Thursday, July 7, 2011
Fairy Bad Day
There seems to be a connection between Australian authors and quirky YA romances featuring fairies. First there was Justine Labelestier’s How to Ditch Your Fairy and now Amanda Ashby’s Fairy Bad Day. Forget the awful pun title, the book is actually quite amusing.
Emma Jones is a star pupil at Burtonwood Academy (a school specially set up for sight gifted teens who can see the supernatural creatures such as dragons, goblins and fairies that they refer to as elementals) and is a shoe in to be given the title of dragon slayer, just like her mother, a renowned dragon slayer. To her surprise Emma gets the humiliating assignment of fairy slayer (there’s a lot of debate about whether fairies even need a slayer, they’re annoying and mischievous, but not deadly) and the prize of dragon slayer (Emma’s job) goes to Curtis Green, Emma’s mysterious, good natured and frustratingly handsome classmate.
Adding to Emma’s frustration and confusion is her pregnant stepmother Olivia, a trio of obnoxious and effortlessly fashionable fairies (Rupert, Gilbert and Trevor) who find Emma not at all threatening, and persist in taunting her at every opportunity, and the Darkhel; a huge malevolent dangerous presence that only Emma can see.
Somehow Emma has to sort out her life, her feelings for Curtis and Olivia, regain the title she believes is rightfully hers and save the world in time for Induction.
Because of the type of book Fairy Bad Day is the outcome is never really in doubt, but there’s a lot of fun in seeing Emma and her friends Loni, Tyler and Curtis get there. This is largely achieved with some snappy Joss Whedonesque dialog (it was not at all surprising that the author is a fan), some interesting characters (Loni is obsessed with astrology and Tyler has a five legged cockroach as a pet) and Skittles. I know I’ll never look at the multicoloured candy the same way again. Who knew they could be deadly given the right circumstances?
Fairy Bad Day is a huge amount of fun and a quick easy read. If anyone was prepared to do it right it would make a really good teen TV series. One thing I found unusual was that the back cover blurb was written in first person, yet the book itself was done in 3rd person. Given that most Urban Fantasy and Paranomal Romance is written from first person it’s an easy mistake to think that Fairy Bad Day would have worked well done that way.
It won’t change the world, but it may give you a laugh or two.