Valiant by Holly Black
Date Started: April 19, 2009 Date Finished: April 20, 2009
Summary: Val catches her mother and her boyfriend together and decides to run away to New York City. There she meets a group of strange street kids and get entangled in a plot between the feuding faerie worlds, the Seelie and the Unseelie court. Val falls in love with a monster, but learns the true meaning of beauty while trying to uncover mysterious deaths of faeries around the city and to clear the name of the man (half troll) she loves.
Likes: Thank God I didn't not give up after the first book. The first book, Tithe, was a frustrating read. Black has redeemed herself with Valiant. The characters, almost every single one of them, were believable and tragically flawed. There was not a character I disliked and it was amazing to see how realistically Black could portray these characters. It was interesting to see their progress into madness as they became hooked on a faerie glamour potion that they called "Nevermore" (or shortened to Never). As the kids get increasingly more hooked on the potion/drug, they do dangerous things with the temporary powers that they receive and they must deal with the consequences of their actions (doesn't this sounds familiar a la Gemma Doyle series). The kids do frightening things, like throwing a kitten in front of an oncoming train and causing another person to kill someone else. It is interesting to see what lengths they will go to continue their Never fix. The story is just so raw, I'm glad that the author doesn't hold back the gruesome details.
Dislikes: The language is still a little off to me, but that may just be a stylistic thing. Sometimes the words sentences are unnecessarily long and it's a little bit irritating to read. A lot of times, mostly when nothing is happening (this is when the problems seems to get worse), I find myself rewriting some of the sentences is in my head. This really didn't hinder the plot or the character development, just a minor irritation.
Overall: I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I was kind of thinking that it would just be a retelling of the same story with different characters. It was not that type of story. This story could stand-alone from the other story . Some of the most important events were vaguely alluded to in this current story. This book could stand alone from the other, but they still go hand in hand together. I'm interested in reading the third book, Ironside.