Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Page Count: 208 pages
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Copy for review provided by Around the World Tours (Princess Bookie ARC Tours) in exchange for an honest review.
50 words or less: Nimira is a dancing girl with a dead end job when the opportunity of a lifetime falls into her lap. All she has to do is accompany an automaton while he plays the piano. Easy enough, right? WRONG.
All right, set your phasers to stun, everyone: I didn't like this book. Spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.
I'm feeling really let down that I didn't enjoy this book, actually. I was so excited to see a copy available for the tour and I heard such great things from other reviewers. And yes, for the first quarter of the book or so, I was hooked, and really enjoying the story. I think my initial enjoyment of the book is one of the reasons the rest of it was such a huge letdown.
My first issue is that the length of the book did not adequately provide space and time for the world that serves as the setting of the story to be fully explored and described. We know that there are different cities and different provinces and that there's a fairy realm that's supposedly off limits by a wall, but that's pretty much all the world building we get. Not being familiar with the history of the region and the alliances and politics made it hard to care about the events of the story or to understand why anyone was choosing to act as they did.
Continuing in the vein of things I don't care about, I didn't find much to like about any of the characters. Hollin, especially, gave me the scratch- someone should tell him that Halmark doesn't make a card for getting your wife locked up in the attic by your evil nemesis. The bad guys (Smollings and whatshername, the Nurse Diesel character) weren't all that inspiring either- their rantings and ravings about the evil fairies seemed kind of paranoid at best and the ravings of lunatics at worst since we never really meet any fairies in this book at all. Again, the lack of world building makes it hard to understand why everyone's got their panties in a wad.
The most interesting facet of the story was definitely Erris, the automaton/fairy prince/emo dude. I found myself most interested in his story and how he came to be in his current situation, but no information about any of that was forthcoming.
Incidentally, although the blossoming romance between Nimira and Erris is sweet and one of the nicer storylines of the book, I was kind of grossed out by Nimira having to wind him up even after Erris is supposedly made human. It was like they had to cut right from the bloom of young love to the long-term care part of the relationship.
I think, if this book had been 400 pages long, with juicy descriptions, beautiful worlds, and a ton more details about the political situation and back stories of the characters, then same twisty, turny plot would have been fantastic and I would be raving about this book. As it is, the entire story suffered for the brevity of the story and while I want to know if Erris ever fully leaves his key-powered world behind, I will probably just ask someone who reads any future books what happens.
Overall Grade: C-