Title: Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1)
Author: JL Bryan
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 194 pages
Publication Date: September 16, 2011
A rock & roll fairy tale.
Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they’re going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on their lead singer, but she doesn’t seem interested in him at all.
Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world. Soon the band is enchanting crowds, and Jason is a step closer to the girl of his dreams, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic they can’t control.
Their shortcut to success has cost a troupe of innocent fairies their livelihood and turned Jason and his band into enemies of the powerful Queen Mab, who sends supernatural bounty hunters to track them down, including one of the most dangerous horned creatures in Faerie…a small unicorn named Buttercake.
Fairy Metal Thunder was unlike anything else I’ve read. It was light, fun and refreshing! I’ll be honest, I had really high hopes for this book going in. I’m a big fan of JL Bryan’s The Paranormals series so I was sure that Fairy Metal Thunder would be a great read. It may have fallen a little short of my expectations, but it was a well constructed story and I’m curious to see where the Assorted Zebras go next. Will I be reading more? Definitely.
So what did I like?
The narration: FMT is told primarily from a male POV and that is pretty unique for YA (at least on my bookshelf). I found Jason to be a rather pleasant lead, although he was such a good kid that this book felt like it was targeted at younger readers which I wasn’t expecting. Still, I enjoyed seeing the world (especially first crushes) through the eyes of a teenage boy for once. Especially one that was actually a little immature and just flat out normal.
The imagery: JL Bryan does a phenomenal job of creating a faerie realm that’s understated and beautiful. I don’t read a lot of books on the fae, but it was easy for me to visualize the realm as Jason experienced it for the first time. As the story progressed, I also enjoyed seeing the realm in greater detail through the eyes of Aoide, the secondary narrator, and one of the faeries desperately trying to recover her instrument. I’m hoping Aoide plays a bigger role in book two of the series! I’m curious to see what kind of trouble she can get into with the queensguard at her side and what legths she’ll go to in order to recover her instrument and appease the queen. Besides, there could always be a little romance brewing. But I digress….
The plot: Rock n’ Roll? High school garage band? Magical instruments? Sold. It was a great summer read. You know the kind– you don’t have to think too hard and the overall feeling is warm fuzzy bunnies. The story is fast paced, easy to follow and unique. Seriously. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else like it on the market.
A kickass unicorn named Buttercake: Enough said!
And what left me wanting?
Not much. The story was a little simplistic for my taste (perhaps because it’s meant for younger readers). And while I’m not a stickler for editing, there was one glaring issue that hung me up as I tried to discern the authors intent.
Overall, I really can’t pick out too many things that I didn’t like about FMT. While it wasn’t my favorite JL Bryan book (let’s be honest– he’s got some great ones!), it’s a well crafted story and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for some light summer reading!
Next up as I continue with my indie TBR list? I’m thinking The Fallen Star. Or maybe Prince of Wolves. Decisions, decisions….