Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater + Contest!

Published October 1, 2009.

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul. (bn.com)

You know, I know a lot of people, A LOT, really like Maggie Stiefvater's books. A lot. I'm not one of them. I think they're superfluous, overwritten and disingenuous to the characters she writes. I somewhat enjoyed her lyrical writing in Lament although I wished she would have gotten to the point faster. In Ballad I was completely over it and still wished she'd get to the damn point already.

There's a lot of pining in this one: James for Dee, Dee for Luke (whom she knew for like 2 weeks before he got sucked back into Faerie, yeah, totally believable for utter love, thanks for that SMeyer, you wench). And it's unenduring. SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY! I get you. You want Dee but she doesn't see you that way. You want Luke but you're probably never going to see him again, not to mention your emotions are completely unfounded and you use that rejection as a means to use James in an attempt to fill a void that only backfires on you. God I'm so sick of this emo crap.

Nuala was a cool chick and probably the only one that remained true to herself in terms of writing. I loved her spunk and her snark and her all around attitude. You know, if I was burned every 16 years, I'd probably be bitter too.

But with James, Stiefvater just couldn't help going all lyrical and describing things in a way that, from what I've gathered of him, he would never say. His great personality shined through in most of his dialogue but his rambling diatribes of inner monologues just screamed to me "WRITER FLEXING FINGERS!" than being believable as really coming from the character's head.

The good thing was that Nuala's and James's relationship is so much more believable. It develops so much more naturally and while it still happens in what I see as a short amount of time (2 months), it's still developed longer than Dee's and Luke's was, not to mention it was actually developed. I actually felt for James at the end when he had to make a decision between Dee and Nuala. I truly believed that his heart was torn between the two. Him and Nuala are such better characters than Dee and Luke, I just wish Stiefvater would let the character speak for himself instead of inserting her language into his head.

I feel the book could have easily been half the length and still maintained the intensity of the story than what it is now. It meanders too long on the details, on the intricacies. We could have gotten all of that information in a much more compact setting and still maintained the feelings for the characters. In fact, I think cutting out a lot of that needless verbiage would have done a service for the characters. I hated being in James's head because all he did was pine for Dee for 3/4 of the book. God how boring that got. I get it. Move on with the story. Nuala was interesting albeit just as redundant at times. Just say it and move on. I found myself not really wanting to pick the book back up because for most of the book, it's more of the same. It's a lead up to the final battle that ended just as quickly as it did in Lament and, for me, it left the same kind of dissatisfaction that it was all resolved a little too easily. Granted it was more painful for the characters this time around and it affected them more but the grand picture, the big production, wrapped rather nearly for my taste.

I really commend Stiefvater on her knowledge of Irish fey. She doesn't go into grand detail on them and her research doesn't show, which is a really good thing (her superfluousness hangs around characters as characters) and I liked what she included in her mythology. It just made me that much more interested in fairies and the fey. The balance between having enough of them to understand what's going on and not being an overkill was expertly held. I just with she did that with her characters and the plot as a whole.

The only reason I read this book was because I had it sitting in my pile from BEA. I wouldn't have bothered otherwise.



Contest Time!!!

So I have 2 ARCs of Lament and 2 ARCs of Ballad. I'll have two winners that'll get one of each! You want a set? Here's what you have to do--

Leave a comment with your email answering this question--

What's your favorite fey?

No answer, no entry. Period.

+2 for new followers
+3 for current followers
+3 for linking (up to 3 for a total of +9)

Contest is open to US residents only and will end on December 3rd at midnight, EST. Good luck!

72 comments:

Dani. said...

My favorite fey? The ones from Wicked Lovely. :)

+3: Old Follower!
+3: Tweeted- http://twitter.com/Danidlion/status/5666640411
+3: Linked to Sidebar-
http://danidlion.blogspot.com/

-Dani.
lightningstreak123@comcast.net

Mitz said...

My favorite fey so far are the ones in Kristine Kathryn Rusch's The Sacrifice series the fey #1

+3 I am loyal follower

misty_labean(at)yahoo.com

Kelsey said...

I love the fey from Wicked Lovely & Wings!

+3 current follower
+3 sidebar link (http://thebookscout.blogspot.com)

kelseythebookscout at gmail dot com

Rachel said...

My favorite fey huh?
Probably the ones from Wondrous Strange. I love them very much, they rock!

+2 new follower.
+3 tweeted. ( http://twitter.com/Opako/status/5667129441 )

Rachel
Rachel.Melinda.Yarbrough@gmail.com

Bethie said...

