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Over 34 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to Ireland, according to CBS Sunday Morning. Though I have yet to see Irish potatoes, all the Eastern European bakeries in my neighborhood are piled high with soda bread – it seems there’s quite a bit of overlap between American Irish and Jewish foods. Pubs are playing Dropkick Murphys and green looks good on every body. It’s a fine weekend to be half Irish, but I do wish the history of a certain patron saint wasn’t told in such soft focus. St. Patrick was a missionary. Whether he drove the pagans out of Ireland or not, he still went there to impose Roman religion and customs. It’s not as if the Irish didn’t already have their own spiritual beliefs when he arrived. Celebrating the heritage is good fun, I just wish we had another name and reference for it.

Anyway. Happy day to you.

Our next stop on the book train is Spells by Aprilynne Pike. Hope you’re not hungry as there’s not a lot meat on this bone.

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Spells is the sequel to Wings, a YA book I read a few years back and was only lukewarm about. Our hero is a girl who drinks sprite and grazes like she has an eating disorder. I don’t remember much beyond that. Laurel finding out she’s a faery raised by humans was basically the plot of Wings.

Now it’s summer and she’s been summoned to the Academy of Avalon for eight weeks of intensive faery stuff. Here we learn a little more about the world of Avalon, including the hierarchy of Winter, Fall, Summer then Spring faeries and the vast amounts of poison and plant knowledge Laurel must obtain to protect everyone she loves.

The real focus of the story is what was probably meant to only be a preoccupation, and that’s the obligatory love triangle between Laurel, boyfriend David  and Tamani, the brooding spring fae. As in book one, trolls are on the periphery stirring up trouble. I never really worried for any of the characters, partly because the trolls are very one dimensional and partly because I didn’t care enough about them.

The new piece to the puzzle is Klea, a woman from a militaristic organization that hunts trolls and other non-human species. Remember The Initiative from season four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the boring one about top secret military monster hunters? The Klea story line is kind of like that minus the kick-ass fighting and Spike, of course.

No, sir, I didn’t enjoy this book, but that’s my bad. Continuing on a series that doesn’t engage you is a waste of time. I knew after Wings this wouldn’t be for me, but it was there and one page led to another. You know how it goes. I do wonder if I’m the only reader bothered by the sloppy, repetitive writing. What was with all the chills coursing through [insert body part here] sentences? Seriously, I stopped counting after the fifth time it appeared. This sentence and all its cousins must be banished. YA authors, please stop writing “…fear coursed through her spine”. It makes this reader want to do bad things.

My guess is the best audience probably skews much younger than typical YA, possible 10 year old girls who really love Disney princesses. But other bloggers did like this book. Doing negative reviews, however honest and accurate, makes me feel a bit like a jerk, especially when I’m not the intended audience. So check out a few positive reviews to balance the scale and gimme good karma.

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