Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1) by J.L. Bryan

Title:  Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1)  
Author:  J.L. Bryan
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Format:  Kindle
Release Date:  September 16, 2011
               *book was provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they’re going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near perfect boyfriend.

Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world, and soon the band is enchanting crowds, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down… (Summary courtesy of Goodreads)

Fairy Metal Thunder is a fun, quick read that takes the reader on a wild journey through the land of Faerie and into the world of the rock star. J.L. Bryan leaves no stone unturned in his quest to bring the reader into a world no one has ever seen before. His take on Faerie is creative and intriguing. I especially enjoyed how he brought all sorts of mythical creatures to life, including not only fairies, but also ogres, goblins, elves and even unicorns. There were a couple of parts when Bryan took the story to the land of Faerie that seemed to drag a little, with a bit too much detail thrown in. But I understand that Bryan was trying to create a world that no one has ever seen, so over-explanation is necessary at times.

Perhaps my favorite parts of Fairy Metal Thunder take place in the human world (or man-world as the mythical creatures call it) when the Assorted Zebras are playing the stolen fairy instruments. Bryan manages to capture the excitement and intensity of a crowd of people really enjoying a good rock show and he brings that to life for the reader. He doesn’t rely heavily on descriptions of how the instruments are played or why the crowds reacted they way they did, yet he still manages to get the feeling of intense excitement across to the reader; you just seem to know and understand after reading. I appreciated the fact that he knew his readers would understand what it is like to be swept up by the music and carried away. Bryan keeps it simple.

Bryan also built a good cast of supporting characters, such as Hoke the Elf, Jason’s sister Katie, Mrs. Dullahan and Jason’s parents. I thought Jason’s parents were very well-portrayed. They were your typical “we don’t trust you or your friends with the multi-colored hair who are in a band” parents. I felt sorry for Jason having such mistrusting parents, actually. Jason’s sister was a riot, she kept me laughing. Hoke the Elf was an oddity, but an interesting one and Mrs. Dullahan was just the right kind of scary.

About the only thing that I didn’t like about Fairy Metal Thunder was the abrupt ending. Literally, I am reading along and then BAM, it’s over. It seemed like a strange way to end a book. I know that the book has sequels but I just didn’t care for the way it ended at all.

I think this would be a great book for tweens. I am not sure older, more sophisticated teenagers will take the time to pick it up, but I know quite a few eleven to fourteen year olds who would enjoy it.

My grade for Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1) by J.L. Bryan:


  1. Hi! Found you through the IBBA awards nominees for YA on Goodreads! :) thought I'd make some new friends while trying to win votes in the Adult Fiction category! :) I'm now following your blog and I hope you will consider following mine (and voting for me in the Fiction category if you haven't already voted for someone else):

  2. I really liked this story. It's a modern twist on the fairytale and it has the true, dark fairytale creatures. I got sucked into the story and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I felt for poor Jason, but I have a feeling that his luck will improve in the next story or two. I definitely will be buying the next books. I think this is a story that anyone would enjoy.


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