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The Human

(War of the Seasons #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Eirnin's silver eyes, now showing hints of bright yellow, widened in astonishment as he stared, transfixed, at the red blood dripping from the wound on Story's foot.

"What are you?"

A simple question with a not-so-simple answer for seventeen-year-old Story, who finds herself, a lone human, thrust in the middle of a war between creatures she once thought only existed in faeri
Paperback, 386 pages
Published June 8th 2011 by Silence in the Library
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  210 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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E.K. Carmel
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
First, I want to explain I bought this novel because I met the author and was impressed with her as a person. I wanted to see what kind of a story she would write. I wasn't disappointed.

I'm not a huge fan of YA novels and I thought I was done with fairy tale creatures and storylines, but War of the Seasons: The Human by Janine Spendlove wasn't what I expected. Yes, there are familiar tropes, however, I found the way the author incorporated them and the way she handled the relationships between
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a so-so book. There were a few issues I had with it. For example it bothered me that her dryad characters were more like mermaids/sirens then dryads-the authors should have taken some time to research her magical creatures before writing. Also the lead male characters eyes changed colors to indicate his mood, the problem with this was the colors were never consistent so as a reader I never figured out what color related to what mood. And finally the main female character shifts alot, at ...more
Jim Bernheimer
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the interests of full disclosure, I am friends with the author and we run into each other at science fiction/fantasy conventions all over the mid-Atlantic.

It's a solid 4 star Young Adult fantasy offering that doesn't have any strong language, excessive violence, or other graphic content. All in all, it is a well told tale that I enjoyed reading.

I liked her use of faeries as the villains and the well-crafted plot. What kept it from being 5 stars was that there were some instances where the he
Stanley Trice
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A well written fantasy about seventeen year old Story who recently lost her dad and adopted twin brothers. She decides to explore a cave with her only friend Josh when she falls through a portal and into another world of elves, trolls, and faeries.

Really, this is a romance novel. The bulk of the story is about Story’s developing romantic relationship with an elf named Eirnin. When the quest is met at the end, it comes abruptly in the story. However, the twists made up for the sudden conclusion.

Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely a YA or even a teen novel, and I enjoyed it. There is some action, little violence, and some very sweet romance. There are fairies and elves and gnomes and dryads, and the heroine herself - 'Story' the human. The book moves along pretty fast, but is not hard to follow. There are a few surprises, but I could see where it was going for the most part. It has a "Happily Ever After" ending, with just a hint that there may be some issues ahead, in the next book. Nice read.
T. Bakutis
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Janine Spendlove’s “War of the Seasons Book 1: The Human” is a well-written YA portal fantasy told from the perspective of Story, a young woman grappling with a deep trauma and her struggle to connect with others, including her friends. When Story stumbles into an obviously alien world after surviving a harrowing spelunking accident, her reactions are understandable and believable—initial disbelief followed by a search for understanding. I enjoyed following her journey to its conclusion.

With Sto
M.C. Crocker
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I will admit I met the author before I read her book; Janine is a fantastic person that I could probably spend over half this post talking about how awesome she is. From talking to her, I knew her book was one of those books that would make it onto my list of “will get my hands on and read”. I didn’t think it would take me as long as it did, but what finally got me to get my hands on a copy of her book was a free Kindle copy that was offered as a Fourth of July special. I jumped on the chance to ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Originally reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank

Finally a book that grabbed my attention! It’s a fresh look on the main character who ends up in a new world, although the beginning reminded me a bit of Alice in Wonderland, minus rabbit ^^ We also have unusual elves, which makes it even more interesting. Although the age difference is something you’ll have to overlook… otherwise it’d be a little creepy

The new world that Janine Spendlove creates is, despite some clichés, breath-taking. Even the situ
Tina Peterson
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a 17 year old girl named "Story". She's angry, furious at the world, thinking about quitting school and missing the direction and stability her father gave her before his and Story's younger siblings were killed in a car accident. She decides to go caving with a friend - the only one that has stood behind her - and ends up falling into another world.

