Ever Shade  - Alexia Purdy

I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review...


It's said to be 'a dark faerie tale'. All my book-encounters with faeries have been quite grim though. Does this book has something extra that can make this 'extra' dark?


Shade witnesses a fight between two faeries after the voices in her head lead her to an abandoned warehouse on her way from school. She joins one the faeries as he shows her his powers and tells her they might have a solution or at least an explanation for her problem back at his place. Straight after hearing she isn't crazy, but in fact half-faery, they ask her to take part in a very dangerous journey to retrieve some very special water they'll need to win the war against some very evil faeries.


Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I was immediately sucked into the story, and it was hard to stop reading. I don't really know a lot about faeries, so I just sat back and enjoyed it. The writing was quite nice too, and easy to read. The story moves very fast, especially when you keep in mind it all happens in just over 200 pages. This means that there aren't really that many details, and sometimes I'd liked to see a bit more character development and interactions between different characters. Shade talks to most of the group members only once of twice and too short for us to get a real sense of their relationships. Shade is supposed to get magical training during their trip (I always enjoy such scenes) but this is somehow forgotten a bit during the story. I'd liked to see more of that.


Shade, being the main character, being a 17 year old girl, has many of the symptoms of a classic YA heroine. Not extremely pretty or popular, she's learned to take of herself (as her mother is a single mom with four children). She's not quite the outdoorsy type, as the book tells us multiple times. But why was it necessary that her father learned her basic survival skills, as she wasn't the 'outdoorsy' type and they only went camping within reach of a bathroom and car?


My biggest problem though was the enormous power the magic has in this book. It literally solves every problem in the book! A few things, I wouldn't have mind, even though I sometimes think it's an easy plot device. But the things that were solved went almost ridiculous, as there are spells/charms to 'keep you dry when walking through a river', 'auto-refill your water bottles', and when they make camp (near that same river) they brought toilets and showers. That doesn't really sound like a real quest! (Okay, I admit I would like to have the Hermione-style bag).


It's a nice and quick read if you don't bother too much about magic solving the characters' problems. I'm certainly curious enough to read the other books in this series, if I can find the time to do so.