Word Spelunking

Fairy Blues - J.L. Bryan Actual Rating: 4.5/5 StarsI’m always hesitant when it comes to sequels, afraid that they won’t live up to the awesomeness of their predecessors. But Fairy Blues by J.L. Bryan quickly squashed my fears by turning out to be a wonderfully fun and entertaining second volume in the Songs of Magic series…and, in my opinion, not only living up to the awesomeness of Fairy Metal Thunder, but surpassing it. MY BRIEF SUMMARYFairy Blues picks up where Fairy Metal Thunder leaves off, and we find the Assorted Zebras- Jason, Erin, Dred, and Mitch- still as popular as ever and on the verge of worldwide fame. They’ve garnered the interest of Malarkay Records, a record label that is part of Malarkay Media, a highly successful and influential company owned by billionaire Andrew Malarkay. The band soon finds themselves being whisked away to Ireland and to all they’ve dreamed of- recording an album, shooting music videos, worldwide touring. But they soon discover that the world of Faerie is still out to get them for stealing their magical instruments and nothing and no one may be what they seem. While in the world of Faerie, Aoide and her bandmates go on their own dangerous and surprising adventure in search of their stolen instruments.J.L. Bryan has once again created a super fun and magically exciting story that rocks from beginning to end. I was very much looking forward to jumping back into the Songs of Magic world and Bryan definitely did not disappoint with this second volume. The fantasy elements dazzle and enchant, while the humor, romance and characters are endlessly amusing and entertaining.Like the first volume, Fairy Blues takes place in both our world and the world of Faerie, creating a storyline that is never boring or slow. The world building, especially the world of Faerie, is superb, vivid, and wonderfully imaginative and surprising. I loved that more time was spent in this Faerie world than in the first book, allowing readers a chance to get to know this captivating world better. And Bryan has certainly created a fantastically fascinating magical world that is whimsical, yet can also be delightfully dark. The journey Aoide and her bandmates take is thrilling and full of the unexpected.But the Assorted Zebras have their own wild adventure as well! Jason, Erin, Dred, and Mitch continue to be four incredibly likable and relatable characters, making their story that much more exciting for readers. I think most readers can find at least one kindred spirit among this eclectic group of misfit personalities, creating the incredible sense that, as a reader, you are not simply reading about their adventure, but experiencing it as well. As if you too, are living out your rockstar fantasies, which is such an awesome feeling and the product of excellent writing, characterization and world building.Old characters continue to shine and fascinate- like grumpy, yet funny and lovable Grizlemor-while new and amusing characters are introduced.I love that Bryan wasn’t afraid to take his very small town American teenage characters and plop them in a whole new environment, thus plopping readers into a whole new world as well, and Ireland is such a fabulous choice of setting. Bryan does a great job of taking this new environment, making it visually interesting and real in the minds of readers, yet not allowing it to become too overwhelming or to outshine the characters and story itself.This second volume in the Songs of Magic series doesn’t really work as a stand-alone book, you really must read the first to fully understand all that is happening…but you really should read the first anyways because it’s awesome! There are plenty of surprising twists and unexpected revelations, but there are still plenty of intriguing mysteries and questions left…like, just what makes Erin so special? What wicked plan is Zinerva concocting now? And will Erin ever dump her lame-o boyfriend and give the adorkable Jason a chance?!MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Fairy Blues is a splendid second volume in what is turning out to be a fantastic series. J.L. Bryan and his Songs of Magic series will delight and amuse readers of all ages with its wonderful mix of fantasy, humor, action, and romance. I simply CANNOT wait to read book three!Read the complete and original review at Word Spelunking

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