Anoolka's Reviews > Need

Need by Carrie Jones
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's review
Jan 16, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult, urban-fantasy, series, faery, female-protagonist, long-lost-family, love-triangle, paranormal, romance, shapeshifters, werewolves
Read on January 16, 2012

It's readable, mostly predictable, typical YA paranormal. Instead of being vampires, it's faery - pixies to be exact. But, wait, there's more, we get shifters too. Unfortunately the worldbuilding is pretty thin and feels very pastede on. With very little originality and depth.

The main character is mostly ok (minus the part where she talks to herself a lot), though can't say that characterization is this book's strong suit. New girl in school, with some issues, feeling lonely, abandoned and trying to navigate this new social circles - feels same old same old. Of course, she gets some faithfull sidekicks - two kids that don't fit in, almost right away, as well as two potential boyfriends.

This whole settling in and meeting people part takes about one third of the book. Once the paranormal actually starts being more relevent the pace picks up. But it's like the author spent too much time on getting the relationships going because she doesn't take as much too have our heroes, but mostly our heroine, convinced that there's something paranormal going on.
The clues are obvious, of course (sarcasm!), someone is stalking Zara, and he's moving from place to place too fast. (but not really, since he's not really moving any faster than she is...). So obviously, after consulting the Web, the answer is he's a pixie king. Logical. Oh, and he leaves dust behind. Gold dust - not that our heroine noticed that at first. She only notices the dust after that.

"Devyn and Issie, they have a theory about some stuff that's been happening to me. There's this guy who keeps showing up. They think he's a pixie. I know it sounds stupid. Pixie kings are supposed to leave dust like this."

Mmm, right. Perfectly logical. coulnd't possibly be anything else. He keeps showing up and there's dust - and that's all the evidence you need to belive in pixies.
And then our heroine admits that maybe he's just posing as a pixie - like a calling card, for a killer or something. with those two possible explanation our heroine decides to go running after dark. I guess it's supposed to show as she has martyr tendencies but for me it only means she's stupid.

The dialogues are awkward/painful at times, and the bits with the love triangle felt a little thin. There are some inconsistencies in characterization. Nick is supposed to have a temper and be a hot head, but the only time we really see it, is at the end, so for me it felt majorly out of character, and made him seem like a hipocrite and a jerk.
Zara is not consistent either: she accepts the pixies but freaks out about werewolves - having more evidence there and proof of shifters actually being the good guys.

That fight between Nick and Zara (view spoiler) near the end - that felt like artificial angst, for the sake of angst, reaction out of character and out of proportion.

And finally, my last annoyance, Zara's hypocrisy and stupidity in dealing with the pixie king.
A conversation between the pixie king and our pacifist heroine:
"Then I would die. Then another pixie, perhaps one more cruel, one less enamored of human peculiarities will take my place."
Harsh, Zara. And stupid. And somewhat out of character given just how many times Amnesty International gets mentioned. She says: "People die all the time for the greater good. It's called being a martyr." Were is the sense in this? The set up is that the king needs to kill or have his queen. He can stop, but as he says, he'll die and the cycle won't stop. Another will take his place. And her answer is to tell him to die? (view spoiler) that still doesn't really get at the core of the problem, does it?

Yeah, so over all, I was dissapointed with this book. The contradictions in characterization, the thin worldbuilding and lukewarm relationships don't make me want to read the next one.

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