Ailionora is a world of elves (now you know why I was hooked), faeries, gnome's and sirens (dryads). The faeries are bad and th
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thought I had posted this, apparently not. I recently re-read the book in preparation of book 2. I will say the book was just as good the secend time around and was just as difficult to put down.

my review written in 2011
My one line twitter review: "I finished!!! I must say for likely being the only book I will read this year, I know I made the right choice"

A bit more: I originally bought this book for 2 reasons. 1) it's a fantasy novel and I enjoy that. 2) Janine Spendlove is a friend of mine
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kick-starter
The Human is about a 17 year old named Story, who has lost her family and has been spending some time driving away her friends. While spelunking with her remaining friend she goes through a portal and comes out into a world where the once immortal race of elves is slowly dying away and as a human she holds the key to ending their curse.

The story aside, the book is about a lonely and somewhat socio-phobic young adult thrust into a fantastic setting. And while physically competent as a young adult
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun
The crux of the story is that the elves have been suffering for hundreds of years under an evil enchantment that will eventually kill their entire race. Story may just be that one long-prophesied hero to save them all. Hence the fun and sometimes intense adventure that Janine Spendlove has given us. The main characters have some depth, each having suffered heartaches, losses, and disappointments. The underlying plot kept my attention and the book moving forward, even when there were a few places ...more
Betty Cross
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fantasy fiction readers
Recommended to Betty by: Janine Spendlove
I have just finished "War of the Seasons: The Human" by Janine Spendlove.

This novel contains many of the fantasy motifs we are all familiar with: elves, trolls, fairies, and dryads, though no dragons or cauldron-stirring wizards. However, Janine puts her own unique spin on the old fantasy tropes. Long story short: We humans, in our folk tales, got a lot of the details wrong.

The main character is Story, a teenage girl who falls down a mysterious crevice while spelunking and finds herself in a mag
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sad and lonely after the deaths of her father and younger siblings, Story finds herself visiting one of her childhood romps, a cave she used to visit with her family. In a headstrong moment, she forgets the cardinal rules of spelunking and falls down into a deep chasm. Finding a way out, she finds herself in Ailionara, a world in which elves, gnomes, faeries, and dryads are real...and humans are myth.

Janine K. Spendlove's War of the Seasons: The Human brings a lovely blend of Celtic lore and YA
Lia Patterson
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a YA fantasy and though some of the elements of the world, like elves or fairies are quite common in fantasy, the author manages to give them a new twist (apparently we humans had contact with them, but got a lot about them wrong!).

I especially liked the heroine, Story, who is spunky yet at times also endearingly vulnerable and not without flaws. Also since she’s a present-day American, she looks at the world she’s fallen into with modern eyes. This can be really
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Janine Spendlove is a master at building on the kernels of myth and legend we are all vaguely (or not so vaguely) familiar with and making them her own. I finished this book in little over a day and was very glad that I already had the second one queued up.

Two points that I found particularly strong in this novel were the originality in the small details, such as the treatment of the elves' eyes (no...I will not explain. Pick up the book and see what I mean.) and the cultural background.

One of
Cindy Young-Turner
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Story is a seventeen-year-old girl who falls in a cave while spelunking and finds herself in Ailionora, where elves and faeries are real and a human girl is the outsider. I loved the world that Janine Spendlove created. Her take on elves, faeries, gnomes, and dryads was a refreshing change. Story was a likable protagonist who has suffered her own trauma and learns to love and trust as she takes on an exciting and sometimes dangerous quest. Story's relationship with Eirnin was sweet and I liked t ...more
Barbara Ell
What if humans were "make-believe" and elves, dryads, and gnomes were real? Somehow this fantasy creature called "human" has arrived in this realm to deliver the elven race from extinction.

While I enjoyed the book, the one thing that bothered me was that Story, the human, was supposedly 17 years old. This was brought up numerous times. However, she never thought, spoke, or acted like any 17 year old that I knew (and I'm a high school teacher). If her age was never mentioned, I would have conside
Samuel Lubell
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I liked this book more than I thought I would. It is about a girl from our world, Story, who is accidentally transported to a magic world where she becomes the fulfillment of a prophecy to return immortality to the elves. Strong points include Story's initial refusal to believe in the magic and a charming half-elf half-siren. A problem is that while Story bickers at first with Eirnin, the first elf she meets, the two fall in love too easily and, by the end, dominates too much of their interactio ...more
Jon Allanson
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this novel. It reminded me a great deal of how I felt reading stories like Piers Anthony's Xanth series (especially the early ones, like Spell for Chameleon and Source of Magic), or Raymond Feist's Faerie Tale. I love the world that Spendlove has created here, and can't wait to explore more of it in subsequent novels and short stories. Her elves are unique, while still being the enchanted creatures I wanted them to be. I particularly liked their clan system, as that seemed very ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
The plot and setting are good. Not great, but good. The characterization is poor, with a complete cast of unsympathetic, insipid humans, elves, and the rest.

