Title: Fairy Metal Thunder
Author: J.L. Bryan
Publication Date: Sept 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Summary from Goodreads:
Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans and no gigs, and they’re going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near-perfect boyfriend.
One night, Jason steals enchanted instruments from the fairy world. Suddenly (with a little help from YouTube) every kid in the Midwest is crazy about the Assorted Zebras.
The fairy instruments drive the crowds wild, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid the supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down, all while trying to finally land their first gig.
I enjoyed JL Bryan’s first book in his Jenny Pox series so I was really excited to try something a bit different from him. I would certainly say that with Fairy Metal Thunder Bryan gives you a different side of his writing, something a little bit lighter than the dark world of the Jenny Pox series.
Fairy Metal Thunder opens up as a nice, smooth going contemporary story about a boy, Jason, who is doing what any teenage guy would love to do…be in a band! While he is in this band he, of course, falls for one of the girls in the band, their lead singer, Erin. The massive problem with this is that she already has a boyfriend and treats Jason just like a good friend. Jason also has protective parents and a cute/annoying little sister to bug him at home. His parents are actually a huge part of this story which shocked me. Most of the time in YA, readers get the classic setting of the parents are dead or don’t care about their children and so they are able to go running around on all of their adventures with no punishment waiting at home. So I actually praise Bryan for not just killing off the parents and letting Jason get away with whatever he wants.
Now the story changes, for the better in my opinion, when Jason has to chase a creature all the way back to a magical world. Once he enters the world of the fae, he quickly catches up with the once small green creature who stole his mother’s earrings. The green goblin is outraged that a human has made it back to his world! Humans are not allowed to know that another world exists and it could mean death at the Queen’s hands if anyone found out. Not only is it bad that Jason is in the world but as soon as he gets the earrings back, he steals the magical fairy instruments that a band left sitting on the stage after performing. This is where the real magic of the story begins because I can’t explain it to you but I have this soft spot for fairy stories. Like I said no clue why but I just love the magical world that they live in and how authors can seem to make any sweet looking fairy be out for vengence in a second flat. I guess the cute but deadly persona of fairies interest me, plus Bryan made it even better by including other creatures and things like unicorns in his story!
Overall, this story was really fun to watch at teenagers try to overtake the music stage by using fairy instruments and it is interesting to see the trouble they find themselves in for what they have done. It was also great to have another cast of characters in the fairy world, I loved those glimpses into their way of life. Plus like I’ve already said I have a soft spot for fairies. So this story was vastly different from the Jenny Pox series and while I still enjoyed it there was just a certain something missing for me. I thought this book was good but there was just a certain spark missing that would have set it over the edge to be a great book or a book that I fell in love with. Since the story continues in another book I think I’m going to have to try book two and see if that book manages to completely capture my heart. This book gets 4 hearts from me.