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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.

Wit, sarcasm, homicidal faeries, this book has it all! James was a phenomenal narrator. In Lament I never thought much of him, but now that he has his own story I’m seeing so much more of the real James, and, boy, do I love him. His sarcastic remarks and humorous inner dialogue immediately had my attention. It’s been awhile since I’ve come across such an enjoyable narrator.

The text message interludes placed throughout the story help to drive the story. They served as both a subplot and foreshadowing, all in less than 200 characters. The idea of using text messages to add to the plot of the story was incredibly creative and fun.

Steifvater is a master at threading together the supernatural with ordinary life. If you’re looking for a great fall book, Ballad is the perfect choice.

4.5 Stars!

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