas is steely and sharp, forcing her to use a keen intelligence and a fair amount of creativity because they are unlike anything she has faced before. Her relationship with Jack transcends all normal boundaries with a connection that is unbreakable.

Reminds me of reading the dark fantasies of Cargill, or even Brom with his horrifically entertaining fairy tale retellings, with a little bit of Coraline-style Gaiman tossed in for spooky measure. I adored everything about this book, from the gargoyles on worn down buildings to the masqued revels where hidden dangers lurk...Fair Hollow is made vividly real. I can only hope that this is just the beginning for the world of Night and Nothing and Katherine Harbour's amazing new talent!

My quick Summary:

Finn and her father move to Fair Hollow in an attempt to get a fresh start after tragedy turns their lives upside down, first with the death of Finn's sister, Lily Rose, and then on a lesser note when Finn's father gets fired from his job. They return to the family home and Finn enrolls at HollowHeart, an old college that her parents had once attended, and her father takes a job at St. John's University teaching folklore and myth. Finn quickly settles in with new friends Christie and Sylvie, although she continues to hold her troubled thoughts of her sister's death a secret, even from her father. It's at an outdoor concert that she meets Jack Fata, and begins her descent into the mysterious otherworld.

From the back of the book:

They call us things with teeth. These words from Lily Rose Sullivan the night of her death haunts her seventeen-year-old sister, Finn, who has moved with her widowed father to his hometown of Fair Hollow, New York. After befriending a boy named Christie Hart and his best friend, Sylvie Whitethorn, Finn is invited to a lakeside party where she encounters the alluring Jack Fata, a member of the town's mysterious Fata family. Despite Jack's air of danger and his clever words, Finn learns they have things in common.

One day, while unpacking, Finn finds her sister's journal, scrawled with descriptions of creatures that bear a sinister resemblance to Jack's family. Finn dismisses these stories as fiction, but Jack's family has a secret—the Fatas are the children of nothing and night, nomadic beings who have been preying on humanity for centuries—and Jack fears that his friendship with Finn has drawn the attention of the most dangerous members of his family—Reiko Fata and vicious Caliban, otherwise known as the white snake and the crooked dog.

Plagued with nightmares about her sister, Finn attempts to discover what happened to Lily Rose and begins to suspect that the Fatas are somehow tied to Lily Rose's untimely death. Drawn to Jack, determined to solve the mystery of her sister's suicide, Finn must navigate a dangerous world where nothing is as it seems.

Goodreads   Amazon   BN   Author site   Harper Collins

1 comment:

Jen Rothmeyer said...

Yes! I wasn't the only one to think of Cargill! Of course, I had just finished reading two of his books. :)

I like this return to the traditional faerie tales with the darker intent. They were not Disney fairies!

If you'd like, please feel free to link up your review here: