Children · Delia Sherman · Stand Alone

Changeling by Delia Sherman

changeling

~Review~

This is a fun, magical adventure for anyone ten and older! Adults will love it just as much as children, especially because adults will catch a lot more of the humor as well as some references to other things (Wind in the Willows was one I believe) throughout the book. If you love fantasy, Folk Lore, or want something light and fun to read then I suggest checking out this book! It is a stand-alone, but there is another book in the same world if you really enjoy this one. I also recommend reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making because that book has a similar feel to this one and is actually even better.


Plot

Neef is a human child who was stolen by fairies and has been raised by her fairy godmother, Astris (a white rat). She lives in an alternate New York City, which is inhabited by every kind of Folk Lore creature you can imagine! Faires, giants, demons, mermaids, etc. There are so many that book actually contains a glossary describing them all! Anyway, Neef spends her days learning all about Folk Lore and taking lessons at the Metropolitan Museum. She is a very curious child and one day she breaks a rule (though she had no idea it was a law) and is to be banished from her home. However, if she successfully accomplishes her quest she will be allowed to stay. She must venture to the home of the Mermaid Queen and figure out how to get her Magic Mirror, obtain tickets to Peter Pan, and travel to Wall Street and obtain the Dragon’s Scales. Before beginning her adventure she ends up running into her Changeling counterpart, which she calls Changeling, and together they try to accomplish the impossible.

I thought the concept of the story was really exciting, but I wish it would have focused more on the effects of a human growing up with fae and a fae growing up with humans. Though it was touched upon a bit, I wish it would have been more of the main focus, thereby creating an even more interesting story. Instead, the plot focuses on Neef and attempting to stop herself from being banished. I kind of thought that a human would love to explore the outside world and see what all that was about, but she didn’t seem to have much interest in it, instead she just wanted to stay where she was comfortable. I was surprised that she didn’t even seem that interested in knowing who her actual parents were.

The plot did move at a great pace and there were few, if any parts in which I was uninterested in the story. The author compensates for slightly slower parts by being hilarious. There were quite a few instances in which I really did laugh out loud.

What I didn’t like at all was how simple the plot was and how easily the quest was accomplished. I felt like there should have been something more and quests are never that easy. I don’t care who the target audience is for a book, it doesn’t need to be this simple. Complexity that is fairly easy to understand is a good thing for any age! I understand the author wanted a happily ever after ending, but she could have either opted for a different ending or made the tasks much more difficult; it was just too predictable.

World-Building

The New York Between is such an interesting world with unique and fascinating creatures! I enjoyed exploring the world with Neef and Changeling, but I honestly wish there would have been more. I wanted a lot more! Specifically, more time with the creatures Neef meets throughout her adventure or more meetings with different ones. They were fascinating! I loved the Dragon of Wall Street with his human assistant Dow Jones. 🙂

If you read this book at all, I would read it for the world and the interactions with the Fairy Folk. Adults will love it because the author makes fun of certain aspects of New York including Wall Street, which was fantastic! I loved this part of the book!

New York Between is such a fun, magical place to explore and I know that if you read the book you will love it as much as I did.

Characters

The biggest setback of the book was the main character, Neef. She wasn’t interesting at all nor did she have much of a personality, except for being curious. I suppose she did learn a little bit on her adventure, but she never developed that much. I really wanted something more.

The best part of the book, character wise, was Neef’s counterpart Changeling. Changeling is part fairy and grew up in the human world, which appears to be pretty difficult for one of Fairy Kind. She is really intelligent, loves macaroni and cheese, has terrible temper tantrums, and absolutely hates being touched. Changeling is a great character who has both strengths and weakness, is hilarious, and develops as the story progresses. You will LOVE her. A good example of her mannerisms is a child with Autism. She acts a lot like that and what I want to know is if that is just Changeling or if any Fairy creature who grew up in the human world would act in this manner. There wasn’t a reason given in the book for her behavior so I am guessing that it is a Fairy thing.

Other awesome characters include her Fairy Godmother, Astris, who happens to be a white rat. Hilarious. 🙂 and her Godfather, a trickster, that can take on multiple shapes, most commonly I believe was a horse. There was also Neef’s Satchel, which is her magical bag that gives her food. This was really interesting, especially because it seemed to have a bit of a personality. I also loved a lot of the Fairy Folk that she met on her adventure and wish there would have been even more interactions with them. I wanted them to serve more of a purpose, but oh well… Anyway, besides Neef, all the characters were great!

Writing

I loved the writing of this book! It is targeted to children ten and older, but the author never talked down to her audience. The sentences were complex and well thought out, and there were even a few words that I didn’t know! It really is a well written story.

Cover

Love this cover! It is appealing, dark and creepy, and eye-catching! It’s so well-designed and the art is awesome!

~Review Spotlight~

 

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