Headed to the big city for a summer internship, Marny Fanalua is glad to leave her hometown and its creepy connection with the Realm of Faerie behind. Drastic heroics in Feyland are what her friends do — she’s just trying to figure out where she fits in the real world. Livestream gaming star and entrepreneur Nyx Spenser isn’t sure why he’s able to create incredibly realistic simulations straight out of the game of Feyland, but he plans to share his crazy new talent by opening an all-ages hangout called Club Mysteria. As the boundaries between the human world and the dangerous Realm of Faerie weaken, Marny and Nyx must forge an alliance to repair the damage he’s done—before it’s too late.
Bubby: Go put on your lava lava! Turn the heat up to 80! We’ve decided to have a tropical island heroine themed week. Who cares if we live in the land of pine trees and canyons? Where you can’t plant your vegetable garden until the middle of May? We’re going to pretend that we’re on an island, with sand between our toes, a flower tucked behind our ear and the balmy sea breeze blowing through our hair. Marny is the perfect book to kick off this week of warm because our main character is of Samoan descent. Ah, Samoa. I’ve never been there but it’s on my bucket list.
Sissy: Too bad that I’ve been there. Neiner niener! The book Marny does not take place on an island, in case you were wondering. It takes place in some generic futuristic city in the US as well as the Faerie Realm, which is more flowers and foresty than tropical. But as Bubby explained, our heroine is proudly Samoan and sometimes feels like a fish out of water amongst the pale-faced city dwellers. I loved that Marny is Samoan because we rarely get a main character from Polynesia. It’s also nice to have a woman protagonist who is proud of her tall, big-boned, strong and beautiful body.
Bubby: Don’t forget the kinky hair. It’s mentioned quite a bit. I have spent many hours gazing at and playing with the long thick flowing hair of my Poly relatives and I’m so jealous of their hair!
Sissy: We have a nephew who is Samoan and a niece who is half Samoan, as well as various relatives who have Māori and Hawaiian blood. Yes, they are beautiful and yes, people look at me and my short fair-skinned self and think that I can’t possibly be related to them but I am. Get over it! Plus Bubby was born in the Fiji Islands and I was right there changing her diapers. Our brothers like to wander about in their Samoan lava lavas (see picture below with our various island attire-one brother was away in the Phillipines and Bubby was still a sparkle in her daddy’s eye…). Now that we’ve established our legit island connections, tell us what Marny is about, Bubby.
Bubby: Yes, oh great diaper changer. Marny is book 3 in the Feyguard series. If you’re not familiar with the Feyguard and Feyland books, take a look at our past reviews (here, here and here) and then go read the books because they are so good! I firmly believe that this latest installment by Anthea Sharp is far and away the best Feyland/Feyguard book that she’s written. The characters are complex and intriguing and the descriptions, especially of the Faerie Realm are so descriptive and detailed that I feel like I am right there in the magical forest.
Sissy: Author Anthea Sharp does such a good job in contrasting the slick, high-tech futuristic feel of the real world in the city of Newport and the more formal, otherworldly, dreamy with a dark edge Faerie land. She seamlessly moves the reader from one world to the other and weaves the whole plot together with great skill. Our heroine Marny is so clever and and sharp but she doesn’t realize at the beginning of the story what great power and potential she has. It’s great to see the growth in her character as the story progresses as well as watch how her relationship with Nyx Spencer unfolds.
Bubby: Ah, Nyx.
Sissy: Hey, that’s funny because his real name is Onyx. Ah, Nyx – Onyx. Get it? Ha!
Bubby: Ha. Moving on. Nyx and his sister Emmie (short for Emerald – their parents have issues) are also great characters. They are real, with problems and foibles, but they are both genuinely likeable and I found myself hoping through the whole book that Marny and Nyx would fall in love. Do they? SPOILERS! Several other characters from past Feyland novels also make cameo appearances as the story progresses and it’s fun to see how their characters have evolved. All in all, this newest installment by Anthea Sharp has wit, charm, heart and just a touch of creepy and scary. I can’t wait for more. And let me tell you – if I wake up in the middle of the night and find that my bed is surrounded by a magical forest, complete with cute fairy animals and red and white spotted mushrooms, I’m running out of there and selling the house. No visiting the Faerie Realms for me!
Sissy: So boring. Marny is my very favorite of the Feyland books. I thoroughly enjoyed the great writing and the character development, all wrapped up in some spiffy technology and magic. We so loved the inclusion of a Samoan heroine that we’re going to feature Marny’s favorite treat, Samoan coconut bread, in our next post along with a few of our other favorite island eats. Can’t wait to taste them and can’t wait to see what Anthea Sharp has up her sleeve next!