Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Author's Website: http://www.jennablack.com/
Challenge: YA/MG Fantasy
Dana Hathaway doesn't know it yet, but she's in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she's had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl - she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie. Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she'll never have a chance with...until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn't sure where she'll ever fit in or who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.
I love the idea of Avalon, especially because I've got Arthur-mania, so this explanation for the connection between the human world and Faerie is amazing. The magic of the story - though admittedly there is little of it here and I'm expecting more in the next two books - is natural, so matter-of-fact that I can totally buy the idea that humans live with the idea of magic being real even though they never actually get a chance to see it.
All the characters introduced in this book are really intriguing, and there's obviously more to each one, more that has to be explored in the subsequent books. Dana's father is a bit enigmatic, and I'd love to learn what he's really about, and what we find out about her mother makes me want to know how she'll cope and what will happen to her next. Kimber and Ethan are both thoroughly enjoyable characters, and again, I really want to know what will happen with them, how their own stories will play out.
I think one of the best things about this book is that its action is inevitable. When Dana makes a decision, though she doesn't have all the facts, she sets in motion a chain of events and she cannot turn it back as much as she wants to. That trapped feeling of not wanting what she's chosen, not wanting what she left, wanting the world to be utterly different, is captured so brilliantly, and I think that sets things up for the following books perfectly.
Did you notice that I really want to read the next books? Can't wait to get to them!