October 20, 2012

Review: Flicker, by Kaye Thornbrugh

Author: Kaye Thornbrugh
Title: Flicker
Series: Flicker (#1)
ISBN: 9781477479292
Publisher: Amazon Digital (February 25th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.

A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.

Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her” GoodReads’ blurb

This is to be one of those books where, no matter how hard I try, I can’t bring my point across in a sufficient manner. But I’ll try:

Flicker is AMAZING!

Look at the cover and check out the summary: it looks like a top-notch fairy tale with your classic romance thrown in, right? At least, that’s what I thought when I got a request to review this title. The theme is right up my alley (see my raving comments about Iron Fey, by Julie Kagawa) so of course I accepted. And, you know what? I was right, and I was so very wrong at the same time.

I’ve mentioned Iron Fey and that was on purpose: if you liked that series, as most everyone I know has, you’ll love Flicker. We’re talking THAT level of quality. But we’re talking something more, something beyond a faery tale with a princess ending, and that was clear by the time I was half-way through the first chapter.

Flicker is the story of Lee. It’s the story of Lee and Nasser. But it’s also the story of Nasser, of his relationship with his brother and his past. Of Filo. Of Alice.

You see, the characters, the way Flicker was built more like a choral than like your average YA romance, it was what pushed this story out of 4 star territory and straight into full stardom. Because it’s easy (in a manner of speaking, of course) to write good leading characters, to develop their feelings and their pasts and they relationships. But it is very, very hard to achieve that sort of detail, that level of feeling with the support cast—to the point where it no longer reads like support cast. Filo Shine truly worked his particular brand of magic with me: his rough exterior, his broken psyche, the glimpses of hope into a different future. A better future.

I’d love to keep talking about characters, but then I’d run out of space to explain the worldbuilding, which is pretty neat too. See, I mentioned Filo’s particular brand of magic: that’s because each character has a special talent, a way for their magic to manifest. This doesn’t really limit what they can do, but it does add a lot of color to the story.

Not that the plot needs much color to stand out. There are several personal lines (which are the ones you’ll have to read the book in order to discover because I’m not spoiling) and there’s one other external event that kicks into motion the moment Nasser frees Lee. Flicker’s fairies are the good old kind: the kind you really don’t want to cross. The kind you can’t trust. The kind that ignores morals. That’s what made me like them. But, and this is what sets this particular fairies apart... there’s also room for real goodness in there, just as there’s room for real evil.

All storylines come to a close by the end of the book, but it’s not the kind of close where you feel you can just turn your back and march away. Stuff is solved, but questions arise concerning the consequences of the characters’ stunts, of the new faery political maneuvers. The characters make a sort of peace with themselves, but it’s the kind of shaky moment where you really, really want to see where their next step might take them—because it has the potential of fixing everything or taking everything apart. So, I was overjoyed when I heard that there’s going to be a sequel, that we’re going to be back in Flicker’s world.

I cannot wait to read more about Lee, Nasser and specially Filo, and Kaye Thornbrugh has made it to the shortlist of authors whose works I plan to read, to the last book.


  1. I can't wait to read this book! It looks like such a good read I'm going to have to convince my guy to add it to my Christmas list :) Great review!
    -Kimbedrly @ Turning the Pages

    1. It's definitely a worthy add to a Xmas list! I bet you'll like it. Thanks for the comment, Kimberdrly!

  2. I.Must.Have.This.Book.Now! This is going to be on my wishlist. SOunds so good, Iron Fey series did you say? Hell ya! Loved it and I am pretty sure I will love this one too Ron. Great great review. x


    1. Hahaha! I knew it was the right cue... Specially because it's a deserving one! I hope you get the book and enjoy it lots, Lalaine!

  3. Wow, that's some recommendation! So if I had to read on Fey book, should it be this or The Iron Fey?

    1. Gah! This is hard...

      Okay, Iron Fey are amazing... which means that, when you do get started, you'll have to read all four books (and possibly two novellas) in line. So, if you're short on reading time, Flicker would be the obvious choice! If you don't mind the committment, though... Toss a coin? ;)

  4. Comparing it to the Iron Fey would have been enough for me, but everything else you've mentioned just served to convince me further that I need to read this as soon as possible. With such quality writing (seriously, Kagawa level) and the questions it leaves you with despite the nicely wrapped up ending? Well, you don't come across something like that very often.
    Thanks for the review, Ron!

    1. I went into this title with hige spectations, and somehow Kaye Thornburgh managed to surpass every single one of them! I think you'll love this one, because while it's fey romance, it's quite deep and the characters are just amazing.

      Small warning, though--since I know you're a linguist like me and it might drive you nuts--: the copy I got (which may or may not be an ARC... I can no longer remember!) had a couple of typos. Easy to spot, not really bothersome, and didn't keep me from falling in love with Filo, though.

      (Yes, me and my loving of secondary cast...)