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VINE VOICEon February 3, 2009
Wow, this was a very imaginative and well written book. The trend towards faeries in YA books is nothing new. This book however takes a totally fresh spin on the subject.

The heroine is plucky,determined and brave. She suffers the loss of her Mother and sister, and physical abuse at the hands of her Father. Despite this she is not bowed down. I love her!

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world in which small towns survive in isolation, afraid of faeries and magic. This is result of the war between Faerie and humankind. Both sides have been devastated.

For romance lovers, there is a subtle romantic interest woven through. I don't want to give away anymore of the plot- buy the book yourselves, and enjoy!

All in all, a wonderful read both for YA and not so YA.
I hope there is a sequel.
If you are a fan of Melissa Marr and Holly Black, you will love this book.
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on February 28, 2009
Overall, this book was a great story filled with adventure and the price we're all willing to pay to survive. The writing at times got irritating due to its repetitive nature. For example, on one single page I read:
"and I looked in the mirror and saw--"
"I screamed, and I screamed I saw--"
"I fled from him, and as I fled I saw--"
I shut my eyes, and behind closed lids I saw--"
This sort of pre-vision dialogue certainly became noticeable and therefore irritating, and distracting. The imagery throughout the book is well written and familiar. For example I loved, "Oak and maples and elms all reached toward the rain, sighing happily as water soaked through their leaves and into their roots."

The plot moved, though sometimes slow. The beginning started off right, fact-paced and exciting, the middle, during the journey outside, it all became slower. The end, again, picks up leaving you on the edge of your seat and rooting for the characters. Throughout the whole book you feel for Liza and you keep hoping she finds what she is looking for, physically and emotionally.

The characters, all, are well defined and concrete though, not to say that they are perfect. I am left at the end wanting to learn more about Tara, Caleb,Kate and Matthew's history. I feel like I still don't know enough about them. For the story itself--good enough. For me and my overzealous imagination--I wanted to know everything.

Liza is sucha strong character, so kind and caring and passionate.But above all else she is majorly self-sacrificing, which is a wonderful point for young girls to take away from the book. Allie, the young, sweet healer, is a reliable friend and a deeply caring individual filled with unconditional love. Yet, she's smart and knows her limits. Matt's character is much in the same way very protective and strong and throughout the book the reader really gets a clear glimpse into his maturing and evolving personality. I found it endearing to read how Liza and Matt's relationship grows-- both become so reliant on each other and love blossoms in the most unexpected circumstances. Liza's parents though, are one of the characters that leave you wanting more, especially her mother, Tara, who by the end of the book you realize has a long history in this world, much of which is hugely relevant to this story.Her father--well, I'm glad for his outcome.

What I mostly enjoyed about this book were the allusions to us and the current events surrounding us everyday, mainly war and the outcomes of war. Liza learns, among other things, that there are two sides to each story. And even though you might have grown up thinking, "these people are the bad guys" that doesn't make you the good guy. This book really makes one think about how war effects each and every individual, even years after it may be over. There are repercussions and no one is without fault. We must all live with our mistake, yet except people for what they are , not shunning them because they are different.
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on September 4, 2009
Reading the first sentence, I felt a frisson, and knew I was reading something special. Janni Lee Simner has created a truly haunting world, our own, but devastated after a war between humans and faeries. For the children growing up post war, including the teenage narrator, its causes are mysterious, but like any war, its aftereffects still resonate and burn.

Some things I really liked about this book were the relationships between characters, and understanding why certain characters became the way they are, without condoning what they do. I'd tell more, but that would be spoilery.

There is a mystery to solve, magic to discern, and a world to set right. Luckily, there will be a sequel, because it's too much to do all in one book!
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on September 16, 2013
Bones of Faerie is a hauntingly, beautifully written book that combines dystopian and fantasy genres in a gripping, spooky, good vs. evil story. The war between humans and faeries is over, but the world has changed dramatically and negatively. Technology is gone. Trees and flowers can have deadly powers. Sinister shadows lurk, ready to strike. Fear and distrust of magic and faeries remain as legacies of the deadly battles. Any human suspected of having even slight faerie qualities, like clear hair color, can be banned or executed. When Liza starts having visions of the future, she flees before anyone finds out, or worse, her magic brings disaster to her town. Liza's journey changes her. She learns that history is tainted by being only one perspective, there are several sides to every accounting of events. Matt, her companion on her journey, shows her that her abilities are not inherently evil. It is how she chooses to use them. She also learns that she is not alone, there are many like her. Liza decides to enter the faerie world. Although the story drags in parts, and the ending is predictable, there is enough action, and there are enough interesting characters, to hold the interest of reluctant readers. Fantasy lovers and dystopian lovers will eagerly move on to the sequels.
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on January 5, 2013
I have heard wonderful things about Bones of Faerie, so I decided to pick it up. I didn't realize, however, that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. This makes Bones of Faerie completely different from other faerie stories on the market today. Even though I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't transported into a beautiful, magical realm, the story itself was still good and I think we will get to see more of Faerie in future novels.

