- File Size: 1760 KB
- Print Length: 250 pages
- Publisher: DSP Publications; 2nd edition (January 1, 2016)
- Publication Date: January 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01HLYKIP4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#366,253 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #485 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Romantic
- #709 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
- #4882 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Gay Fiction
|Digital List Price:||$6.99|
|Print List Price:||$16.99|
Save $11.61 (68%)
Haffling (The Haffling Book 1) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Racing through New York, blundering into a fantasy realm with all its crazy rules and games it is one wild ride with the boys as they wrestle the good versus evil theme. Some moments had me laughing out aloud. Right, "the frog croaked"! But there is a lot of depth in the story too. Alex struggling with poverty, his crazy mother, and keeping his sister from being snatched away by foster care are such touching parts of the story and I thought realistically told. I really feel for this sixteen year old boy forced to grow up way before his time. So glad he has Jerod who became the hero toward the end of the story. And now the ending which really threw me off. I am not saying it was bad. It was just not what I expected. I just felt the whole story was slightly let down by the last 17% of the plot, but this is purely personal taste. I was expecting the ending to be more climactic after an excellent 83% of the plot. However, this does not deter me from enjoying this truly engrossing and remarkably well written fantasy. Highly recommended for those of us who want a great fantasy different from the norm. And I hope there is much more to come in this series. Maybe the 2nd book is on Adam!
Author – Caleb James
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 250
Cover – Great!
POV – 1st person, one character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
Haffling is like nothing you have ever read before. It's fantasy, contemporary, romance and weird all rolled into one. And it's fantastic!
At first, the book starts with quite a lot of information, but trust me when I say that it's needed. There is so much we need to know before throwing ourselves headfirst into the story. We meet our MC Alex through his 1st person POV, which I normally don't really like, but this story was written so well that I barely noticed. The usual problems with 1st person – not being aware of gender, age, appearance or having an overload of explanation about all three in the first page – were absent here. The way that we were introduced to Alex felt natural, gave us the information we needed up front and allowed us to feel placed into the story without feeling like we'd entered in the middle of something we couldn't understand.
When it comes to characters, I loved how diverse and interesting they all were. Alex and Alice were the first two we got to know – showing us their small, hectic world that whittles down to having nothing but a roof over their head, welfare and charity to survive, because their mother is schizophrenic and can't take care of them. Their lives are so lacking in wealth, love and even safety that I immediately felt concerned for their futures and what they'd been through before we entered the story. Then we slowly learn about their past and all the struggles they've survived until now, as well as their current dilemma of having to deal with their mother going AWOL so often.
Their mother, Marilyn, is actually much more interesting than you'd think, because she doesn't get a lot of page time. She's got an interesting psyche and a very huge part to play in the story, despite the fact that she's not in it a lot. And I can't explain why, but I promise you that it's important and very intriguing.
Next up, we meet Jerod. He is the super cute crush that Alex has been harbouring in secret, until suddenly Jerod meets him outside Alice's school, where his own little brother Clay (also a very interesting addition!) goes to school. Jerod is the stereotypical hot, flirty, charming and popular kid. Except...there's nothing stereotypical about him. He is, in fact, so much more than what he first appears. Especially in terms of his slightly homophobic girlfriend, Ashley. (cough *beard* cough)
Things really picked up when Alex discovered the world of Fey, which kind of proved his mother wasn't schizophrenic, but in fact able to see a world that no one else knew existed. The incredible attention to detail and imaginative world building really soared here, leading us into a world that was still somewhat familiar but also incredibly new and exciting.
Here, we discovered more about Alex's fairy Nimby, who shouldn't exist where she is. And, although we don't get an obvious answer to this, Alex does figure it out in his thoughts, until it makes a whole lot of sense. There's also May, who is the biggest troublemaker in existence, who speaks in riddles and lays vocal traps for everyone she talks to. Through her, we learn about Katye, May's sister, who has a really good part in the last half of the story that impacts everything! Also in the Fey world are Liam – hottie and interestingly jealous of Alex and and Jerod – as well as the mysterious Cedric.
The entire story, while having so many characters important to the story, never feels over-stuffed or complicated. It's a whirlwind of an adventure, right from page one to the very end, and keeps that momentum to a tolerable level without leaving us readers feeling the tailspin of too much action and no time to breathe in between.
On top of all of the genius writing and characterisation, James covers some seriously heavy topics – poverty, mental health, schizophrenia, coming out, coming-of-age and the prospect of having nothing but family to begin with and risking the loss of that family. But what makes this story so incredible is that there is a whole lot of believeability, in amongst the humans scenes, plenty of fantasy in the Fey scenes and still, it manages to cover these topics frankly, with with compassion and care. There is no judgment between the characters or an imagined prejudice or judgment from the author. There is only depth, trust and truth as the worlds – both human and Fey – are explored with intricacy.
Most of all, I have to say that the very best thing about the story was the romance. Alex and Jerod together were truly something fantastic and beautiful. Their chemistry was palpable and so strong that it was amazing to see the ways that it really transcended all the struggles, craziness and chaos that they went through from beginning to end.
The ending was fantastic, though I hesitate to mention anything about the last 30% because it's a huge spoiler. But I can guarantee that it's incredible and answers all of my questions, while leaving me excited to read book 2.
“Today on Sadly, Alex is still gay, has never been kissed, has a crush on a straight boy, is going to get pulled into foster care, is probably going to lose limbs to a crazy fairy, and just leaned that he might not be human.”
“Haffling” is a brilliant YA novel, and special to me because Caleb James (the YA alias for author Charles Atkins) gives us a gay teenager, Alex Nevus, for whom being gay is the only thing in his life that’s NOT a problem. The dark setting for this book (the first of a series, I was glad to see) offers echoes of Suzanne Collins’ amazing “Gregor the Overlander” series. Alex and his sister Alice, and their schizophrenic mother Marilyn live in the un-trendy (i.e. poor) part of the East Village. Alex manages, through his own wit and calculation, to keep hearth and home together—just barely. Until one day he doesn’t.
Just as the whole world begins to tumble down around him two things happen to Alex: he realizes that his secret high-school crush, Jerod Haynes, actually knows who he is; and he falls down a rabbit hole into the world of Fae during a desperate search for his mother. Jerod, whose life is apparently the opposite of Alex’s in every way, is unwittingly drawn into the Nevus family’s nightmare. What is so remarkable about the book, among other things, is the way James takes the typical high YA school trope of the quiet gay loner and the popular jock and turns it on its head.
The action is fast, and Alex’s agile mind has to race to keep up with the shifting realities around him. Few adults can be trusted, but not because they are evil. Adults are part of the system, and are just as trapped in that system as the supposedly helpless children are. In parallel counterpoint, the Fae of the unseen world are beautiful but vicious, particularly Queen May, who looks like Glinda but has the heart of Emperor Palpatine. The loose cannon in all this the handsome Jerod, who finds himself dropped into a world he’s never even imagined, and yet understands in a way that Alex himself would never have expected.
Of course, for all the bravery and heroics that surprise and inspire us as this sometimes harrowing story unfolds, it is ultimately love that is the true magic in the tale. Just as in J.K. Rowland’s Harry Potter books, the love we feel for those around us is not to be dismissed.
This book ends solidly and neatly; but there is an open door for a sequel that, if it lives up to the expectations given by this book, should be memorable.
Most recent customer reviews
Alex, 16 year old boy holding his family together, his schizophrenic mother and sister Alice.Read more