Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2)
by Holly Black
What is it about:
When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.
But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends.
And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.
What did I think of it:
This is the second book in a series, but as it has different characters than the first book (as far as I understand) it can be read as a standalone. I haven't read the first book, but I didn't feel like missing out on anything.
I will confess being surprised by how dark and gritty this book is. I've gotten used to YA books that shy away from really serious topics, but this book takes you down in the underbelly of society. There's drug use, abuse, bad language, and more. It made for intense reading and I really liked it, but I can understand how some people could be disturbed by the grittiness of this book.
For me the darkness of the world building fitted with the story. I was drawn into the events and couldn't escape until I finished the book. I liked getting to know Val, and to see how she handles being out on the streets. The people she hooks up with are also very intriguing, and the events that unfold had me guessing at what was going on, and what would happen next.
There were some things I'd have wanted to read more about. Especially Ravus, one of the creatures Val encounters, didn't get enough scenes in my opinion. He does play a rather important role in the story, so I wanted to learn more about him, and see more interaction between him and Val.
That grumbling aside I really enjoyed this book and finished it way too fast. I will most certainly try to get hold of the other books in this series.
Why should you read it:
It's a dark and gritty YA Faerie Tale in a modern setting