The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ivy
Author: Jeffery Cook & Katherine Perkins
Publisher & Pages: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 197 pages
Audience: Young Adult
Blurb: Lots of girls play Fairy Princess when they're little. Megan O'Reilly had no idea the real thing was like playing chess, guitar, and hockey all at once. Megan had known for a long time that she wasn't an entirely typical girl. But living with ADHD—and her mother's obsessions—was a very different thing from finding out she wasn't entirely human. Somewhere out there, in a completely different world, her father needs help. There's a conflict, revolving around Faerie seasonal rituals, that could have consequences for humanity—and if Megan's getting the terminology straight, it sounds like her family aren't even supposed to be the good guys. As she's further and further swept up in trying to save her father, Megan may be getting too good at not being human.
Highlight: Great imagination and use of descriptions for a fantasy world.
Caution: Large sections of exposition dialogue that’ll pierce your head and give you amnesia.
Highlight: Fast paced action to keep the story and characters moving.
Caution: The beginning reads faster than your brain can process.
Review: When I first pick up a book and read the summary, I gauge whether I would like to dive into its pages for more and uncover its secrets. Reading the blurb for Foul is Fair, I had a simple interest in its contents and what visual descriptions it would provide. Unfortunately, my thoughts on the matter never changed.
I found Foul is Fair difficult to get into, like a confused child at the end of the wharf wondering if it’s worth it. Despite being mentioned in the blurb, Megan having ADHD is an insignificant aspect of the story, and although I prefer not to compare, it is a Percy Jackson meets Alice in Wonderland coupling.
The beginning seemed extremely fast paced, with minimal solidarity in the scenes, however, Megan’s scattered brain and distracted thoughts may have contributed to this. This writing technique captured Megan’s confusion due to her medication, or lack of it. This is a great way to draw the reader into Megan’s state of mind, however, at times it’s overbearing. Especially when large sections of dialogue describing the world clash with Megan’s scattered and distracted mind. But when the scattered thoughts dominate the scene, it’s difficult to concentrate on the issue at hand.
Amongst the fast paced scenes and scattered thoughts, you’re introduced to other characters who give Megan history lessons on the Faerie world. The Faerie world is vast and forever expansive which is amazing, but the amount of information dumped in one sitting is overbearing and a serious case of ‘TMI.’ Once you’re past the cramped and intense beginning, the story flows better when the real journey starts. The proportion of description, action, and dialogue makes the scenes easier to follow, and information on the world and its creatures is put on a drip feed rather than released like a sabotaged dam.
This is also the moment my interest and curiosity spiked. Each character took their part in both action and dialogue, propelling the story forward, but unfortunately, Foul is Fair is missing its edge. Foul is Fair may follow some heroine tropes that provided cohesion amongst the chaos, but fell short on unexpected twists and special highlights, to really make Megan and her journey to maintain seasonal stability a sensational blast.
When the curtains closed, the characters are still blank canvases decorated with a vague outline, rather than a clear idea of who they are and what you could expect from them in the future. Frankly, the Claiomh Solais, the item in which the band of mysterious characters had to retrieve, possessed a sharp edge and more clarity than Megan did.
Foul is Fair may have been a hard hike uphill in the beginning, but it certainly plateaued afterward with no easy and exciting run downhill. With a vast world of various beings and well placed descriptions and world building, paired with lack of character depth, Foul is Fair is simply that, a fair read.
Star Rating: 3 stars
Available in: Paperback, and e-book.