Very freaking cool. As I've said before, I don't usually enjoy books about the
Fae but I LOVED this one. I've had a lot of luck with YA series as of late and I just picked up this one from the library because I recognized the author's name. I'm so glad that I grabbed the second one in the series, Ink Exchange, since I plan to get into that one tomorrow. I recently saw a review for Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series that said (I need to paraphrase here) that the reviewer's favorite thing about that series was that it didn't talk down to the reader. I'm not sure if I agree completely with that statement in regard to Mead's series but it certainly does apply to this one.
Aislinn (love that name, pronounced Ash-linn) is a senior in high school and can see the Fae just like all the other women in her family. Faeries are everywhere in her town and she has learned how to live among them without attracting their attention - think of the creatures in Pan's Labyrinth. That is, until she meets Keenan. The Summer King, Keenan has been searching for his Summer Queen for years. His mother is The Winter Queen, a cruel and murderous woman, responsible for binding his powers and keeping him weaker so she might stay in control. Keenan needs his Queen to release his powers and help vanquish his mother. Aislinn wants nothing to do with the Fae and wants someone completely unrelated to all this mess, Seth. (I wasn't completely sure how old Seth was; he lives alone in a train car of all things, doesn't go to school, and as far as I could tell doesn't work.)
This book focused mainly on the most integral people in Ashlinn's life: her grandmother, Seth, Keenan, Donia (the Winter Girl), and a few assorted friends, none of whom make much more than a few appearances and then only at school. I appreciated the lack of the high school drama; Ashlinn's friends don't know about her abilities or even the existence of the Fae so they weren't important to the meat of the story. Ashlinn has some serious choices to make that could put her whole future in jeopardy, and with Seth, a slightly older boy who isn't involved in the inanities of high school, her romantic life was more adult but not too adult. Keenan did strike me as someone who seemed younger than he should; why would an immortal being like the Summer King look for his Queen to be someone who hasn't even fully grown yet? It is a YA novel after all, I guess :)