My favorite Fey is Sookie Stackhouse's Her great great grandfather Naill from Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Series.

+3 I follow

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

~Jennifer~ said...

My favorite fey are from Laurell K. Hamilton's Meredith Gentry series.

+3 for current follower

jennsicurella at verizon dot net

WilowRaven said...

Please enter me :)

I love the fey of Tithe
+3 I'm an old follower

WilowRaven[at]yahoo[dot]com

Thanks!

Erica said...

Definately those from Tithe

+3 current follower

:) Erica
thebookcellar@wi.rr.com

Mandy said...

I'm always a fan of Puck - trickster, messenger, unreliable guide.

+3 follower (reader and google)
+3 link on twitter : http://twitter.com/mandyfish/status/5668677430


Please enter me into the contest. :)

Mandy

mandyfish@gmail.com

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

And I finally have everything in one post. Sorry!

My favorite fey are the ones from War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, no doubt.

+3 already a follower
+3 tweeted the contest here: http://twitter.com/heynocupcake/status/5668744531
+3 posted contest on my sidebar here: http://whatbookisthat.blogspot.com

whatbookisthat at gmail dot com

Thanks!

ParaJunkee said...

Tell us how you really feel why don't ya...lol. That was a crazy review. Thanks for sharing.

Mmmmm....my fav fey is King Dorian yum yum from the Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead and all his happy fey folk in the otherworld.

+3 already a follower
+3 tweet: http://twitter.com/parajunkee/status/5668884558

parajunkee (@) gmail.com

donnas said...

My favorites are Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream and the ones from the Wicked Lovely series.

+3 old follower
+3 posted here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2009/11/contests-found-this-week_08.html
+3 linked on sidebar here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/

bacchus76 at myself dot com

choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...

My favorite fey are the ones from Gerald Morris' books.

+3 old follower
+3 linked to sidebar at http://inwhichagirl.blogspot.com/

chocowrites[at]gmail[dot]com

Insert Book Title said...

Despite your glowing review of this novel, I think I will pass. I am not into emo crap. :)

Brooke Reviews said...

I'd have to add Wicked Lovely to the bunch! :)

bacarleton(at)gmail(dot)com

+3 follower!

Flip The Page! Book Reviews said...

Mt favorite fey is Tatiana and Adam from this relatively unknown but very amazing book Behind Every Illusion by Christina Harner! You should definitly give it a shot if you haven't already!

+3 for being a current follower

+3 for linking on twitter-
http://twitter.com/YoTina_38/status/5670760433

+3 fir linking on my sidebar here- flipthepagebookreview.blogspot.com

Christina
flipthepageplease@gmail.com

pirate penguin said...

Ack! I don't like when characters continuously pine for someone throughout the whole book... it kind of kills my respect for them. xD But I have yet to read any of her books so... I'm entering the contest ;) I'll be emailing ya if that's okay.

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

I love Zee from Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series.


+3 I'm a follower
+3 I posted this on the Contests & Giveaways section on my sidebar

http://allthingsurbanfantasy.blogspot.com/

allthingsurbanfantasy[at]gmail[dot]com

Amy305 said...

I am also a Zee (Mercy Thompson series) fan, but I think I have to go with Laurel from Wings. I love how we are taken on her journey of discovery and am looking forward to Aprilynne Pike's next book, Spells. I love Maggie Stiefvater, and am having trouble finding Lament any where! So, here's hoping I am a winner!

New follower!
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmyAnneS
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com//profile.php?v=feed&story_fbid=349575880456&id=632095762#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=632095762
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2863316

Thank you,
Amy S.
astewart305@rogers.com

The Book Vixen said...

Favorite Fey - Sookie, she's part Fey :)

+3 current follower
+3 sidebar link
+3 tweeted

thebookvixen at gmail.com

Maria D'Isidoro said...

Favorite Fey:

Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream
Kaye Fierch from Tithe and Ironside

+3 current follower
+3 tweeted http://twitter.com/Maria_Disidoro

maria.disidoro@gmail.com

miss cindy :) said...

No favorite fey for me, so I don't even know if I still qualify :)

But i'm here to let you know you got an award here :)

+3 follower (if I still qualify)

Anna ♥ said...

My favorite fey would have to be Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I need to read more books with fey characters.

+3 Old follower

+3 Linked on sidebar: http://goodgonegirl.blogspot.com

+3 Posted here: http://goodgonegirl.blogspot.com/2009/11/fabulous-giveaways.html

Anna ♥
goodgonegirl@gmail.com

Debbie's World of Books said...

