Review: Golden Girl - Sarah Zettel
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel
Series: American Fairy Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
Published on June 25, 2013
Published by Random House
Read From: 11.27.13 - 11.29.13
Callie LeRoux is not in Kansas anymore. . . .
She's put her harrowing trip from the depths of the Dust Bowl behind her. Callie's life is a different kind of exciting now: working at a major motion-picture studio in sunny California, she meets powerful executives and stylish stars every day. But she's still determined to complete the mission that brought her out west, no matter who, or what, stands in her way.
With help from her friend Jack and guidance from the great singer Paul Robeson, she will find her missing mother and maybe, just maybe, meet her father for the first time. She knows he's a fairy prince, and she is the heir to his throne. And her magical powers are growing, making her a huge threat to her family's enemies from another fairy faction. Hollywood is their territory, and they sense that Callie, the long-hidden child of prophecy, is finally within reach.
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I'm not a fan of the cover art, because there is a character impersonator. But I do like the color scheme and that it at least is sticking to a theme - in other words, the covers for Book #1 and #2 match!
Characters: Callie and Jack are still really awesome. Callie is smart and sensible and fits the era perfectly. Jack is loyal and quick-witted and has a great sense of humor. And while I definitely didn't like (i.e. trust) Shake in Dust Girl, I actually did trust him in Golden Girl. I'm not sure why, since he really is totally untrustworthy, but I honestly believed he had Callie's best interests mostly at heart. Whether or not that trust was well-founded - well, you'll have to read the book to find out. Ivy was unbelievably fun to dislike, though at times I did pity her. I never trusted her, though, and I totally understood Callie's urge to slap her sometimes. A prim and high-minded girl, she was just horrid. The one thing that bothered me was I believe Ivy was supposed to be about Callie's age, but I kept picturing her a lot younger due to her behavior, and I'm not sure that the Reader was supposed to.
The Romance: There is undoubtedly a future romance in store for Callie and Jack, and I don't mind it. They're both such favorites and so good for each other, I think it will work out perfectly fine.
Plot: Having escaped her UnSeelie relatives, Callie and Jack have traveled to Hollywood - straight into the heart of the Seelie Court's kingdom. The most dangerous place for Callie to be, as she's hunted by both fey courts because of a prophecy surrounding her. But Callie is determined to free her parents from the Seelies, even if it means dying in the process. Amid the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, it's hard to tell who is human and who is fey, and even harder to tell what is magic illusion and what is real. Maybe I'm just used to it now, but Golden Girl didn't seem as weird as Dust Girl. I've never been a fan of the idea of taking the fey world out of the British Isles and putting it in America, but it's accomplished remarkably well in this trilogy. None of the magic of Faerie is lost, and the Author presents her Readers with downright spooky and amazingly enchanting imagery. In truth, this has to be one of my favorite fey trilogies! Golden Girl is slightly less fast paced than Dust Girl, but it doesn't detract from it at all. There's still plenty going on, lots of mystery, and lots of magic. I only got a tiny bit annoyed when the plot took a turn so obvious that I had to wonder why the characters (Callie specifically) didn't see it sooner. But it was a minor annoyance, and didn't destroy the plot in any significant way.
Believability: Not applicable.
Writing Style: First person, past tense. Callie's narration voice is so perfect for the era and the story. I really enjoy reading her perspective.
Conclusion: So the climax was a little weird and unexpected. I loved the battle of wits between Ivy and Callie; it was the sudden appearance of a giant dragon that made me quirk my eyebrow in puzzlement. I just didn't see that coming. At all. I'm actually really sad that there's only three books, because this trilogy just keeps getting better. I really enjoyed Dust Girl, but Golden Girl is even better. Between the characters, the era, and how well the Author portrays Faerie, it's hard not to like it.
Recommended Audience: Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of fey stories!
Others in the American Fairy Trilogy: