Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Me on Starling

Title: Starling
Author: Lesley Livingston
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins

Mason is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan, trapping her and her teammated inside the school. She soon finds herself beseiged by more than thunder and lightning, because the storm also brings a dangerous stranger into her life, a young man who remembers nothing but his name: the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears her world apart, even as she feels a strong connection to him. Together they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding his identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover that Mason's family, with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse Gods, is at the heart of everything, Mason and Fenn are faced with a terrifying future.

Starling is an eerily dark and very dangerous beginning to a new series, filled with intense action and mystical secrets. Something is happening in New York City, something under everyone's noses, and only a select few know what's to come. That something coming is huge, is deadly, and a fair number want to make sure it never comes to pass. But how is anyone supposed to stop a prophecy that heralds the end of the world?

After the storm, Mason gets wrapped up in something complicated, something involving a sinfully handsome and deadly amnesiac, and she thinks everything is different now. If only she knew that everything is still the same, that they're all continuing down the fated path towards... who knows what.

While Mason has a sword and knows how to use it (in non-violent fencing purposes), she still has baggage and teenage insecurities. The sword makes her look dangerous when it's in her hand, but when it isn't she's a normal girl with spatial boundary issues who might have a crush on a couple of guys and has to deal with weird brothers and a distant but over-bearing father. And Fennrys is loads of broken warrior. He's forgotten everything in his past but his name and his awesome fight skills. It's clear he needs fixing, that getting his memories back will help the cause, but it all depends on when that will happen. Luckily enough, he's still got the same attitude from the previous series.

There are times when a book written in third person works, and those times are books like this and Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. Main characters like Mason and Fenn are focused on regularly, but there are times when the reader needs to know something that Mason or Fenn don't know or can't know, and that's when the small glimpses into other characters' actions are needed. The readers need those few moments with Mason's brother Rory and what he's planning as well as her other brother Roth and their father, the moments with Cal and his mother. These are hints at what coming, and what's coming will shake the world to its core.

The inclusion of Norse mythology is so refreshing. Different names of gods and goddesses, a different afterlife, and a different prophecy of the future. It's almost gotten to the point where Greek mythology is tired and boring, and so many types of faerie lore have been explored. That being said, I imagine there will be some cross-over with the faerie world since Starling is connected to the author's previous Wondrous Strange series, but I'll enjoy the fact that the Norse Gods will be at the forefront.

There are connections everywhere, but not all of them are known. Something is coming, quite possibly the end of the world, and this is just the start of a dangerous journey for both Mason and Fennrys. What comes next in the series will only serve to intrigue and excite.

(I purchased a copy of this book.)

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