Newcomer Aprilynne Pike is taking the Young Adult fiction market by storm with her debut novel Wings. The book managed to break through to the top ten Young Adult fiction list in its first week. Although it does beg some comparison to the award winning work of her good friend Stephenie Meyer, author of the best-selling Twilight Saga, who calls the book, "A remarkable debut," I'm betting those who couldn't get enough of the Meyers' vampire world will be just as enchanted, if not more, by Pikes' tailored weaving together of her human and not-so-human realms in Wings.
This fantasy novel, the first in a new series through Harper Teen, follows a quirky high-school sophomore named Laurel who discovers she is not quite as human as she had been raised to believe. Her realization that she is a faerie is not only enchanting, it's humorous, exciting, heart-wrenching, and — most-shocking of all — believable.
I have to admit, although charmed by the characters from page one, it took me a while to wrap my rational brain around the existence of faeries... especially in the familiar modern world in which her creatures live and breath. But Pike seems to be aware of this and skillfully builds upon her mythology, giving you time to suspend the disbelief and just fall in love with it. Her approach won me over, erasing any doubts about the reality of the two entwined worlds her characters inhabited. She also manages to present us with an entirely novel take on faeries, which is both surprising and delightful. We think we know where a scene is leading, but the legends veer off in unexpected and exciting directions.
Living plants, trolls, a bit of magic, and even King Arthur and Avalon make their way into this fascinating world. And the love triangle created between Laurel and her human and faerie suitors is both heart-wrenching and complicated. You will find yourself hard pressed to make up your mind about this fabulous development and more than likely unable to put this marvelous debut down.
For more on Wings and what the future holds for Laurel, catch author Lisa Damien's interview with Aprilynne Pike on Blogcritics.