As a preteen I went through a faery phase. Any book about faeries I could get my hands on I would devour. And at that time, during the early 2000's, there weren't many faery books available. In fact, I feel there wasn't so much of a prominent YA market as there is today. Granted this is based on personal opinion but it is what I remember.
Now I don't particularly like to admit this and it's a rare occasion when I do, but I'm an adult. I am no longer the preteen with sparkling fantasies. Faeries, other than those directly related to Shakespeare or folktales, don't hold the same fascination for me as they once did.
So it is with that I begin a less than stellar review... This YA novel didn't engage me. I couldn't find myself getting connected with any of the characters, and I was left looking for more plot, more description, more... everything. A lot goes on in this book and there is potential for some big plots. However, each plot is quickly taken care of.
The story follows the Outlaws, a theatrical troupe who end up in the land of Faery. I felt somewhat unprepared for this journey and feel it was rushed. I, as the reader, should have been knowledgable of everything in this story. Ok, maybe saying 'everything' is unfair. Of course a writer should have certain elements hidden but I was lost when I began this book. Where were the characters? How did they know of faeries? Even the backstories of many of the characters is not mentioned- only hinted at. I feel there was more potential for these characters to be characters I adore and cheer on but that simply was not possible with the information given.
In general, there was more time spent talking about the productions they were going to be putting on and the work they did leading up to the shows then anything about characteristics and plot. Now, I'm a supporter of the arts. I love theater and all it involves. I've worked with stage crews and I've performed on a stage. I know that there is a lot that goes into a production and it was nice to have a YA book highlight all the work that is involved. But it left me wanting more for the story itself.
I enjoy most YA books because they're quick reads that don't overwhelm me. Generally I am easy to please when it comes to these books but every once in awhile, I feel my age. I read a YA book that I can't follow and do not join due to it's simplicity. This, unfortunately, was one of those books.
The book may very well be more appropriate for a young teen but for this 24 year old the entertainment was lost on me.