Monday, February 13, 2012

Review and Giveaway- Fairy Metal Thunder by JL Bryan

Fairy Metal Thunder
by JL Bryan
Available Now

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans and no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near-perfect boyfriend. 

One night, Jason steals enchanted instruments from the fairy world. Suddenly (with a little help from YouTube) every kid in the Midwest is crazy about the Assorted Zebras. 

The fairy instruments drive the crowds wild, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid the supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down, all while trying to finally land their first gig

This is a unique story in that the humans pull one over on the fairies for once. Leave it to JL Bryan to turn the fairy tales we all know upside down and break all the rules! It all starts with a boy and a girl. The boy, Jason loves the girl, Erin. Erin loves someone else. So, in an effort to get her attention, Jason will do anything. That's when all the trouble starts. A little "monster" appears in his house and his little sister is scared. Jason takes her around to show her it's nothing and he finds out, it is something. The "monster" is a goblin that steals nice shiny jewelry. And he's not only got a pair of Jason's mother's earrings, but Jason suspects he's got Erin's necklace that she lost, that means a lot to her. So begins the chase. A long chase that leads to a fairy door where the goblin unwittingly leads him to Faery. And Jason just happens upon some magical instruments. He steals them and disappears into the world of man.

Now, we all know what happens to humans when they enter a fairy ring where music is playing. They can spend so much time dancing, they can dance for years and not know, they can dance to their death, nothing matters but the music. In Faery, the land feeds off the energy of the kids who fall through the fairy rings, but they only stay for a little while. But, what happens when humans play fairy instruments, not made for them and don't know when to stop?? The first time they play, The Assorted Zebras, Jason's band's name, is playing in a garage. They attract so many fans that they get video taped on a phone and the video goes viral.

So what's a fairy to do without their instruments? Well, piss Mab off for one. But I do want to share with you just how ingenious the world of Faery is that Bryan has created. It is so detailed I love to read about it. I'm just going to give little snippets of it so you can read the whole of it for yourself.

I'm paraphrasing here- Aoide slept in her woven-grass hammock, with the doors of her rear balcony open to catch the cool breeze through the trees. She was completely relaxed, her translucent purple wings stretched out to either side of her.....She yanked on a vine hanging from her ceiling and the hammock folded up and pulled away into a knothole overhead.

Aoide has been summoned to Mab's court but she's just been woken up so she has to get ready with three male knights standing around- There wasn't time to fly over to the bath garden, but she needed to wash up...She stepped out onto her back balcony to collect fresh water from her baby blue dew-pitcher flowers, and then gasped when she realized someone had landed there. One of the Queensguard....She tilted one of the water-filled, pitcher-shaped flower forward to rinse her face then brushed the water back through her hair. "Mind looking away while I dress?"
"My order is to watch this door," he said.
"This door, and not me, then?"
"Good!" Aoide slammed the pink shutters and slid the peg-lock into place. (pgs51-53)

Then later as they are looking for someone to hunt the instruments down and have hired a hunter and met the timid and shy unicorn. Rhodia is Aoide's bandmate and has had to fly with her and Icarus the Queensguard to the hunter. This happens as they are leaving the sugar swamp.
"Will this really work?" Rhodia whispered. "Those unicorns look useless."
"They say unicorns are more than what they appear to be," Aoide whispered. She nudged Rhodia's arm and pointed.

Cinnamon (a unicorn) raised her head from a sugary pool, grasping a black and red swamp cobra in her mouth. It's hooded head arched above the unicorn's face and its fiery red eyes glared down at her. The cobra hissed, with its long fangs dripping venom, and poised to strike the unicorn's soft nose.

Cinnamon snapped her head from side to side, whipping the cobra like a rope. Cracking sounds burst all along the snake's spine. When Cinnamon finally stopped shaking, the long cobra lay limp in her mouth. She sucked up the cobra's body like a noodle.. When she'd devoured it, she belched, her ears flattening and her mouth flaring wide. Then she trotted off into the swamp (p. 84)

Bryan doesn't disappoint us painting enchanting little Tinkerbells alongside cobra eating unicorns in sugary sweet swamps. The mosquitoes suck on them for their sugar and the Queensguard
wears iron armor and carry iron swords because iron is deadly to fairies. These contrasts shouldn't be overlooked, they're important clues in the book. Bryan gives us a delicate little fairy that can comb her hair with a seashell comb and wash her face with the dew from a flower, yet sent a killer unicorn after a human boy to get her instruments back. Bryan has a way of introducing characters and immediately making them familiar and we care about them. We want them to succeed. He describes everything in exquisite detail yet it isn't too much or flowery. It's just what it needs to be.

It's hard to choose a side in this series so far. I want the fairies to have their instruments, but I love the kids in the Assorted Zebras and want them to get their big break. And then there are the bad guys that are just as interesting as the good guys. And there's the goblin that started it all, Grizlemor. Lots of fun characters to love or hate!!

So I hope I've convinced you this is a worthy novel to add to your treasured book shelves. It's hitting the top of mine up there next to the Paranormals Series-you know he's that guy right- Jenny Pox? Yeah, that JL Bryan!  Anyway, if you'd like to win an e-copy of Fairy Metal Thunder, just  leave a comment below and leave you email addy or a way to get in touch with you saying you'd like to be entered.  If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email, you can always email it to me. My email is on the first comment! The winner will be chosen at midnight Friday night or thereabouts!

Thanks everyone! I know you'll love the novel!  The series is very interesting and I have to admit, I'm really glad I have the second one already!! I couldn't wait a year for the next one!

Happy Monday!


  1. Cobra eating unicorns you say? Sign me up for those! I adore JL and I'm really excited to read a story of his that's a bit litter than the Paranormals series. As much as I loved Jenny, those books ripped my heart out and stomped on it:) Fabulous review Heather, I'm looking forward to making time for this one!

  2. How great is the band name Assorted Zebras? AND Queen Mab. This sounds fab. (Yes, I rhymed on purpose.)

  3. I've been wanting to read this one and Jenny Pox as well. I hear nothing but amazing things about Bryan's work!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  4. This sounds like such a fun story. I don't think I've ever read about fairies in this type of setting before.


  5. I've been wanting to read this! Please enter me :)

  6. Wow! What a unique premise! I kinda like the comedic feel already. Thanks for a great review!
    lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

  7. This story sounds so wacky lol but fun magical instruments where can I get some for me lol!

  8. This sounds like a fun read. I love fairy stories. The oddest things always seem to happen. I think magical music instruments makes this even more interesting. Thanks for the review. I'll have to look this book up.

  9. Oooh this sounds super interesting and different, adding to my wishlist!

    Thanks for the review!


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