Even though I liked the characters in Bones of Faerie (particularly Allie), I am not strongly attached to them yet. I wouldn't describe Liza as a kick-ass heroine, even though she is brave. There is just something missing, which would take her from likable to lovable. Since there is quite a bit of history between some of the older characters, I expect that the more time I spend with everyone, the more I will love them. Bones of Faerie is a pretty short read, so it is hard to get to know the characters as well as I'd might like to.

My favorite part of the novel was defiantly the plot! I like dystopians and I love faerie stories. I am typically hesitant with post-apocalyptic novels, but a post-apocalyptic world wrapped in magic worked really well for me. Part of the draw is that different areas of the world live very differently when it comes to magic. Seeing the rest of the world with Liza was great for the reader because it was new to both of us. I like learning with my characters, rather than having to figure out things they already know since authors sometimes do not explain these things.

Bones of Faerie is nothing if not unique. I have never seen dystopian and fantasy blended together in such a beautiful manner. While the characters are good, it is the plot that makes the story stand out. I am still hoping to see a really cool faerie world and hope that this will happen in future novels.
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on October 27, 2014
Bones of Faerie was a great read I could not stop once I picked it up. The world building was powerful and the characters were great. After reading this book it reminded me of Lois Lowrys' The giver, which told a story without having an information dump to explain the world or what was going on. The Bones of Faerie story and world unfolded beautifully and ended well. This story can stand alone for those who do not like series or it can be the beginning because it has two more books. In my case I love a good book series, so I already have the second and third book from the library.
What I loved most about this book is not the magic and fairies, it was the main characters', Liza, story. She ran away to protect her town only to go on a journey to find and save her mother. On the way she endures many visions and trials that lead her on her own path of self discovery and the inner enlightenment of the difference between right, wrong, and all the silver magic in between.
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on January 28, 2014
Recommended by a 7th grade student, I was not disappointed.
In fact the combination of a post-apocalyptic world and a traditional dark and dangerous depiction of faerie, makes it an excellent read.
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on March 4, 2009
Many years before 15-year-old Liza was born, there was a great war between humanity and Faerie. It caused devastation on both sides, and Faerie hasn't been heard from since. However, danger still lurks in the shadows.

Liza's community has learned to survive by keeping to themselves and guarding against the magic that remains. The residents battle against thorny plants and crops that resist being harvested. Venturing into the surrounding forest especially after nightfall is greatly discouraged, since the "living" trees threaten to attack any who pass them. However, the trees and plants are not the only major threat. For some, a child is considered the greatest enemy.

After the War, there were reported incidents of children born with the traits of Faerie and developing supernatural abilities that ultimately destroyed their families --- a tragedy to which the community is no stranger. As decreed, anyone who appears to have Faerie traits is "cast out."

Liza understands that the rules put down by her strict (and abusive) father are meant to protect them and their community. However, she is haunted by the horrific death of her newborn sister Rebecca, whom her father left on a hillside to be "taken back by the Faerie." Then her mother suddenly leaves. In the midst of her guilt and confusion, Liza begins to have vague yet powerful visions of the future as well as the past --- a trait of the Faerie. Determined to find answers, Liza sets out on a journey to locate her mother and discover who she really is.

Joined by her friend Matthew, a boy who understands the destruction magic can cause, and her beloved cat Tallow, Liza sees the horrific remnants of war (including what happened to the victims) and uncovers the terrible truth behind the War and a surprising family secret.

Post-apocalyptic fiction, fantasy and science fiction novels have been around for centuries, but BONES OF FAERIE fuses familiar genre elements into a story that is as intriguing as it is disturbing. Literary allusions and echoes of historical events are seen and felt throughout, helping to create a mysterious world that readers can easily step into. What's surprising is that the story takes place in the near future in North America, even though it could be set in another time and location. Exploration of certain characters' motives, however, is at times limited, making it difficult to truly understand the uncertainties and hopes that they may have. Whether or not this factor is done on purpose, there is a possibility for a prequel or companion novel. Readers will get lost in the haunting vision of BONES OF FAERIE.

--- Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle
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on January 5, 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book. It casted a new light on the world of faerie, keeping me guessing and never really knowing where it was leading. I loved how it caught my attention from the beginning and continuously throughout the book. I would recommend this to anyone who has a interest in faeries.
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on October 6, 2014
I enjoyed the singular premises of the book. I liked it because it is NOT your moody-lost-faerie-princess-finds-her-hidden-powers-inherits-her-destiny-and-can't-decide-between-two-love-interests-story. I found the main character' s confusion and fear believable and the post-war world bleak but facinating. I have yet to read both sequels.
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