I just did not jibe* with this book at all. I mean, I struggled with it from the get-go. I actually put it down for a month or so before determining to pick it back up and finish it. I thought perhaps I was just in a weird place when I started it back in June and would be ready to read it this month. I was wrong.
Foul is Fair is both a coming-of-age story and a quest. Megan O’Reilly starts out struggling in school and popping a lot of pills that will “help her.” Then, BAM! JK, she’s part-faerie. That explains all her troubles, and we are whisked into faery-land with her pal, Lani. Who, you guessed it, is also part-faerie.
There are several chase scenes with red-caps and the dogs of the Wild Hunt, and Megan, Lani, and crew go hunting for Megan’s father who is trapped in an ice cave. They pick up another crew member and battle some foes who are trying to stop them. There’s a magic sword and an evil queen. There are so many wonderful, magical elements that should have added up to a kick-@ss story, but this thing just didn’t work.
Clumsy, clunky sentences, plot holes, name whiplash**. I just can’t even. I can’t stand it when authors assume we know what they know. We don’t know. We can’t read your mind. When you’re juggling so many varying elements, and you’re trying to throw a BIG TWIST in at the end, you have to be so, so careful to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Unfortunately, for me, this book lacked that attention to detail.
Another drawback was the tendency to tell me things. What’s a sure-fire way to take the steam out of an action scene? Tell me instead of show me. Around 88% (ya know, at the climax) things just went *fizzle*. I sped-read to the end after that.
Now, after I finished I wanted to see what everyone else thought. My reaction: “Did we just read the same book!?!?” Apparently some people just LOVED this and wrote rave reviews…perplexing.
Let’s just call this what it is — mediocre middle grade fiction in need of a serious polish.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
*For information on the words jibe, gibe, and jive, check out this awesome post!
**At a few points the authors start using compound names to refer to characters. For example, Megan becomes Red-Riding-Megan at one point. That sort of thing, presented out of the blue, really irks me!