Plot: Fantasy crashes into reality when high-school sophomore Jennet Carter delves into the amazingly immersive video game invented by her father and discovers the virtual fairyland full of weird creatures, inventive weapons and magical events in which she is gaming is actually her real life where she must fight the Dark Queen of the Faeries in order to remain alive and save humanity. Enter Tam Lin, a reticent, poor boy with massive family problems whom she must convince to see past her family’s wealth and help her. And there follows a complex, fast-action tale that the reader will not be able to put down as Jennet and Tam learn to trust, and eventually to care for, each other in the face of overwhelming danger. This is the first in Anthea Sharp’s 8-book YA Feyland series.
Prose/Style: The vocabulary and syntax are easy to construe and don’t for a moment impede the action of the story. The dialogue is reasonably fluent and realistic, especially the interactions between Jennet and Tam. The story could be easily read by upper elementary school students.
Originality: Sharp, a lifelong gamer herself, is expert at describing the action characteristics of a video game. Not only Jennet, but the reader too, will feel they are embedded in the game in some way more profound that just playing it. The real crux of the story is perhaps best explained by this once-alive-now-virtual (maybe) character.
Character Development/Execution: Jennet and Tam are not full-realized, complex, human characters and that is one of the reasons this novel works so well. They could be characters in a video game as easily as they could be humans playing the game itself.
Date Submitted: August 24, 2021