Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Lost Prince - Julie Kagawa I have watched fans of Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series rave about it for years now, but myfirst experience is jumping in late, with the new spinoff series starting with The Lost Prince. Ethan Chase is not a happy teen. His half-sister disappeared years ago into the world of fairy, ruling the Iron Court. He still sees the fae, and they cause problems for him, leading to problems at school, a lack of friends, and everything that make him an outcast. Enter school reporter Kenzie: gorgeous, popular, rich, and very interested in Ethan. When a half-fae classmate who'd asked Ethan for help goes missing, however, Ethan and Kenzie get dragged into the last place Ethan wants to be: back in the world of fairy.Fairies seem to be the new vampires, but like vampires, I generally don't seem to get tired of them, providing the story is done right. I know there are a lot of people who will tell me I should have read the other books first, but if this is a new series, it should stand on its own. Unfortunately, it relies more on standard young adult tropes than it does the previous novels. Ethan is a brooding hero (check) who's an outcast (check). He drives a beat-up truck (ooh! check, but switching sides from heroine to hero), meets a clumsy brunette (check) who has a sweet, fruity smell (check).No, I'm not making this up. By the time I got to the now-near-obligatory Whedon references (really? Are that many 17-year-olds spending that much time with Buffy reruns on Netflix?), I was frustrated. Why are characters being built on such stereotypical constructs? Why do all YA couples need to sound like they came off an assembly line?The fairy world is compelling, almost a blend of steampunk, Alice in Wonderland crazytown, and traditional fairy lore. And the plot that drags Ethan back into the Nevernever is great. What becomes problematic is the relationship with Kenzie, which is hobbled by Ethan's incessant inner monologue about how he can't drag anyone into his horrible life overrun with fairy issues, and the over-the-top backstory with Kenzie that's so foreshadowed you know it's coming and don't really care.Maybe I was a victim of the hype, but I expected more of this book, and was disappointed.

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