Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: Wings, Spells, Illusions, and Destined by Aprilynne Pike

My sister was actually the one who introduced me to this series. She called me up one day not long after the first book was published and said: "Did you know there's such a thing as fairy mythology?" I told her it made sense considering there's werewolf and vampire mythology but I hadn't come across any books about fairies. She told me about Wings and I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. I'm glad I did. Here's a summary of the four:

Wings: Laurel has been home schooled her whole life. She starts public school in the tenth grade when her family moves, leaving behind the beautiful land she has always called home. Laurel has always felt she was different than other kids her age. She knows she was adopted but she loves her parents. She fits in pretty well at her new school and even becomes interested in a boy, David. One day she starts to grow a bump on her back. It gets bigger and bigger until it blooms into a long-petaled flower. She hides it as best she can from everyone around her. Everyone except David. He tests her blood and determines she is not human. She has the same characteristics as a plant. When Laurel goes back to her old home, she meets a strange and handsome boy named Tamani. He's a faerie and he tells her she is too. Then Laurel learns that some evil trolls are trying to take over her family's land so they can control the door to Avalon that's on it. Laurel and her friends, some faerie and some human, begin the fight to save the land. Laurel struggles with balancing her old life with her desire to learn more about her new one. She has to decide where she wants to stay and what boy she wants to be with. And she has to stay alive in the process.

Spells: Laurel is summoned to the Academy of Avalon to begin her studies and learn more about what it means to be a fall faerie. She needs to find a way to stop the trolls from taking over her land and destroying Avalon. She meets many interesting faeries while at the Academy and gets to know Tamani better. Laruel spends a lot of time questioning where she belongs. She doesn't want to give up her human world or her boyfriend but she can't deny her love for Avalon and her growing attraction to Tamani. Eventually she decides who she wants to be with and returns home where the stakes are higher than ever. The trolls are getting more threatening and Laurel isn't the only one in danger anymore.

Illusions: Laurel's been living her life content with her choice and praying the danger to her and her friends is over. Then Tamani enrolls in school with her to keep watch over a new threat--a student named Yuki. He gets close to the new girl to try to figure out what she knows and how much of a danger she is. David and Tamani don't like not being the only boy in Laurel's life. And Laurel doesn't like all the time Tamani is spending with Yuki. In the end the group of friends discover just what they're up against--a threat to faeries and Avalon that none of them ever could have imagined.

Destined: Laurel and her friends now know just how dangerous Yuki is, who exactly she is working for, and what they plan to do. It's a race against time and the stakes are higher than ever as Laurel and the two boys she loves and her best friend Chelsea fight to save Avalon. There's loss and heartbreak in the war that ensues. Laurel makes her final descision between David and Tamani and the fate of Avalon is ultimately decided.

**Since reading the Wings series I have read many fairy books, each unique in their own way. What Aprilynne Pike does so beautifully is create a story about a very relatable girl learning how to navigate two very different worlds. She expertly captures what it feels like to be an in high school and fall in love for the first time. The introduction of Avalon and Pike's take on fairy mythology feels familiar but also fresh. I like how the suspensce of who the bad guys were and what they were going to do kept you turning the pages. The love triangle had me constantly switching teams. David or Tamani? How could a girl choose between such great guys?! I felt the characters were all well-developed and the ending was satisfying. I can't wait to read what this fantastic author writes next!

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