This was supposed to go up yesterday (Monday) but I was so exhausted when I got home from the day job that I totally forgot! Sorry about that everyone. So enjoy this off-cycle review!
Today’s review is for Faerie Fallen, the new YA Fantasy Romance from Carol Beth Anderson, author of the Magic Eaters Trilogy. This review is based on a digital ARC which was gifted to me by the author. As always, this does influence my review. The following are my honest thoughts and opinions. So let’s get to it!
About the Author
Carol Beth Anderson is a YA author from Texas. In addition to Faerie Fallen, she has published 2 complete trilogies, a micro fiction collection, and an awesome how-to guide for authors looking to learn how to work with early readers. She’s also a thespian, recently starring in a few local theatre productions!
(So many of these authors are multi-talented, it’s incredible. Anyway…)
About the Book
Faerie Fallen is the first in a new series from Carol Beth Anderson titled Feathered Fae. It is due for release on December 14, 2021. It is priced at $3.99 for the eBook and estimated at around 350 pages. There will be both paperback and hardcover editions, but I do not have the pricing at the time of this review. The Kindle edition will be available in the Kindle Unlimited program.
I have mixed feelings about the cover for Faerie Fallen. It is a gorgeous piece of art that depicts a particular scene from the book. However, I feel like the cover lacks contrast, and the lettering of the title and author name just sort of… blend in. I haven’t seen the paperback yet, but I think — much like another book I reviewed recently — that this is going to be one of those covers that I love a lot more in print than I do digitally.
It’s hard to judge interior formatting on an ARC, but there are a few cool things I want to point out that I really enjoyed. First, there’s a full-color map in my ePub version of the book. I love that. Second, Anderson has included a cool little flourish at the beginning of each chapter that resembles a pair of angel wings. It’s a nice little touch that I appreciate.
I’m going to give the book 4 teaspoons for design. I will try to remember to do a follow-up on the print cover.
You can read the full blurb here, but here’s my summary: When rebellious young faerie Sela finds herself on the wrong side of the king’s displeasure, she is given a chance to earn back her place in the Seelie Court. To do this, she must infiltrate the household of a human family suspected of plotting against the faeries. She has two months to find out something useful, or face banishment. The mission turns out to be more than Sela bargained for when she meets Kovian, the oldest son of the Darro family.
Oh, also, this is all happening on another planet in the distant future after both faeries and human separately fled earth and colonized it.
I really enjoy this undercover sort of enemies to lovers (but unknown to one side of the equation) premise. Anderson works in a lot of our favorite romance tropes in fun, refreshing ways.
Premise is 5 teaspoons.
As usual, Anderson does a fantastic job writing young adult characters who are relatable and realistic—even when they have angel wings sprouting from their backs. Sela and Kovian are each a unique blend of intelligent, innocent, and broken.
The supporting cast are developed enough. Their relationships with the main characters are well defined, but morph and grow realistically as the story progresses. We grow to hate, love, and forgive them right along with Sela and Kovian.
5 teaspoons for characters.
The plot is engaging and twisty. Anderson reveals surprises for the reader with expert timing.
The worldbuilding for Faerie Fallen is fascinating. It shows a human world frozen in a quasi early-1900s state of technological development. They have analog clocks, for example, and drive carts pulled by native beasts of burden. Yet birth control is readily available. Human society is mostly kept content in this state. The magic of the Seelie Court brings them health and relative ease of life. The beautiful faeries also protect them from the terrifying Unseelie.
Anderson also drops little hints in her worldbuilding. For example, it seems that Transa — the planet where the story takes place — seems to be in the same story universe as Anderson’s Magic Eaters books. Additional depth is added by the teasing of more revelations to come. Such as how the faeries came to exist, and… well, I’m not going to spoil anything.
5 teaspoons for solid worldbuilding.
I just plain enjoy the way Anderson writes. I find her authorial voice to be pleasant and engaging. In particular, I enjoy her use of the different senses in her descriptions and imagery.
I’m so mad about the cliffhanger ending. I wanted more of the book and I plan to pout just a little bit until I get the next one in my grubby little mitts. Anderson did a masterful job of building up a world in the early chapters and then proceeding to dismantle and warp it bit by bit through the rest of the book. Everyone in this book is wearing a mask at the start, and it is so much fun to watch those masks fall away.
5 teaspoons. Give me the next book please.