Friday, August 19, 2011

Not Your Parent's Pixies

My last review was of a picture book about girls being proud of who they are. It showed how girls needed to embrace their inner strength. This time I am sticking to that theme but raising the minimum age limit to 13.

By Carrie Jones

For Ages 13 and up
Looking for a coming-of-age novel with a good, strong, female character who is just trying to find herself? How about one with supernatural monsters, vampire-like pixies and a little Norse mythology? I know it sounds like a stretch but, "Entice" actually pulls it off rather successfully. Rated 4 (supernatural, violence, romance)

The third book in this entertaining pixie series by Carrie Jones begins where the second left off. Our heroine, Zara, has just become the one thing she has always seen as evil. She has become a pixie. More precisely, a pixie queen. Don't fret if you have not read the previous novels. This one can be read by itself, although knowledge of "Captivate" would help.

Zara is a normal teen with normal teen problems. She also has this whole evil pixie war thing happening in her town and teens keep going missing. That said Zara is strong and strong-minded. She wears her heart on her sleeve, is loyal to a fault, impulsive and a pacifist that truly sees the dangers in the world. She is a leader without even knowing her own strength. Now back to the pixie queen bit.

In order to save her boyfriend, who happens to be a werewolf, Zara must travel to Valhalla. Obviously mere mortals cannot make the trip, so she relies on her inner strength to become the thing she fears and hates most -- a pixie. The pacing is quick, but much of the action seems a little hackneyed but Zara's character development is engrossing enough to make you overlook the shortcomings. As Zara, her friends and family try to find the entrance to Valhalla, she struggles with who she is. She struggles with mixed emotions about her lost boyfriend and the other male in her life, her pixie king. This is a struggle to which every teen will relate.

"Entice" is well-written, with quick banter and humor laced throughout the action. There is mystery, horror. tragedy and romance all entwined in this haunting tale. Jones creates imagery that lingers with you long after you close the book. The romance is always just under the surface and never overly sexual.
This is a good book for girls into the fantasy genre with supernatural elements. I said of "Captivate" that, "the quality writing and imagery keep it from being another Twilight or Vampire Diaries. The character development and toned-down sexuality keep it form being gossip girl with monsters." I'd say this holds true for "Entice" as well. So you can follow the real story of friendship, love, family and finding your inner strength.