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~ Award-winning author of YA Urban Fantasy ~
Growing up, Anthea Sharp spent her summers raiding the library shelves and reading, especially fantasy. She now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, plays the fiddle, and spends time with her small-but-good family. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on twitter, find her on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AntheaSharp), and visit her website.
on Feb. 20, 2014 :
This was a fun read, and although I'm not a gamer I was totally down with the immersive gaming experience as described in this very recognizable, near-future world. The opening was a little odd at first, because we are thrown into the middle of Jennet's pivotal battle with the Dark Queen of Feyland without getting to know Jennet first, and throughout the book we actually get to know Tam and his family situation a lot better than we do Jennet and hers, even though they are supposedly equal protagonists. Because of this, I think Tam comes across as the more sympathetic of the two. I'm not sure I buy their subtle budding romance either; the book may have been better without it.
I loved the idea of virtual reality games as a kind of "soft place" between worlds, when all the traditional "soft places" like forest glens have been closed off to the Fey by encroaching modernity. I also love that this is a retelling of the old Scottish "Ballad of Tam Lin", with which I was not familiar. Way to embed interesting old tales in hypermodern YA fiction
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 17, 2013 :
Holy Cow! I seriously lack hand eye coordination and any desire to become a gamer, but at the moment, I’m seriously considering it. This story was so excruciatingly real that you need to play the game with the characters. Just wow!
Sharp employs vividly exotic descriptions and locales that catch you right from the get go. This story becomes so real that it is scary. You can actually picture the events occurring and you find yourself picturing what would happen if you were in the characters’ shoes. The events in question may be out of our realm, but the way that they are written makes everything so real and thrilling that you forget that it is a fantasy.
The phenomenal characters in this novel draw you in to this world as well. They had personalities that you could relate to. There were definitely times when you wanted them to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get on with life, or wondered why in the world they had done something so irreversibly stupid, but they were real people struggling through their issues. I also enjoyed the fact that the relationship between the characters grew throughout the novel. They didn’t instantly go from strangers to madly in love in the blink of an eye. They got to know each other as people first. It made them that much more real and approachable.
This novel was amazingly exciting, invigorating, and captivating. It is so different from your typical fantasy novel that you can’t help but be intrigued. It brought a brand new world to life and kept me captivated throughout. It was brilliant as a standalone novel as well as the first novel in a series, providing you with characters that you get to know and love.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Dec. 11, 2012 :
Feyland: The dark Realm is an interesting updated take of an old Scottish folktale called Tam Lin, and it had me on the edge of my seat throughout the story. Needless to say it was very hard to put the book down. I’m not too familiar with gaming, but the way the story is woven together, you really do not need to be a gamer to enjoy it or follow it. Another plus is that while this is the first of a trilogy the end of the book only leaves you wanting to experience more adventures in Feyland and not with a cliff hanger ending.
I believe gamers and urban fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy this book. And while it does have a touch of romance, even the male gender will be able to identify with the characters and not get mushed out.
With all that said I’m looking forward to reading the next adventure in Feyland.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)