Misrule
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Misrule

Jodi McAlister

The third thrilling book in Jodi McAlister’s page-turning Valentine series.

Things that happen sometimes when your boyfriend is a magical fairy prince: he gets kidnapped by his older brother and whisked away to fulfil his destiny in their magical fairy kingdom.

But Pearl Linford is not having that. It’s time for a rescue mission. Pearl told Finn she was coming to get him and she’s not going to let anyone in her way.

But will Finn want to be saved? And should she have listened to all those people who told her he wasn’t worth saving?

Review

Traditional fairy lore is transplanted into a small-town Australian location in Jodi McAlister’s debut novel, Valentine, and given a thoroughly contemporary spin.

A frightening black horse appears at a seventeenth-birthday party and a guest goes missing. The girl happens to be one of four local teenagers who were all born on the same Valentine’s Day. This opening drama signals the beginning of a series of sinister occurrences in Haylesford: the appearance of unusual numbers of black animals, inexplicable illnesses, projectile rocks and further disappearances.

At the centre of the action are two of the other Valentine’s – highly reactive Pearl, and the object of her hate-lust, schoolmate Finn. After Pearl survives a life-threatening mystical coma with Finn’s help, the two teens attempt to get their heads around an incredible and dangerous puzzle that involves a fairy changeling, mistaken identity and warring fairy factions.

When so much urban fantasy comes to us from overseas, it’s refreshing to read a story containing so much that is recognisably Australian. Supernatural elements combine well with the stuff of ordinary teenage life: classes, homework, hook-ups, schoolyard politics, Facebook and smartphone use. A large cast of characters in Haylesford keeps suspicions accelerating and stakes high. I particularly liked the warm depiction of Pearl’s unconventional family life with her older brother and sister. This is one for readers aged 13 and over who love a fast-paced, high-energy story with romance, action, moderate amounts of gore and old-school scary fairy-folk.


Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She is also the Grants Officer for the Readings Foundation.

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