Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Valiant (The Modern Faerie Tales #2) by Holly Black

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.
My Thoughts: After being completely entranced by Kaye and Roiben in Tithe, I had a hard time transitioning over to Val's story.  Well, not a hard time, but more like an unwillingness to walk away from Kaye and Roiben's story.  Once I got over my mental hurdle, however, I found myself pretty much loving this book as much as book 1.

So, what was so fun in this one?  Ravus.  I loved that he wasn't your typical hero-type.  He makes potions and he's scholarly.  Sure, he might know how to swing a sword but that's not his chosen way of life.  He exiled himself to atone for a mistake he made.  He is what he is and he might not always be thrilled with that (he likens himself to a monster on more than one occasion) but he's finding a way to make a go in a city that's poison to his kind.

I thought Val was intriguing.  I mean, who hasn't wanted to toss aside their life and reinvent themselves to get away from it all?  She did that.  She walked away to get her head on straight.  Yes, she fell into a crowd of people that I wouldn't wish on anyone but she found herself in the process.  Wait.  I'm being overly critical here.  I liked Luis despite his cantankerous nature.  I liked Dave until he turned all weird stalker-boy.  I even liked Lolli's free-spirit until the Polly incident.  They're screwed up kids and they make some phenomenally bad choices along the way but they helped Val when she needed it.  And then they introduced her to the seedier side of life.

Overall, I really liked this book.  It wasn't quite as captivating as book 1, but then I have a soft spot for Kaye and Roiben (as you can probably tell!) so take that as you will.  My biggest complaint is that I honestly though that the Val on the paperback cover was a guy until I realized that it was supposed to be her as she cut her hair.  I know, I'm weird and unobservant sometimes.  I'm also kinda in love with the glimpse we got of the Unseelie Court (as brief as that was) and I can't wait to start book 3.

Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Tithe

More books by Holly Black

Read and reviewed for the YA Reading Challenge, the TBR Challenge, the Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, and The Morbid Romantica Challenge.

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