As promised, here are the reviews of COAL.
Confession: I was super scared to read the reviews. I made my daughter and another friend read them first. Crazy, huh?
So off to character development. Coal was hands down easy to relate to. I instantly connected to him with his dark brown skin and kinky hair down to his insecurities and doubts. Chalcedony however was a different story. She was very manipulative and and scary possessive. Sometimes I felt as though she didn’t see Coal as a person but as an object she could control. She often used his feelings for her against him and she even went to the extreme by putting spells on him so he’d never leave her. Talk about crazy ex-girlfriends, homegirl took “BFF” to a whole notha level. The conflict was definitely there and I didn’t see a thing coming but Chalcedony, sheesh. She was just one of those characters that are borderline antagonistic. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up being the true villain but only time will tell.
I do think it’s rare right now to find a young adult fantasy that stands out as unique, with an original story and perspective. Which is why I was excited the entire time I was reading Coal. The world that Constance Burris has created has some originality to it (though we don’t get a heavy dose of backstory, there’s enough to point a picture, and it drew me in), and the characters here are compelling, especially for a young adult novel. Spoiler: Romance doesn’t save the day. Spoiler: Coal isn’t just automatically superior to everything and everyone because he’s the protagonist. Spoiler: Tough choices must be made, and the consequences for those decisions are real. We can’t have everything, and sometimes we just have to understand what we value, do what’s right, and make the right decisions.
Recommended for fans of fantasy and young adult, especially those who are looking for something different than what’s out there…
Coal, the main character, is a teenaged human living in a fairy world where humans are more or less considered lowlifes, except that he’s the fairy princess’s best friend. Of course that’s part of the conflict, but don’t worry, there’s more to come. The book springs from there and stays pretty fast paced with Coal’s life and the adventures that result from his relationship with the princess and an ill-advised trip to the human realm.
I enjoyed this diverse high/urban fantasy which I can honestly say is like no other book I’ve ever read. Why? When was the last time you read a story about a friendship between a black fairy and a black human? Granted, this fairy, Chalcedony, can change her appearance at will, but she chooses to be black like her human friend, Coal. Chalcedony is developing amorous feelings for her childhood friend, Coal, but she’s strongly encouraged not to because fairies aren’t supposed to like humans. It would be unseemly for a fairy queen to have a human consort. Her indecision on this point, not to mention her own pride, causes a great deal of trouble in the story.
Awesome right! I also go three bonus reviews that were not even part of the Tour. I’ll be sharing those tomorrow.