by JL Bryan
Published March 2012
Book provided by author in exchange for honest review.
While their first single shoots up the Billboard charts, the Zebras hit the road as the opening band for an epic stadium tour across America. The future looks bright for the band… if they can survive the rioting fans, Queen Mab of Faerie, the dullahan, and a few evil teddy bears.
Aoide the Lutist and Liadan the banshee wolf cross into man-world on the trail of the stolen fairy instruments. Aoide is shocked at the strangeness of life among the humans, but she also learns about a thrilling new kind of music never heard in Faerie… rock and roll.
*Spoiler Warning–May contain mild spoilers for Fairy Metal Thunder and Fairy Blues*
The titles of JL Bryan’s books in The Songs of Magic series have a way of making me sing classic rock songs in my head. The first installment, Fairy Metal Thunder, had me singing “Fairy Metal Thunder” in place of part of the lyrics of Born To Be Wild. And the third book is no exception. Fairystruck had me singing AC/DC everytime I picked up my Kindle Fire with the words to Thunderstruck now replaced with “Fairystruck.” I’m still not sure which version I like better…
But I am positive that this series gets better and better with each book. Jason and the rest of the Assorted Zebras–now renamed the Rioting Zebras without their consent–hit the road in a broken down old school bus on their first tour as an opening act for DJ Smoov Moov. Their lavish lifestyle on the record company’s dime is a thing of the past as they travel across the States as cheaply as possible, dodging rioting fans, gargoyles sent to steal their enchanted instruments, evil teddy bears who are hell bent on destroying as much as possible while they’re out of the dungeons on a mission from the Queen to get the instruments back and assassinate the band while they’re at it, and deal with a quirky headlining rapper who loves potatoes a bit too much at the same time.
Meanwhile, the fairy musician Aoide has traveled with the Banshee wolf, Liadan from Fairie to the human world to get their instruments back. It was really funny to read as Aoide adjusted to life pretending to be human, even as she had to sing for a car and food. The Dullahan is up to some evil tricks with Jason’s sister Katie, and she goes pretty far to try to lure him back to Minnesota to get her hands on the instruments.
One of the great things about this series is the character growth. Jason has been the voice of reason throughout, even though he’s the one who stole the instruments from Fairie. But he’s loyal, strong, and unafraid to fight when the sh*t hits the fan. Jason always has your back, even if you’re not on the best of terms at the time. Mitch has responded to their newfound fame in a very realistic way–by becoming the suckup and yes man, and he’s rewarded by the record company by getting the best crappy hotel rooms, etc. Dred reacts to all of this by hiding behind a mask during the concerts, desperate to hold onto her anonymity. The highly creative lead singer Erin has the hardest time of all the band members performing the songs written by the record company, and she rebels constantly.
I give this one a 4.5 out of 5. Fairystruck is a fast paced, funny, action-packed installment of an imaginative series. Full of good music, snarky humor, weird beasties that will rip you apart and look eerily cute while doing it, you can’t go wrong with this book. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I suggest that you have your copy of Fairyland (Songs of Magic #4) ready to go right away. Trust me, you’ll want to start it. Now to think of a song to insert “Fairyland” into…