Sunday, December 20, 2009

Death smells like birthday cake. ~ Week 12

Sign me up for the Maggie Stiefvater fan club! After reading Shiver and Lament, I just had to grab this book. Ballad picks up a couple of months after all the action of Lament. A marked difference between this book and the first "Book of Faerie" installment is that our narrator is James Morgan, instead of Dee. After the intense and scary summer that James and Dee had last summer they've decided to head to Thornking-Ash, a school for musical prodigies. Just when they thought that life was going to return to normal (or as normal as life can be after carousing with faeries...), things get a little crazy once again.

The good: James. Oh James and his sarcastic, wise-cracking, bagpipe playing self. At first I was really thrown off by him being the main focus of this book. I'd really grown to love Dee and I was sad that she didn't have such a big role in Ballad. After reading a few chapters, I really started to like his perspective. And he's FUNNY.

The bad: Dee. She was horribly conflicted, whiny, and depressed for about 99.9% of this book. While she wasn't the main focus of the story, we're treated to what's going on in her life through James' interactions with her. In Lament, it became pretty obvious that James was completely enamoured with Dee. To put a long story short, she was oblivous and ended up falling for someone else. I would like to give Miss Dee Monaghan an award for the worlds shittiest best friend. Yes, I am biased because I love James. Dee irked me for most of this book.

Another thing. I finished Lament wanting more of Luke and Dee. Shamelessly, I became wrapped up in their passion and I wanted more. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed because the focus of the next book veers away from Dee and her love affair with Luke.

The verdict: Despite the change of pace in Ballad, it's still a great book. It didn't take long for me to really enjoy James as the narrator and get wrapped up in the new characters like Paul and Nuala. For you saps like me, don't worry - there's another love story. You'll probably start out a little let down because you're looking for a continuation of the story narrated by Dee... but give it a few chapters and you'll catch on. Ballad is another hit from Stiefvater. I seriously hope this woman keeps writing books because she is phenomenal!

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