Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.
But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.
This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.
It's definitely a weird book, but I still liked it! It wasn't what I was expecting, but that isn't always bad.
I was confused when I started reading because of the narrator. There are parts like "this sucks, to change in the final draft" that took my interest off, because it was out of place and confusing. I realized later that this book is actually an attempt at a novel from a fictional character - I know, confusing - and that those are the fictional narrator's words. While I didn't get it at first, I came to love this part of the novel, because it makes the narrator unreliable and it had me questionning everything that happened when he wasn't there, since it could be complete bullsh*t.
I had trouble understanding the characters, because there is a lack of background for some of them. Also, since they're young, there's a lot of swearing, which I found weird sometimes. It felt out of place, especially when they were out of Beckan's mouth. I think the characters I liked the most were Rig and Tier, because of their relationship issues and how realistic they are, but, for them as well as for the other characters, I hated the fact that the narrator is unreliable, since it made me wonder which part of what's written is true and which one isn't. It was fun to wonder, but when you're trying to get to know characters and everything you read about them might be completely false, it's confusing and irritating.
One part of this book that I liked was understanding the relationships between fairies, tightropers and gnomes. I liked how interesting fairies are and how rare it is for them to be whole, as weird as it sounds, because I found that to be very peculiar. The way they start to accept each other in Ferrum is amazing and I liked how they used each other's abilities. I wish the ending was better for the population in general though, but I gess you can't always get what you want.
I found it really weird how everyone seems obsessed with the idea of love in this book. I know part of it is because of the unreliable narrator, but I felt like the l-word is pronounced a billion times in this book, in platonic or non-platonic ways, although it's almost never clear. I was always confused by who is in love with who because of that. Also, sex is a big part of this book, since Cricket, Beckan and Scrap are prostitutes, which is something I was really not expecting when I picked this book up. There's a lot of mentions about sex, although they're not really explicit.
The story itself is good, but it's a bit slow. I liked how the war changed aspects of their lives and how the main characters reacted to them, but sometimes Josha and Scrap seemed to react too much.
Beckan is strong and she leads her pack very well, which I liked to see. I was suprised by plot twists towards the end of the book, because I was absolutely not expecting them. The story's interesting and it kept me wanting to know what would happen, but I feel like a big part of it is about the past and not much actually happens. I liked the pictures and excerpts included in the pages, but some of them were unnecessary, in my opinion.
I enjoyed reading this book, my only problem with it is that I have a long list of "but" sentences to add to this.
(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)