Book Reviews · Books

Book Review: The Fairy Wren by Ashley Capes

23381707The Fairy Wren by Ashley Capes

Publication Date: October 29th, 2014

Publisher: Close-Up Books

Genre(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Contemporary

Series Status: Stand Alone

Pages: 238

Format and Source: Kindle Edition, Sent from author in exchange for honest review

Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

The Fairy Wren is a contemporary fantasy set in Australia, where Paul, a bookseller, struggles to juggle attention from a strange bird, a shady best friend, an Italian runaway and a missing ex-wife, all the while struggling to cling to a long-buried dream.

From the moment a fairy wren drops his lost wedding ring at his feet, Paul realises there’s more magic to the world than he thought…

When Paul Fischer receives a strange phone call asking for help, from a woman who might be his estranged wife Rachel, he’s drawn into a mysterious search that threatens not only his struggling bookstore, but long-buried dreams too…

Unfortunately, the only help comes from a shady best friend, an Italian runaway and a strange blue fairy wren that seems to be trying to tell him something – yet the further he follows the clues it leaves the less sense the very world seems to make. Is he on the verge of a magical, beautiful discovery or at the point of total disaster?

Don’t be led on by the synopsis of this book. You may think it is a true urban fantasy, filled with strange beings and lots of magic, but that really isn’t the case with this book. It’s more like a drama, as there is lost love, financial struggles, affairs, murders, kidnapping, and so many other things. The only magical aspects of the books are the bird that keeps leading Paul to strange places, a runaway girl who keeps turning up in his neighbourhood, and the frankly ridiculously conclusion. This disappointed me slightly as I really believed there would be more fantasy within this book, but really it follows a man who doesn’t deal with stress well into unbelievably stressful situations.

Another problem I had with the book was that I found it incredibly hard to get into. I started it about four times before I finally made it past the first chapter. After that I had to sit myself down to actually read it. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t good; just that it’s not really my cup of tea. I’m not really one for these sorts of books that read almost like a soap opera. I prefer proper high fantasy, action, adventure to this.

However I did like the character of Paul Fischer. He was incredibly real and definitely had faults. While he does have anger management issues, he is a good guy, and he dealt with all his struggles like a real person. He wasn’t all calm and collected, going ‘OK, this is what I am going to do next’. He was more like ‘Oh f**k, what the hell am going to do?! I’m completely screwed!’. This attitude, paired with the fact that he just could not catch a break, meant that this book was pretty much him flailing about as he tried to fix one problem after another, while dealing with the weird bird that kept following him around. The only problem I have with his character that he wasn’t enough of a bookworm for me.

Now for the climax of the book. That was weird. There was a bird and a trumpet (I think) that gave life, and a little girl, and honestly it was weird and I didn’t particularly like that part at all. It could have been pulled off so much better if a little more thought was added to it.

Overall this wasn’t a bad read, but there were certainly points in this book that let me down. If you like a contemporary book with a little fantasy, a lot of drama, and a romance that actually is agreeable, I would suggest reading this book. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it more than I did.

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