Big Shiny Robot has a blurb on the back about a "love story that doesn't actually make you want to gag," so I will never be able to take a Big Shiny Robot recommendation seriously again. The romance is nauseating, overplayed, and worse than anything I've ever accidentally watched on TV. Anything. Seriously. Once I was sick and accidentally
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, scifi-fantasy
I loved this book. The story is a wonderful blend of adventure, fantasy and even a little romance. It's fun and light-hearted at times, and other times deep and heartfelt. It's a beautiful story about love and loss and learning to to be happy again. After meeting the author and hearing the origins of this book, I knew she had really put herself into writing this novel and it shows. It's a fantastic debut novel and I can't wait to read more about Ailionora.
Jordan F
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all you lovers of fantasy out there, even if you're not into "YA lit" (that term in itself is so debatable), I would recommend this! It's a quick read, and makes for a good, relaxing, and engaging time. You will fall in love with the reluctant heroine, Story, a believable heroine in a world of faeries, dryads, elves, and selkies that is, surprisingly enough, not so very unlike our own. Read this! You won't be disappointed.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I'm ready to return to Ailionora as soon as the next book is ready! This was a super fun read, with really great characters and a wonderful world! I would love to say more-but I want to leave the story and characters a mystery to be discovered!

I enjoyed immensely exploring the new world with our heroine Story, and the twists an turns along the way had me guessing what would be coming next!

I recommend this lovely book heartily!
Meridel Newton
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I always enjoy the trope of a modern person falling into a fantasy world, and this book is no exception. Story is believable and interesting, if a little limited in scope. The world of Alionora is lovely, but I have just one complaint: "dryads" are, categorically, tied to trees. The water-breathing, interestingly-colored elfin creatures Spendlove keeps referring to in this book? Those are not dryads. It bugged me everytime the word was used. Grar.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-2014
Honestly, I got this (and the sequels) as part of the Kickstarter for the third book, and my true interest was for a stretch goal short story to be written by Cleolinda Jones, set in this universe. So going in I had no expectations and no idea about what I was in for. So, getting an interesting, charming, and engaging story was a really great bonus. I'm looking forward to starting the next book... probably tonight!
Latasha Oliver
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed this book! I loved the world building. Story was a great heroine. She accepted her situations and moved forward she wasn't twiddling her thumbs. The book flowed nicely kept a good pace action and I was totally intrigued. Just downloaded the second book can't wait to see what's next.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an enchanting novel with fun, interesting characters and great world building. I'm much more of a science fiction fan than fantasy, but I found myself unable to put the book down and wondering what happens next. I am really looking forward to the book in the series and I liked that, even though this book was Part 1, it still stood on its own.
Mar 04, 2013 added it
My friend's daughter wrote this book and self published. I was able to download my copy for free. I don't feel right about writing a review on it, since I am so biased. I can say that writing a book is a mammoth undertaking. Big kudos to Spendlove in her writing debut! I wish her much success in her writing career!
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
A really fun read! It breezes along with nothing too heavy, but there are some valuable themes to be had in there as well. The creatures are fabulous! I look forward to seeing what the approaching war brings to Ailionora.
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Janine K. Spendlove is a KC-130 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. In the writing world she is an award winning author primarily known for her War of the Seasons fantasy series. She has several short stories published in various speculative fiction anthologies, to include Time Traveled Tales, Athena's Daughters, and War Stories. Janine is also a member of Women in Aerospace (WIA), BroadUnive ...more

Other books in the series

War of the Seasons (4 books)
  • The Half-Blood (War of the Seasons, #2)
  • The Hunter (War of the Seasons, #3)
  • The Heart (War of the Seasons, #4)