The review today comes for a book with a title I, would assume, have no business reading, but the book is so much more than the title suggests.
Hannah and the Lucky Faerie by Simon Willis tells the story of the title character who is struggling with the everyday hubbub of city life. She has a tough job, can’t carry on with a good relationship, and more or less can’t catch a break. When the going gets tough, she grabs a bottle of Southern Comfort and consults the council of her best friend for girl’s nights. While this may sound like the setup for every 90s Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan film they put out, the canvas Simon Willis paints takes a huge left turn that I didn’t see coming.
As suggested by the title, Hannah strolls into a local shop where she comes by a good luck charm (that she steals if I remember correctly), which leads to things looking up for her and the reader not exactly knowing where the story is going until Willis’ knack for fantasy kicks in and we are introduced to an all-out war.
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Because I have very little to complain about in this book, I will start with my gripes. As a reader looking for a new book to pick up, I would have walked right past something titled “Hannah and the Lucky Faerie.” While the book does an excellent job of genre bending, I believe the character of Caera is so much more than the “Lucky Faerie,” but at the same time giving it another title or cover will throw off the fantasy reader who is taking in the melodrama that kicks the story off. Something that previews the darker edge to the story may service the book a little better.
Other than that, I had a hard time faulting this book.
The writing is exceptional. It takes what Stephanie Meyers did in the Urban Fiction realm and eats her books alive. In spite of myself, I wanted things to work out for Hannah and I urgently needed to know more. What made this such a compelling read is the book’s ability to continue to raise the stakes of the central conflict as Hannah is dragged into this fantasy underground and forced to fight evil. Luckily, the ending setup room for a sequel while pleasantly closing the chapter on the story we experienced.
This is the first piece I’ve read by the author and I can assure you I will be looking out for more.
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.