I finished a two part teen series that was refreshingly fun to read. It started with The Girl who Never Was and ends with the Boy with the Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset. Along with such bylines as “cross between Neverwhere and Alice in Wonderland” and great cover art I had to read this. I am going to base my review primarily on the second book since oddly enough that was the book I started with:
- The Boy with the Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset
- Age Range: 12 – 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 – 12
- Series: Otherworld (Book 2)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (December 2, 2014)
This is an entertaining series about fey creatures, and the humans who live around them in and around Boston. There are evil elves, sexy goblins, ancient wizards, giant Corgis, dragons, cave horses…and a little bit of love. Our main character is a young girl Selkie (and yes I do know that is an Irish creature who wears a seal skin and No this girl is not one of them) a half troll half fey girl in the middle of a prophesy to end or possibly save the world. Ben LeFey is her love interest, a Seelie boy who has a lot of power and loves (we think) Selkie. Names in this series have power, like in most high fantasy series, name something and controll it. (Hence the no Name theme in the book titles).
Book two starts right after book one and Selkie is trying to get over how who she thought was her one true love Ben has just walked out on her to find his Mom. Then the sky goes black, and bells in Boston start to explode out of their towers. It turns out the Seelie (think pretty evil elves) have blotted out the sun and plan to take over the Earth and remove all the humans who they view as an annoying disease on the planet. But to do that they need to invade Boston, Oh, and kill Selkie. Book one had a bit of a pacing problem, but book two is nonstop action. And it is well paced action at that. I found this to be a fantastic read with humor in the right spot, funny characters, and a story that while somewhat predictable, threw enough twists and laughs to make it a fun journey.
I highly recommend this series to readers who don’t want _another teen love story_ that revolves around pretty people and their supernaturally perfect lives. Yes there is love, but it is secondary and provides more humor than romance. I mean the Goblin King’s line “I am really good at seduction” is used as a punchline. And besides Ben is fated to betray and then kill Selkie. Not the stuff of most teen romances these days. So if you want to go on a lark and don’t mind hopping a train to the underground, join Selkie, Ben, and all the other crazy cast of characters on an adventure to save or possibly destroy the world…