Geared primarily for children and pre-teens, F.A.I.R.E.S. (Fantastical, Aerial, International, Reasonably Inconspicuous, Emancipation Squads) is the story of Mellie (12 going on 13) and her adventure of being chosen and choosing to serve the One.
While I love fantasy and read a fair amount of children's and young adult fiction, I had a difficult time getting into this book. In order to show the growth of her character Mellie, the author starts with a self-centered, whiny young girl. Maybe Pearson did a bit too thorough a job in showing Mellie's unflattering side, because I just couldn't find anything about Mellie's character to connect with until well into the story. Mellie's character development reminded me a bit of both Edmund and Eustace from C.S. Lewis' Narnia, but when Mellie was introduced there were no other (more noble) characters to help me stay connected to the story.
Still, I'm glad that I kept reading. About a quarter of the way into the book Mellie's character started to take on a more rounded personality and I enjoyed the development of the relationships within her squad of fantastical being friends. Though I must admit that it seemed odd how Mellie went from being a self-centered twelve year old to acting like a mature sixteen or seventeen year old in the span of four months, the changes in Mellie moved the story along in a way that helped me connect to the lessons she was learning.
Despite the fact that it took some time for me to feel involved in the storyline, Mimi's imagination knows no bounds. As I read I became immersed in a world of strange and fascinating creatures exploring the riddles of dragons and the representation of the One.
Once I settled in to the story I enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing more from Mimi Pearson and her tales of the realm. Her grand imagination will no doubt continue to spark the interest of her target audience as she weaves tales of light, darkness and the One who is above it all.
Thanks to the author for sending me a digital copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
#37 F.A.I.R.I.E.S.: Baptism by Fire Blog Tour!
This is what Rachelle Sperling of Sojourner's Journey had to say about F.A.I.R.I.E.S.: