Sunday, September 9, 2012

Book Review: Flicker

Flicker
Published By:  Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date:  February 25, 2012
Page Count:  278
But it at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble 
Source:  Ebook Kindly Provided by the Author
  Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy

Have you ever thought you caught something unusual out the corner of your eye only to look again more closely and couldn't find anything out of the ordinary?!  And then you shake your head and reason with yourself that your imagination was just running away from you...again?!  Yes, I think that has happened to many of us a time or two, which was how this story, Flicker, by 19 year old Kaye Thornbrugh, pulled me in.  It was a very imaginative and entertaining debut by such a young author, and I was quite impressed with this adventurous and fun little story.

It seems to me that Flicker is rooted on the premise that virtually anyone who is creative in some way...any type of artist...has repressed magic hidden away...and all it needs is some coaxing for it to surface.  Weatherly (Lee) Capren loves to sketch and is quite talented.  She is also a self-admitted geek and having that reputation doesn't seem to bother her one bit...but it turns out to be a source of friction between her and her best friend Kendall.  After an argument with her friend, Lee retreats to the comfort of her organized bedroom and begins to draw.  Drawing has always been her escape and she can literally lose herself in her sketches...where hours have passed and she has no recollection of having made all those drawings.  Her talents do not go unnoticed by members of the Otherworld--faeries--and Lee soon finds herself spirited away to serve them at one of their most recent celebrations.  During the faerie revels, a young seer, Nasser Rew, out looking for his younger brother comes across the young, talented (and beautiful) Lee--feverishly drawing portraits for her captors.  There is an inexplicable draw Nasser feels towards Lee which leads him to making an impromptu decision that ultimately has serious repercussions that follow them back into the human world.   And as it turns out for Lee, what felt like a day or two in the faerie realm evolved into several years that have passed back home, and that leaves Lee's hopes to return to her normal life a futile dream.

I really liked Lee...even though I had a bit of trouble connecting with her in the beginning.  But as she grew with the story, so did my appreciation for her and her plight.  Even though her first experience with faeries pretty much turned her world 180 degrees, she still stayed true to herself.  She was trusting and naive at times, but she grew in self-confidence and spirit, and I always appreciate that in a heroine.  The highly contentious 'friendship' that was forced upon her and her roommate was intriguing, and I loved how that developed through Lee's persistence and her wanting to learn about her own magic.  And I simply adored Nasser--the boy who rescued Lee!  The oldest out of this circle of 'friends' (for lack of a better word), Nasser always feels he has to take care of everyone and take their burdens on himself.  But he did sort of feel like a much older soul than his 19 years, probably due to all he's been through in his relatively young life being around magic and often cruel supernatural creatures.  Nasser's attraction to Lee was sweet.  Their romance was subtle at first, but as they hung out more and more with each other, it grew in an adorable way.

Flicker is told in third person from multiple perspectives so this story was viewed from many sides and gave us more than one or two central characters to focus on (and I will interject here that this did not clutter the story--it flowed very well.)  In that light, and as much as this is Lee's story, another character that shares the spotlight in Flicker is Filo Shine.  An ornery and angry young apprentice, honing his magical skills under the tutelage of two very cruel faerie sisters who are not above being physically abusive with him and the other seers tied to Flicker (which is like a magical supply store for supernaturals.)  I soon came to really love Filo as his story developed alongside Lee's.  Having felt abandoned by the only friends he ever really had, and feeling incredibly alone and overwhelmed, I understood why his social skills were so lacking and why he was so sour and angry at everyone.  Unfortunately, his wrath was mostly directed at Lee once she was dumped on him.  But Filo was a lot more complex than his outward self and his character arc was one of the things I loved most about this book--perhaps more so than Lee's!

The complimentary cast of characters were colourful and intriguing.  And of course, there was a ruthless villain that you loved to hate.  And as with so many stories of the fey, there is always a good mix of faerie court politics and treachery and I enjoyed Kaye's spin in her own world.  However, I will say that Umbriel left me wanting a little bit more.

While I do admit that sometimes I had the distinct feeling that I was being purposely kept out of a conversation...I believe it was part of Kaye's creative writing style and world building.  I soon learned to be patient and realized that we would be getting the full story in short order.  As well, some things, I felt, came together a little too neatly or some aspects felt a little too far-fetched, but I can't take anything away from the fact that I was still thoroughly entertained.  The ending wrapped up nicely with each character getting their closure and I overall felt very satisfied with how everything was resolved.

I don't want to harp on the fact that the author is only 19 but I sort of do have to make mention of it again because I strongly feel that this is impressive work from someone so young.  Miss Thornbrugh's creative twist on the capricious and cruel faeries we have come to know in so many other stories, along with seers, and how they intertwined in her world, was highly imaginative and fun!  And I would gladly read more works by Kaye Thornbrugh in the area of fantasy in the future!

Finally, I'd like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review her book! 


Summary:

When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.

A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.

Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her.
 

2 comments:

  1. I really want to read this now! I love the idea of artists have magic.

    Great review. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashley Prince! I hope you really like it too! :)

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