Original Year of Publication: 2009
Hardback Page Count: 294
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
I am rapidly becoming a sucker for pretty covers. I walked into the store, saw Wings for a reasonable price, and ended up buying it. Oh what. A sucker. I am.
Disclaimer: After reading Eternal--published Dracula fanfic--I was just not in the mood. Aprilynne Pike, not to be mean, but girl, you caught me on a bad day.
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Laurel realizes that something suspicious may be afoot when a golf-ball sized lump appears on her back. Soon after, the bump becomes a wing-like blossom--still blooming out of her back. The rest is history.
The problem with this book is that, in my opinion, Ms. Pike was not ready to publish a book. Wings reads like a writer's first attempt--all my fellow writers out there know what I'm talking about. Often, the first attempt involves fantasy like qualities, (at least in this day and age when everything published is fantastical) but is always complete with a Mary Sue MC and tons and tons of non-sensical drama.
Wings did not make sense. It's been criticized for its slow start, but here's the thing: it never does start. Not until the last fifty or so pages. Suddenly, we have plot! Wait, wait, I was mistaken. No plot. Just a valiant effort.
Laurel was without a personality. She was the typical pretty hippie chick you see in any high school movie, except for the fact that she was apparently a faerie. Fairy. However they're spelling it these days. She's pretty--unusually so, with "translucent" skin, and no period, but curves, only she's thin, too, yada yada yada--and the weird girl who comes to school--after homeschooling all her life--and immediately makes friends. I'm sorry, but did Ms. Pike homeschool? I know that this was a plot device, but as a former homeschooling kid myself who went back to public school for high school, I can personally attest that Laurel's situation is bull. I'm not going to bore you with my drama, but suffice to say that walking into a new school where nobody knows you and suddenly becoming the apple of the cute boy's eye... Not going to happen. Ever.
I had even more logistical problems with Laurel's story as it progressed. So, she was just dropped on her parents' doorstep and adopted? Magically? Without lawyers or homestudies or court hearings or legal papers? Gee, I sure wish my parents had known about that method when we were adopting my sister. It would have cut a year of waiting out of our schedule.
Back to the characters. David was the usual bland human geek boy, holding convenient knowledge of everything microscopic. Please, don't ask me how, seeing as he's supposed to be your average fifteen-year-old boy. Tamani could have been great, if he was in the hands of a more experienced writer. He had his moments, and I really did like him. Of course, the "love triangle" was obviously not even a triangle. How is Pike going to play that up over four books? (Yes. There will be four books in this "series".)
Like Tamani, the mythology in this book would have been excellent, if it were not for the fact that Pike just couldn't carry it off. She was obviously trying to do for fairies what Meyer has done for vampires by creating a whole new vision. If another writer had done this, it would probably have been a hit, because I really have never read about fairies like Pike's. However, this was shoved in the background of Laurel's boringness.
Apparently, if you have what you think is a cancerous growth in your back, you do not tell your parents. Apparently, if the growth becomes a flower, you do not tell your parents. (Go to the doctor's? Ohmagawsh!) Apparently, a naturopath has zero respect for conventional medicine, and will not take her "adopted"--coughillegalcough--kid to the doctor, even if said kid becomes deathly ill when she eats meat. Wings uses stereotypes to the extreme; all characters, excepting Tamani (maybe) are too stupid to live.
One and a half out of Five Stars: The mythology is creative and original. Aprilynne Pike obviously has some potential, deep down, if she can recreate fairies like she does in Wings. However, the girl desperately needs to take a writing class, or something. Honestly, I would not ordinarily say so, but the ineptitude of Wings really got on my last nerve. It's a waste of plot. Ms. Pike should at least plug Laurel into the Mary Sue Litmus Test; trust me, it would be an eye-opener. With characters ranging from typical to boring to hey-I-just-missed-awesome, and plot devices of an appallingly unbelievable nature, Wings is simply not recommended. The half a star was only thanks to the mythology and Tamani. I so desperately wanted this to be good; it thrills me to death when an author has a great debut. But it just... wasn't.
Also by this Author: Nothing. This was her debut, God bless her.
Similar Books: Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series. I've read the first two; they aren't my favorites, by far, but I realize now that you could get worse. A lot worse.
Up Next: I'm finishing up Nora Roberts' Sign of the Seven trilogy, after which I'll be reading Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. I won't be reviewing any, as they're all parts of a series, and it's been too long since I've read the first books. By the way, I do read something other than fairy books. Please believe me.