Review: The Last Changeling (Faerie Revolutions #1) by Chelsea Pitcher

November 8, 2014 Review 0

Review: The Last Changeling (Faerie Revolutions #1) by Chelsea PitcherThe Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher
Series: Faerie Revolutions #1
Published by Flux on November 8th, 2014
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 360
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Some scenes of sexual suggestion.
Reviewed by: Megan
3 Stars

A Kingdom at War . . .

Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”

A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .

To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher is Ordinary People-meets-Maleficent - and if that sounds like a strange combination, that's because it is. Almost all of the information given in the blurb on the back of the book is actually kept from the reader for more than two hundred pages, and Elora's motives for attending a human high school are extremely vague. Instead of a faerie war, we get Taylor's still-fresh grief over losing his younger brother and the torment of his high school. Elora's 'otherness' (not to mention otherworldly beauty) gives Taylor something to focus on aside from his family's pain, but it's a long time before the reader gets to know her endgame.

Normally I don't like alternating first-person points of view, but Pitcher did an excellent job in distinguishing Taylor's voice from Elora's, even after Elora adjusts to the human world and starts using contractions. They think differently, as they should. That grip on the two different voices is a bit shaky at first, though, and the attempt to make Elora sound fairy-like and ageless causes Taylor to sound much younger than his supposed 17 years. Given how young he seemed at the start, I thought the speed of Taylor's feelings for Elora was implausible, but the more Pitcher delves into Taylor's guilt and isolation, the easier it is to see why he's  drawn to her flame, and Pitcher relaxes her grip so that each of the characters comes through naturally.

A character's entire history doesn't have to be spelled out from the moment they appear on the page, but the vagueness surrounding Elora and her plan affected how I read a lot of the book, and that left me confused in the middle of it. The bit about the Bright Queen's demand doesn't actually come up in the plot until close to the end when, after chapter upon chapter of teenage human drama, suddenly Faeries! I believed Elora had run away to the human world to escape her evil family, not because she was on a quest that would help her overthrow them. And though she's supposed to be a princess of the Dark Faeries who hate all humanity, Elora doesn't seem to have any qualms walking among them, and her fae-nature is further drowned out by her natural gift for social activism.

THE LAST CHANGELING ends with a direct set-up for a sequel, and the adrenaline rush of the last few chapters, with their focus on fae politics, makes the rest of the book feel like a prequel to the story Pitcher really wants to be telling, the sort of ground work she  just has to get out of the way. Taylor and Elora's school friends from the Gay-Straight Alliance make for an interesting cast of supporting characters, but their prom plots and messages about being true to oneself seem like part of a completely separate book. Both stories have their strengths; working together, unfortunately, isn't one of them.

More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • If you're looking for YA romance about people from two very different worlds, try The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz or Alienated by Melissa Landers.
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