All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
Genre: Paranormal YA
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: Yes
Reviewed by: Kate | Source: Edelweiss
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
ALL THAT GLOWS is exactly what a thirteen year old Kate would look for in a book. We have a faerie heroine who falls in love with a British prince (beautiful girl – check! British accents – check!) and because she is his bodyguard, she gets to spend every minute of the day with him. Is this not what every teenage girl fantasizes about?
Unfortunately, Kate now was not so entranced. There isn’t anything terrible about ALL THAT GLOWS, it just tends toward the melodramatic, with a side of tender first kisses. The premise (suspending disbelief and accepting the faerie bodyguards, the banshees and green women and prophecy giving ravens, obviously) of a centuries old faerie falling in love with a seventeen year old boy is, when you think about it, doubtful at best and completely ridiculous at worst. Emrys and Richard do have that tender, first love feeling that I expect from my young adult novels, and their relationship is cute, once you get past the minor details, like that she was alive during the time of King Arthur.
If I had a teenager who was looking for some fantasy and romance, ALL THAT GLOWS is one I would hand over. Emrys is pretty badass as a heroine. She does magic, and protects the prince and his friends multiple times from getting hurt or killed, and she basically leads a giant battle at the end. There are things I didn’t like (how she has to decide to give up her magic if she wants to be with Richard being primary on the list) but it’s no better or worse than most YA out there these days. At least along with the iffy aspects, there are some positive ones as well – no doormat heroines here. Plus, faeries and the mythology that Graudin builds is a lot different from our standard vampires and werewolves. And despite the fact that they seem to be in every YA romance these days, ALL THAT GLOWS doesn’t even have a hint of a love triangle.
If we awarded half bats here at All Things Urban Fantasy, ALL THAT GLOWS would merit a 2.5. While I’m pretty sure that actual young adults (well, at least the girls) would love ALL THAT GLOWS, it just didn’t do it for not so young adult me.
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About the author
- Review: Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. DellamonicaJuly 21, 2014
- Review: Zeus is Dead by Michael G. MunzJuly 19, 2014
- Deadly Destinations: Gina Rosati & win AURACLEAugust 8, 2012