Review: The Rogue Fairy by T. H. Waters

The Rogue Fairy Book Cover The Rogue Fairy
T. H. Waters

This is the tale of a 23-year-old fairy who’s gone Rogue. After graduating from Prince Town University with honors, she sacks her tame life in Fern Grottoe to live among the glumegs, or humans as they like to call themselves. Ari abhors the color pink, enjoys her liquor, breathes fire on occasion (even when she doesn’t intend to!), and isn’t afraid to take chances.

Her world is a bag full of unexpected tricks where fairy jewelry, kaleidoscopes, tribal ponies and one ordinary piece of cake aren’t what they first appear to be. Join her on her cobble-stoned journey of magic as she chases her dream of one day owning the neglected Mermaid Lagoon Lodge; enlists the wisdom of the castle-dwelling Dame Willowglow; fends off an evil, riddle-loving pirate bent on destroying her; and enchants the handsome, young glumeg, Sebastian, who just might be the destiny that she never knew existed… until now.

Review:

Whether or not I’ll recommend The Rogue Fairy to you depends on your priorities as a reader. If you value a tight, logical plot above all things, then this probably isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for a fun, amusing read where anything can – and will – happen, then this might be a book you’ll enjoy.

The Rogue Fairy is the story of Ari, a 23-year-old fairy who lives among humans and manages a modest bakery. Although she has great friends and a decent job, Ari feels a vague dissatisfaction. She wants something more out of life and dreams of the day she’ll have a bakery of her own, be known for her superb creations, and no longer have to deal with her rude neighbors or critical, cold-hearted aunt. While on her quest to make these dreams a reality, Ari meets a mysterious man she suspects she may have loved in another life, uncovers suspicious goings-on at her aunt’s home, and discovers that she just might be the victim of a fairy curse.

The Rogue Fairy reminds me of when I was little and my parents told me not to eat chocolate cake before bed because it’d give me crazy dreams. I ate the cake anyway, though. Sure enough, my dreams were super wild, with rainbow kittens and mile-high daffodils and flying puppies. The Rogue Fairy is a little bit like that, colorful and crazy and fun.

T. H. Waters has one heck of an imagination. The stuff she comes up with is so creative and bizarre and wonderful that you can’t help but be entertained. There are lockets that emit sounds and songs when opened, air fish that swim overhead, giant tattooed rabbit trumpeters, bumblebees who deliver fairy messages and greeting cards, mercenary pirates who ride on dragons, kaleidoscopes that serves as GPS’s…the list goes on and on.

Characters – even human ones – have names like Southside Blackie, Petal Cornglimmer, and Jellybean Snickerdoodle. There are funny fairy stereotypes, like glitter, tiaras, “wing bling,” and lots and lots of pink. In Waters’ world, fairies must attend fairy conventions and take classes to earn enough credits to maintain their active fairy status. The classes are on subjects such as Making Magic Happen in Your Winter Garden, and there are fairy books entitled, Tinker Bell’s Fitness Bible and Who’s the Puck and Who’s the Prince? A Practical Guide to Finding and Keeping Your Man.

In addition to being amusing and funny, Waters also has some great descriptive talent. Her detailed account of the merchandise at Clover’s Fairy Emporium and Dry Goods is so intricate that you feel like you’re actually there. There’s also some great description related to Ari’s childhood memories of cooking with her mother.

As much as I liked the imaginative nature of Waters’ book, though, I couldn’t help but feel that a lot of the events and details were randomly thrown into the plot without adequate explanation or purpose. Ari’s cat, which seems like your average feline for 80% of the book, is at one point casually revealed to have five tails…that he sometimes hides…and sometimes doesn’t. A random fortuneteller unaccountably pops up out of nowhere for one paragraph to tell Ari’s fortune and then disappears for the rest of the novel. And oh, by the way, Ari inexplicably breathes fire. And oh, yeah – there’s a secret tunnel whose existence Ari conveniently remembers precisely when she needs it.

This randomness contributes to the story feeling disjointed and confusing at times. I didn’t feel that everything necessarily tied together well. I wasn’t sure what the motivations of the two “villainous” characters were, and some of the other characters didn’t appear to have much point to the story, like Bruno and Bentley. They’re just sort of there, with no real explanation. They seem to be tied to Ari’s friend Clover, and I think they turn into dogs on occasion – though I have no idea how or why, or why this is important to the story – but I’m not really sure what their purpose is.

I had a lot of unanswered questions throughout the book. Why was Ari’s connection with Sebastian, the literal guy of her dreams, never fully explored or explained? What the heck are the Pleasure Hunters, and why’d they take Ari’s mother years before? How does the mercenary pirate tie in to the Queen of Spades’ curse? What exactly IS the curse, anyway? The only explanation I can think of is that we’ll get more answers in book two of this series.

The final thing I need to mention is the bizarre way of talking that Ari and her best friend Diva Jackson have. As much as I liked Diva as a character, her way of speaking made me wince. The text is peppered with phrases like, “Who dat?” “My gawd!” and “What’s up with choo, anyway Hon?” And then there’s this excerpt:

“‘Honey, I think the chances of us running into one of them is slim. Uh huh, slim jim.’ Diva Jackson liked to snap her wrist in order to emphasize her words, especially whenever she said the word Honey, as though using her wrist/hand combo to say Go on, Girl!

I’m aware my negative reaction is probably personal preference, but I wish Diva’s speech could have been toned down just a little.

To wrap up, The Rogue Fairy has a lot to recommend it but needs to be read by the right people to be fully appreciated. Is it fun? Absolutely! Entertaining? You bet! Logical and orderly? Not so much. If you’re able to sit back and enjoy the ride without thinking too much about the plot, I think you’ll like this novel. If you have a hard time taking randomness in stride, it might not be for you.

A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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