I would pick the fey from Wicked Lovely. dasuzuki at yahoo dot com
+2 drat, I've followed you for ages in Google Reader but never followed using Google Connect before
+3 I tweeted here: http://twitter.com/DebWorldOfBooks/status/5702705624
+3 I also posted about the giveaway here: http://debbiesworldofbooks.com/other-giveaways

throuthehaze said...

My favorite fey would be those from Wicked Lovely!

+3 already a follower

Raelena
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

April said...

My favorite fey is clearly the tooth fairy. None of the other fey mentioned left cashmoney under my pillow for my unneeded teeth. Perhaps if another fey was to leave me the keys to a mazerati under my pillow perhaps I would be persuaded to change my mind.

+3 already a follower
+3 tweeted http://twitter.com/booksandwine/status/5712101731
+3 sidebar linked http://readingisthespiceoflife.blogspot.com


goodbooksandgoodwine(@)gmail.com

BookMac said...

favorite fey? Kelley from Wondrous Strange.

+3 current follower
+3 http://book-mac13.blogspot.com/2009/11/contests-free-books-more.html (linked)

bookmac13@gmail.com

Indigo said...

Favorite fey would be any of the numerous ones found throughout Charles de Lint's books. My favorite would be either in his book, "Into the Green" of "Dreams Underfoot".

Thanks for the opportunity! Indigo

+2 New follower

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

barbrafl said...

Hmm, favorite fey? Donia from Melissa Marr's series, WICKED LOVELY. She's truly the most heart breaking and understanding characters I have ever read. Love her <3

+3 Already Follower

Thanks for the contest!!
barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

purplg8r said...

My favorite fey is from The Faerie Path series by Frewin Jones.

+3 I am an old follower
+3 And I blogged about the contest here.

belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

~JoRdAn~ said...

My favorite fey would have to be from Need by Carrie Jones and Wicked Lovely.

+3 current follower
+3 linked in sidebar
Here
+3 tweeted about it @jmoose09

jmoose09@gmail.com

Kelsey said...

Please enter me. My favorite fey are those from Juliet Marillier's adult books. They are awesome! J.M. is the best.

-Kelsey
krae991@yahoo.com

robin_titan said...

Tinkerbell! I love Peter Pan more than her but you only asked for fey so yeah... :)

+3 current follower
+3 linked on TVABA blog under giveaways

lcintocable(at)gmail(d)com

elnice said...

Favorite fey-Tinkerbell. My daughter is obsessed and it rubbed off.

+3 for current followers
+3 for linking
http://twitter.com/EllzReadz/status/5742497075
+3 for linking (contest sidebar)
http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/

Bianca said...

I honestly haven't read many books with Fey's in them, but I'll say: My favorite Fey is either Tinkerbell or the character from Midsummer Night's Dream (I can't remember the character!)

+3 current follower

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

book_worm said...

Hmm...my favorite fey would have to be from Wondrous Strange. I absolutely LOVED that book.

+2 new follower (book_worm127)

thanks for the contest!
book_worm127@yahoo.com

Just Blinded Book Reviews said...

I usually don't read many books that deal with Fey. Though I have read Wicked Lovely and I really like that and I also read Wondrous Strange but I wasn't crazy about it.

+3 Old Follower
+3 Posted about your giveaway on my contests page.

kalynnick said...

My favorite fey definitely has to be Wicked Lovely.


kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

My favorite comes from Wondrous Strange :)

+3 Old Follower

Thanks for another great giveaway!

Hannah said...

My favorite Faes are from the Sookie Stackhouse series. They just read hawt!!

+2 - am now a follower. Thanks!!

tauntsociety AT gmail DOT com

CallMeKayla said...

+2 new follower [love the layout by the way!!]

My favorite feys are the one from Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series.


kaylajohnson3969[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

J. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Lee said...

+3 current follower
favorite fay: from Wicked Lovely

yjnlee(at)gmail(dot)com

Aik said...

The ones from Wicked Lovely.

+2 for new follower

+3 for linking
http://aik-friendsnfamily.blogspot.com/2009/08/list-of-worldwide-giveaways.html

+3 tweeted
http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/5818384369

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Angela said...

I followed you on your other blog, and now I'm follwing this one. HOW MUCH would I LOVE to WIN!

My fav fey would be from Wicked Lovely. I love the idea that Fey can be as evil as they can be good.

Zombie Girrrl said...

My favorite fey... Does Tinker Bell count? She's really more "fairy" than "fey", but I like them the best, like how they were too small to have more than emotion at a time and how believing in them could bring them back to life, and come on, fairy dust is awesome!

