FlickerBy: Kaye ThornbrughPublished: February 25, 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.
A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.
Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her. (from Goodreads)
Flicker is Kaye Thornbrugh's brilliant debut novel and the first in what will be a new series. We were very lucky to be contacted by the author and offered the chance to review this book. Lana and I were both instantly interested in the story. So, of course, we had to say yes. This is one of my new favorite books about the fey.
Written in the third person perspective, the narrative flows beautifully making it nearly impossible to stop reading. I simply had to know what would happen next to the amazing characters Thornbrugh created. Superbly plotted and vividly descriptive, this book captivated me from the very beginning. I had no idea what would happen next and I loved it.
I love these characters. Even the slightly (and not so slightly) evil ones are compelling. I love that none of them are perfect; everyone has their demons and flaws. It helps make them more believable and makes it very, very hard to not like them. And they grow and adapt as the plot unwinds, learning from their mistakes.
All the characters are fun to read about but my favorites are Filo and Nasser. Nasser has to be one of the sweetest male characters I have ever read. Not only does he rescue Lee from the revel, he is determined to protect her, his brother and friends with little regard for his own safety. His loyalty and bravery are beyond commendable. Where Nasser is sweet and protective, Filo is all rough edges and terrified of showing any kind of real emotion. For all his outward harshness, Filo is the most dynamic and interesting of all the characters. Yes, you sometimes want to smack him for his seemingly callous treatment of the others but if you look a little closer you can see his struggle to protect himself from further pain and loss. Mostly, I wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would work out.
This book is the total package; intriguing, fast paced and peppered with both humor and sadness. It's unique, very well written and leaves you feeling bereft when it's over.
Just for the record, this book has put me in a terrible mood. Terrible. I will be unhappy for a very long time now... Probably about a year. Why? Because that is usually how long it takes for sequels to be released.
What? You thought I was going to say I didn't like it? No, no, wrong you are. Glad I had you going for a minute, there, though. Back to business- This is a REALLY great read. Seriously. This is probably the best faerie book I've ever read. It's tied with Lament (Maggie Stiefvater) and if anyone of you saw my review for that, you know how biased I am toward that particular novel. Saying any Faerie book even comes close to it is amazing, but tied? Oh ho ho.
It has it all. I giggled, I cried, I screamed, and if it wasn't on the very-fragile Kindle I would've thrown it across the room at one point. This is the kind of book you need to lock yourself in a room over, because the chances of you screaming at someone to go the @#$% away are very probable, and it's difficult to explain the rage outburst to someone who is not a reader (as I'm sure most of us know..).
In this novel, there is not a ship I do not like (I root for them all!), there is not a character I think needs tweaking, there is not a lack of commas or punctuation, there is really nothing to complain about. The only thing that bothered me at all was at the beginning, it switched perspectives a lot, which was a little confusing, but it all made sense by the end. I will definitely be re-reading this one in the future! Fantastic read!
And now, our interview with Kaye Thornbrugh!
*Hi Kaye! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello, ladies! Thanks for having me! Well, I’m 19 years old and share a birthday with Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. I’m the managing editor of my college newspaper, the Sentinel. I’m a proud Browncoat. My only sports achievements are Pokémon League Championships, though I did letter in scholastics—basically, the quiz bowl team—in high school. All told, I’m just your friendly neighborhood nerd-turned-journalist-turned-indie-author!
*What made you want to write about the fey?
I’ve always loved folklore and fairy tales, but it wasn’t until I read Valiant by Holly Black when I was about fourteen that I started to really look into the lore surrounding faeries. Once I started reading up, I became deeply passionate—in fact, I once wrote a research paper on changeling myths and how they affected the peasantry of the British Isles. Eventually, all that time spent ruminating on faerie folklore led me to the initial idea that would eventually become Flicker.
*We both absolutely loved Flicker & all the characters in it; will you be writing a sequel?
Thank you so much! Nothing makes me happier than hearing that somebody is getting along with my imaginary friends. :) Yes, I am writing a sequel! It’s titled Brightly and takes place about one year after the events of Flicker. I’m hoping to release it by late 2012 or early 2013, but there are a few variables involved. I’ll be posting updates on my progress with Brightly on my blog (as well as teasers when it’s closer to being released), so feel free to check in with me over there!
*Did you always want to be an author?
Pretty much. There was a time when I wanted to be an Egyptologist, and I’ve always not-so-secretly wished that I could be a Pokémon Trainer when I grew up—but aside from those two dreams, being an author has always been at the top of my list.
*Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can, as widely as you can. Take a look outside your genre! Study the books you like and the books you don’t like, to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Write as often as possible, every day if you can—even if you only crank out a few paragraphs, that’s progress! Don’t get too attached to anything you write—that includes characters. As much as you love them, you’ll have to do terrible things to them from time to time, so you can’t develop too much of a soft spot for any of them. It may seem cruel, and you’ll probably hate doing it sometimes, but it’s the only way to help them change and grow as characters.
*Do you ever get stuck while writing? If so, what do you do to push through it?
Yes, definitely. I think every writer gets stuck from time to time. When I hit a wall, I’ve found that the most effective way to get through it is to add ninjas. Well, not exactly. Let me explain:
When you find yourself struggling to figure out what happens next, sometimes you just have to throw something completely unexpected into the mix and see what happens. Have a completely new character walk through the door. Set a house on fire. Kidnap somebody. Add ninjas! Whatever it takes to get those creative juices flowing again. If you don’t like the direction you end up going in, or you think of another way to move forward, you can always change it.
*If you could spend the day with any literary character, who would you choose and what would you like to do with them?
Mercy Thompson, the shape-shifting mechanic from Patrcia Briggs’ amazing urban fantasy series. She’s my favorite heroine, hands-down. Mercy is tough as nails, but she’s also compassionate, thoughtful and loving. (Also, props to Patricia Briggs for creating a beautiful, sexy fantasy heroine who isn’t sexualized or objectified. Mercy’s attractiveness is organic, rooted more in her confidence and personality than in anything she wears.)
Anyway, I’d love to spend a day with Mercy. I’d be pretty useless in the garage while she worked on cars, but maybe she could teach me a thing or two—that, or we could just have lunch or dinner and chat about our lives. (Mercy’s side of the conversation would be a lot more exciting than mine!)
*Lana and I both have an obsession with really good cheesecake; is there a dessert you can’t turn down?
It might be better to ask if there’s a dessert I can turn down! I’m a sucker for pretty much all forms of deliciousness, but I’ve recently discovered a particular weakness for frozen yogurt.
*If you could only recommend one book to us, which one would you choose?
This is a terribly cruel question! But since you put me on the spot, I’ll go with The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, which I discovered as a little girl through the 1980s cartoon. The Last Unicorn is both a fairy tale and a spoof on fairy tales, filled with vibrant characters. As clichéd as it sounds, it’ll make you laugh and cry. (The ending gets me every time.) You’ll find yourself rereading whole pages just to revel in the beautiful language. Finally, I firmly believe that it’s one of the most romantic books ever written. Here, let me prove it to you with my favorite quote:
“Marveling at his own boldness, he said softly, ‘I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.’” – Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
*Can you tell us what comes next for you?
Right now, I’m focusing on writing the Flicker series and generally being a college student. As for my next project after the series is finished, I’ve got a few ideas I’m keen to work on, but I haven’t settled on one just yet. (I will say that, at this exact moment, the two frontrunners are a story about trolls and a story about superheroes.) After that, who knows? It’s like an adventure!