Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Ballad" by Maggie Stiefvater [3 1/2]

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the faeries are not as harmless. As Halloween - the day of the dead - draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the Dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.
I have so been looking forward to reading this next novel in the Lament series ... well I was just a little disappointed. It took me what seemed forever to get into the story. The first part of the book deals with James and his coming to music school and how Nuala and James meet up. There is a lot of background information that is also setting up the story for you, but it just seemed to take forever to get into the juicy bits. The last 100 pages or so is where all the action picked up and it only took me an hour to finish the book from there. James is an interesting character who has this devil may care sort of attitude and is totally typical of the sarcastic youth of today ... he is quite likable. Nuala is part faerie part human and is a little tortured in her life and for some reason or another has chosen not to make a deal with James but can't seem to leave him alone either. The two of them together make an unusual couple but it does seem to work and you want them to find happiness together. Dee has really only a minor role in this story but it is all about her in the end and how James and Nuala can save themselves and Dee from the Faerie Queen.
I did finally enjoy reading Ballad but for me it wasn't as good as the first book, where you just couldn't put it down until you'd read it all. I do look forward to seeing where the story goes, and there would be some interesting characters to write about. One thing that I do love is the covers of this series, they are unusual but quite pretty too.
I rate this book 3 1/2 stars.

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