+3 old follower
+3 Sidebar Link #1!
+3 Sidebar Link #2!
+3 Sidebar Link #3!

ZombieGirrrl21@aol

had_triskaideka said...

+2 new follower

had_triskaideka@hotmail.com

I enjoy the feys from a Midsummers Night Dream

Arya said...

+2 New follower
+3 Sidebar link (http://seaofpages.blogspot.com)

Arlette Rodriguez said...

My favorite fey would have to be Keenan from Wicked Lovely.

+2 new follower

rodriguesarlette[at]yahoo.com

Ashley said...

I'd say tinkerbell, but I'm not sure if she counts. So if not, then from Wicked Lovely will have to do. :)
booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

+3 Old follower.
+3 Posted on my sidebar at http://booksobsession.blogspot.com

Emily Brown said...

My favorite fey would have to be the ones from Wicked Lovely, I love that book!!!

+2 new follower

Anonymous said...

The ones from Wicked Lovely. walkerd@primus.ca

jacabur1 said...

My Favorite Fae are in the "Fever" series by Karen Marie Moning in particular the Prince V'lane the ultimate "bad boy" with a kernel of conscience....
+2 New Follower
+9 Posted Contest Link on:
1.Blog/2.Twitter/3.Facebook Profile
http://jacaburintexas.blogspot.com/2009/11/donna-wrote-on-her-bites-site-contest.html
http://twitter.com/jacabur1
http://www.facebook.com/jacabur?ref=profile
Please enter me in this one...
jacabur2008@gmail.com

Jackie B Central Texas

Monica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monica said...

My favorite fey are the ones from LKH Meredith Gentry series. Love em.

+3 Current Follower
+3 Link on sidebar
www.bibliophilicbookblog.com
+3 twitter
http://twitter.com/bibliophilicboo

Michelle said...

It's been a while since I've read books featuring faeries but one always stuck with me and is a favorite: sassy Mab from Francesca Lia Block's I Was A Teenage Fairy.

+2 new follower
+3 link on sidebar (booksandmakeup.blogspot.com)

towerofbooks said...

My favorite is Puck. :)

+2 for new followers
+3 for linking on sidebar (towerofbooks.wordpress.com)

towerofbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

Elizabeth said...

Maleficent will forever be my favorite.

liz at misswisabus.com

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

My favorite fey? Hands down the Wicked Lovely ones. Especially the one in love with Leslie from Ink Exchange- Irial?

+3 Old follower

Thank you!

Kim
bookbutterfly9(at)gmail(dot)com

LiLi said...

Thanks for the really honest review, girl. I hate when other bloggers sugar-coat it.

Do not enter me for the contest, lol.

Margay said...

The fey from Wicked Lovely are nice, but I love the fey from The Magic Knot.

+2 New Follower

+3 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MargayLeahJustice?ref=nf

+3 Twitter: http://twitter.com/Margay/status/6222297254

Margay

Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

Benita said...

My favorite fey is from Wicked Lovely.

+2 New Follower.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Alexa said...

The fey in Wicked Lovely are my favorite!

+3 current follower
+3 sidebar: http://hookedonyabooks.blogspot.com/
+3 post: http://violeteyesroaming.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-contests.html
+3 tweet: http://twitter.com/naggy8/status/6287252751

naggy8(at)gmail(dot)com

Joana said...

Puck, from A Midsummer's Night Dream :)

+2 New follower.

Thank you!!
principessa_mia2000 at yahoo dot com

Meg said...

I love the fey in Wings. Thanks for the chance to win these books.

+3 - Old Follower

Megan
Megala872@aol.com

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

How did I miss this giveaway?

My favorite fey are from Wicked Lovely. It was my first fey type read too :)

+3 old stalker

Amber
justyourtypicalbookblog(at)hotmail(dot)com

JG said...

Currently, my favorite fey are from Emma Bull's War for the Oaks. I think I'm in love with one of them!

+2--A sort of new follower

theintrovertedreader AT gmail DOT com

Wrighty said...

I haven't read any of these yet so I'll add my name too. I've heard mixed reviews. My favorite fey would have to be Tinkerbell first. I'm reading the Wicked Lovely series now so those are pretty good too. Thanks for you giveaway!

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty said...

Forgot to add
+3 already follow

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

DeNiSe MaDnEsS said...

Favorite Fay lets see I havent read that many but I really enjoyed Lesley Livingston Wonerous strange
+3 for current followers
+3 for linking twitter (http://twitter.com/DeniseMadness)

Denisemadness(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thanks for contest

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