Review by Tahlia Newland
Title: THE BETWEEN
Author: L J Cohen
Publisher: Interrobang Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
I’m not a great fan of books about the Fae, because I don’t like the tangled politics of Fae society and (apart from The Iron Fey series) don’t generally warm to Fae characters, so I’m probably not the best person to review this book. But I find it hard to say no to authors asking for reviews, so I read it and I enjoyed it. If you like Fae stories, you’ll probably enjoy this one, but it didn’t excite me, perhaps because the changeling angle is a fairly common kind of Fae story. Also I admit that I’m a bit jaded as a reader of YA fantasy at the moment.
Blurb: High school senior LydiaHawthorne is less than grateful when Oberon has her snatched from the Mortal world and she finds out she’s actually Fae. And not just any Fae, but a trueborn with enough inherent magic to tip the balance between Oberon and Titania’s warring Bright and Shadow courts. But that’s their game and she doesn’t want to play by their rules. Together with Clive Barrow, a Bright Court Fae with embarrassing family ties to the Mortal world, Lydia fights to regain her old life, fueling her magic with the very Human power of love and loss, challenging the essential nature of Faerie itself.
The best part of this book was the descriptions of the magic, both the way it felt and the way it appeared. The image created in my mind by the author’s description of the ‘Between’ that Lydia found herself in was also wonderful, and the tithe that members of the Fae courts owed to their rulers was a concept I found interesting.
It was well enough written with no obvious technical flaws, and yet it often failed to fully engage me. I found Lydia, the main character a little too angry and self-centred in the face of people who clearly needed her help, and her actions sometimes didn’t make sense. Mind you, she is a teenager, so perhaps that isn’t such an issue, and she did develop a bit as the story went on. After her initial reticence, when she figured she couldn’t get away without going, she appeared to go into Fairie willingly, then all she wanted to do was to get out, and she didn’t ask Oberon the kind of questions I would have expected from a teen in that situation. Her ability to suddenly use her Fae power, even when she still rejected the fact that she was Fae, was a little unbelievable as well, but at the same time, I really enjoyed that she was able to use it when needed to protect others. I think it just needed a more gradual development.
I couldn’t believe that she made no effort to soften the blow of her leaving for her parents. She had time enough to hide her phone, so why didn’t she write a note for her parents? She often thought how important her family were to her, yet she didn’t show it in her actions, at least not at that stage.
I really enjoyed the section where Lydia returned to her home and realised that she couldn’t go back to how things were. I can’t say too much about it without giving the story away, but it was a sensitively written part where Lydia grew a lot in her understanding and maturity.
I felt really sorry for Clive – he had a dreadful name for a start – and was caught in Fae politics in a big way. He and his Shadow court counterpart had an interesting relationship and their conflicting desires and responsibilities made them interesting characters.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for it, I think this book is worth reading for anyone who likes Fae stories, and certainly deserves to be on the Awesome Indies listing.
US Kindle Store
Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13339209-the-between
Smashwords page: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120583
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LJCohen
Twitter page: @lisajanicecohen