The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar - Book Review

I remember the first time I went to see Top Gun; it was a huge letdown. After the hype, what else could it be? The same thing happened with The Time Traveler’s Wife and now, once again with The Good Fairies of New York. When something gets so much hype, isn’t it destined for a fall?

I really like the premise of The Good Fairies of New York: Outlaw Scottish Punk-Rock fairies arrive in New York City, hung-over and disoriented. They soon befriend some odd humans and piss off various clans of multicultural New York fairies. Back in Scotland their oppressive leader is searching for them. Add a punk rock ghost, a homeless scholar of ancient Greece and a love story in the making. What could go wrong?

This is one of those stories where a great idea is hindered by the writing style. The alternating vignettes weren’t so much the problem (I usually like that format). It was the abrupt bait and switch that never quite came to fruition. If I’m going to be meandering about a tale, I expect them to at some point converge. The ending attempted to tie it all together, but it’s too little too late.

However, I did like the story. I stayed along for the whole ride. It was witty, droll and original. And though the characters remained a bit flat, they were never meant to be deep thinkers. I liked the people on the page and wanted to know what happened to them. Although we don’t get a perfectly neat little bow-tied ending, we get a nice picture of what the future holds for them.

If you’re a fan of Gaiman and/or Pratchett, you’ll pass a few entertaining hours with The Good Fairies of New York, just don’t expect to find the scope of their talents here.

© 2007-2009

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Nymeth said...

I loved both the story and the writing style of this one, but I can see how it wouldn't work for everyone. Still, I'm glad it was a pleasant reading experience for you overall :)

Tasses said...

Thanks for stopping in, Nymeth. It was a great idea; I just wish he'd developed it a bit more :-)

Carl V. said...

I thankfully never heard too much hype about Time Traveler's or this. Now they were both on my radar big time as I saw people were reading them, but I hadn't heard much about them. I loved TTW and this is one I have yet to read. I'm looking forward to getting to it sometime and will be interesting to read. I always go into books with Gaiman quotes on them wondering if I am going to see in them what he saw in them. It is always interesting to read books your favorite author recommends as sometimes you end up thinking "I don't get it?". But that is why we are so interesting as a species, we all have our unique likes and dislikes.


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