Series: Unseelie #1
Published by Inkyard Press (1.3.23)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 432 pages
Twin sisters, both on the run, but different as day and night. One, a professional rogue, searches for a fabled treasure; the other, a changeling, searches for the truth behind her origins, trying to find a place to fit in with the realm of fae who made her and the humans who shun her.
Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde… but as an autistic changeling trying to navigate her unpredictable magic, Seelie finds it more difficult to fit in with the humans around her. When Seelie and Isolde are caught up in a heist gone wrong and make some unexpected allies, they find themselves unraveling a larger mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.
Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister, and herself?
I have never read a book with an autistic MC (that I know of), and now that I have, I wonder if maybe I’m on the spectrum. Because I have never related to a main character as much as I related to Seelie. She’s brash, and stubborn, and reactive, and feels too much…and I honestly saw myself in her. She’s also super socially awkward (like to the point of it being painful, lmao) and shies away from human interaction and touch. There were times where she’d be overreacting or getting super emotional, and even have the thought process of “I could just stop” or “why am I continuing to act like this” and it’s something that I myself have done. Where things get out of hand and you don’t know how to reign them in, so you lose even more control. Like I said, she’s probably the most relatable main character I’ve read in a very long time!
I love that the romance took a backseat in this book. It takes the whole book to develop, and it’s just as awkward as Seelie herself. I love that it wasn’t mushy and that Seelie felt awkward with physical affection and touching. But even still, you could clearly tell they were developing a deep bond and it was so sweet!
My main complaint is that things got a little slow in the middle. In the beginning I was hooked because I was super intrigued by the world and the magic (also I freaking LOVE Birch the Brownie masquerading as a cat and the Destiny the enchanted wagon omg). The writing is really good in the beginning, too, and has a way of drawing you in. But, in the middle there’s almost nothing happening except character development and interaction, and a lot of traveling. I was a little bored because it started to feel a little redundant.
However, the last quarter made up for it when things finally picked up! View Spoiler »I am SUPER stoked for the second book because I neeeed more of the freshly hatched firedrake and the bond it clearly has with Seelie!! I can’t wait! When they found the dragon’s egg I was beside myself. « Hide Spoiler I’m very curious to see what happens in the next book!
There was a little twist at the end that I want to talk about, because I’m not sure how I feel about it and it didn’t really make a lot of sense. View Spoiler »So it’s known the whole book that Seelie is a changeling, and was swapped for her sister, Isolde, as a baby. The story of how their mother went to the Faerie realm to demand her real baby back (Isolde), and kept both girls because she wasn’t giving the changeling back (Seelie), was told at the beginning. But then here comes a faerie that looks exactly like their mother, and says that Isolde is not human?? They said she has a faerie made body with a human soul, and it was mentioned that Seelie was actually borne from their mother. That she is in a human-made body, but faerie touched. What?? I’m so confused!! If Seelie was the baby that their mother gave birth to, why did she have to go to the faerie realm?! What made her think it wasn’t her baby?? Wouldn’t Seelie, the changeling, be the faerie made body and Isolde be the faerie touched human?! The explanation didn’t really make sense to me, nor did it make sense that the random faerie was wearing their mother’s face. « Hide Spoiler
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5