Author: Delia Sherman
Year of Publication: 2006
Genre: Fantasy, YA
First Line: "'Wake up, Neef. Spring cleaning today. Cobwebs to sweep, mice to relocate, turtles to wake up and polish. And you have to clean your room."
Summary: Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in "New York Between," a Manhattan that exists invisibly, side by side with our own, home to fairies, demons, mermaids, and other creatures of Folk lore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother, Astris (a very lovely white rat), until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now, unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she'll be sacrificed to the bloodthirsty Wild Hunt. Neef is a native New Yorker, and she's determined to beat the rap -- but New York Between is a maze of magic and magical rules, and time is running out....
Source: Back of book
Review: I found this story to be really enjoyable. Unlike a lot of other modern fantasies I've read, it has a very story-teller feel to it. It has all of the elements of a fairly tale (except romance, which, while I was disappointed when I realized there was none at first, I gradually came to accept and even enjoy it as a fresh change). The writing style is very simple, but the text is appropriate for all ages. One of the nice things it that Neef's age is never quite explained. Her counterpart, it seems, is about twelve, but because of the aging difference, it's difficult to say how old Neef is. That way, if you only like to read about characters your age or older, you can easily imagine Neef to be at least fifteen, maybe even seventeen or eighteen (though I wouldn't say beyond that). The characters in this book were a lot of fun, for the most part. I would definitely love to live in Neef's world. I also found the story to be interesting, aside from the beginning, which was fairly slow. Definitely recommended, particularly for very young adults (11+) who are looking for a way to get into larger "chapter books."
Worst part: The only character I really didn't like was the antagonist (the Green Lady). Usually I really like this character in fiction, but I found she wasn't quite what I was used to. Fairly unrefined and with a heavy New York accent (apparently), which I felt was the total opposite of what she should -- and traditionally is -- be.
Best part: I like that the Changeling was made out to have a mental handicap, which could have been a result of -- or the misunderstanding of -- her being one of the Folk.
Other Books by This Author: Through a Brazen Mirror, The Porcelain Dove, and The Fall of the Kings.
64 / 50 books. 128% done!