Book Review: Fae Child by Jane-Holly Meissner (eARC)
Title: Fae Child
Author: Jane-Holly Meissner
Released: December 15, 2020 (Kindle)
Series: The Fae Child Trilogy
Note: I have received a digital from Inkshares via NetGalley in exchange for a full and honest review.
Description: When eight-year-old Abbie Brown discovers a quiet pool of water while wandering through the woods behind her Oregon home, she wades out into it and discovers she’s not alone. A wild-haired boy in gree stares at her from the other side of the water. Mesmerized, Abbie reaches down to him and is yanked underwater.
She emerges on the other side as an unwelcome visitor to the Otherworld, the land of the Fae, with only the boy Foster to guide her. Back in Oregon, a changeling lookalike has taken her place, bonding with her mother while her father, hiding a secret of his own, views the “girl” with suspicion.
In the courts of the Fae, a truce has long been in place between Winter and Summer. What havoc might a human child wreak in the careful machinations of beings older than time? And to what lengths will Abbie’s father go to get her back?
Please keep in mind that this review contains spoilers for the entire book. Read with caution. If you click the “Read More”, it is under the assumption you either don’t care about spoilers or you’ve already read the book.
This story, I found, was rather cute if only from Abbie’s point of view. This story does switch back between both her father and Abbie’s point of view and to be honest with you, the father’s perspective was really hard to sit through. There really seemed to be a lack of emotion on his part beyond the fact that his only daughter was missing and there’s a changeling in the house trying to get to his life force.
Speaking for only me, the reason for this is because it really felt that, especially before the Bargain was made between the two, he was really willing to sacrifice his own wife (who had done literally nothing wrong) to this changeling and I learned nothing about him. It’s hinted that he’s thousands of years old but I had initially assumed that time just worked differently – 20 Earth years could’ve been maybe 2,000 years, as an example, but nope – they’ve been around for “thousands of years”.
It was hard to connect to Dan besides the need to save Abbie because it didn’t seem he cared about anyone or anything else besides Abbie. Maybe it’s because he lived so long, he just didn’t care. And that raises the question of why did he specifically care about Abbie. Wouldn’t he have fathered many more children? And that would also explain why he didn’t seem to care as much about the changeling taking the wife’s energy.
The Cat’s motive wasn’t very clear until the end when they finally opened the Gate to the Winter Queen’s bed chambers (I think; it wasn’t very clear at that point), she apparently wanted to take over the Winter Kingdom. Another thing that bothered me about Dan’s point of view was the fact that he and the rest of the Wild Hunt were banished to earth. I didn’t get the sense of getting to know any of them until he needed them at the 11th hour of getting the Gate open from his end. The only thing I knew of were their names and unfortunately, the naming schemes both took me out of the moment and had me forget about their existence. It got quickly frustrating and it was very close for me to drop this because I just wanted this to end.
The side characters in the Otherworld were interesting enough to me as a fantasy story but once Gwynn and Charles took over, it was almost like Foster didn’t exist and I wasn’t exactly a fan of Nadiene being cast on the side. And it’s eventually revealed that, oh no, Nadiene had her own goals – which was to essentially free the wolves from the Winter Queen’s magic. I’m not quite sure why that was such a problem other than the fact Gwynn, the Winter elf, didn’t really want her to. And all of that was because Gwynn didn’t want to disrupt his plan of betraying the Winter Queen. The problem with that though is that Nadiene had been shown to be aware of her surroundings, after all, she is a wolf so the conflict felt pointless since she showed up at the end anyway. Charles really seemed to be a copy of Gimley, except just a regular human. At that point, I really just wanted it to end and to wrap up quickly.
I really would like to have bonded with Dan a lot more and understand his point of view and his lackadaisy attitude towards getting close to his old Hunting buddies and many of the other side characters in the Otherworld. I get that Abbie is a child so maybe she has blended in a little too much, but I did find that Otherworld interesting and I would like to see the consequences of their actions in this first book.
As much as it seems that I ragged on this book, for the nuggets that I did like, the ideas and concepts are really solid. I wasn’t quite sure what the theme of the novel is right now but perhaps the future volumes would enlighten it more. It’s a fun little novel and even though it was pretty hard to get through, it did set up a lot for the future volumes that I am absolutely looking forward to. Definitely give this a chance and hopefully, you can connect better with the characters than I could. It’s a fun little magical adventure that I wish was allowed to ruminate a bit longer, but again, maybe in future volumes, there will be more elaboration.
Posted on November 24, 2020, in ★★★☆☆ – 3 Stars, Book Reviews, Book Series, The Fae Child Trilogy and tagged fae child, fantasy, jane-holly meissner, middle grade, The Fae Child Trilogy, young adult. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.