Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Short reviews - Too Many Fairy Princes; Looking for Group
And you know what, the story itself is much better than both the title and the cover suggest.
Kjartan is the titular fairy prince - one of four brothers vying for the throne of the kingdom, once their father decides to actually .... die. Well, he's already dead but he's still ruling because magic.
Kjartan doesn't want the throne, but that doesn't stop his younger, more murderous brother from making an attempt on Kjartan's life. Kjartan is forced to teleport away, and ends up in our world, where art gallery worker Joel - who is having The Day From Hell, discovers him.
What delighted me the most, is that Joel just goes straight to "well, here, clearly is a being from another world", and not "oh, a theme restaurant must have opened", or "there must be some kind of convention on this weekend, A+ cosplay". Nope. Joel goes straight to "being from another world" and gets dragged into Kjartan's shenanigans.
I wanted the book to be longer, to explore more of the dynamic of Kjartan as a fish-out-of-water and the politics of his own world, but what I got was fun and delightful. And they met the queen. Grand.
Drew plays Heroes of Legend - an fantasy-based MMO, and at the start of the book, he's just left his previous guild and is looking for a new one. The guild that "Solace" plays for, needs a new tank. It's a match made in gamer heaven.
Drew hits it off with Solace, and they start hanging out in-game. Drew develops a crush on who he believes is a nerdy, funny girl. When he finds out that Solace is actually a nerdy, funny GUY, he stumbles for a bit, but picks himself up and goes for it anyway. They meet, sparks fly, everyone is happy.
Except Drew thinks Kit is playing Heroes of Legend too much; that he's too invested in the friendships he's formed with other guildmembers. Is Drew right? Or should Kit be allowed to form his own bonds wherever he wants to?
My favourite Alexis Hall novel now and forever is Glitterland, but I liked Looking for Group very much of a lot. A lot of the dialogue does take place in-game and that takes a bit of getting used to, but Drew and Kit are great characters - especially Drew, and I read the whole thing in one big go.