I had this on my stack once this year and barely started it when I decided to read something else. I looked at reviews that said this was a really dark book (which it is a bit dark), had an attempted rape scene (which it does, but it was not a long scene thankfully) and that the characters were emotionless (which was not the case). Based on a few reviews I stopped reading it at that time. Then I decided to do the Spooktacular challenge and thought it would be a good time to pick up this book again. I am glad I did!
Meghan Chase is your ordinary teenage girl. Her family is not wealthy, but she at least has her IPod. She lives with her mother, stepfather, and half-brother Ethan. Despite not having the best clothes or a car, Meghan makes the most of her life and she loves her family. So when her brother is taken to the Faery world and replaced with a changeling, Meghan knows she must save him. She is helped by her friend Rob, who turns out to be Robin Goodfellow aka Puck. Puck agrees to take her to the Summer court of Oberon and Titania to see if Ethan is there. The two are separate and Meghan makes a deal with Grimalkin, basically a fey cat, to help her find Puck and when they do she will owe Grim a favor. Grimalkin leads her to the Summer Fey, but they do not find Ethan. However, Meghan finds out Oberon is her father and that she is half-faery. She also learns about the feud between the Summer and Winter courts and meets Ash, the youngest son of Queen Mab of the Winter faeries. Meghan also notices little iron bugs, one of which causes a monster to attack the two courts at their peace meeting. This could mean war, unless Ash, Puck, and Meghan can prove the existence of the Iron King, leader of the Iron Fey. Meghan must join forces with her enemy Ash to save her brother and the two courts, but can Ash be trusted?
This is a dark fey story, but I enjoyed it. Julie Kagawa created a lush, deliciously dark world where no one is safe and everything comes with a price. Her descriptions of her world show a deadly, but beautiful place and it seems real enough to exist. Her characters are very rough around the edges, but you cannot help being drawn to them. It did take me a bit to get into the story, but as soon as I started Part II, I hated to put the book down.
Favorite Character: Definitely Meghan. Her responses to being a part-fey were very realistic. She did not just suddenly turn into a kick-butt heroine, but she did not pretend to be a damsel in distress either. She cries at times, she gets mad, but she keeps going. She knows her flaw is her loyalty to others, but she claims it with pride. She is one of the best heroines I have read about this year.
Favorite Quote: "The Nevernever is dying, human. It grows smaller and smaller every decade. Too much progress, too much technology. Mortals are losing their faith in anything but science. Even the children of man are consumed by progress. They sneer at the old stories and are drawn to the newest gadgets, computers, or video games. They no longer believe in monsters or magic. As cities grow and technology takes over the world, belief and imagination fade, and so do we." I know this is a long quote, but I think it is so true!
I really want to start the next book in the series, but I HAVE to finish a few other books first. I loved this dark story and it gets 5 cups of dark cocoa!