Chess Raven is a hacker who has grown up with nothing and no one. Her parents died when she was three and her foster care situation turned out badly – very badly. But on her sixteenth birthday, her life is turned upside down. Chess learns her mother was Queen of the Fae and her father was a brilliant physicist. The unique blend of her mother’s fairy blood and her father’s humanity gives Chess – and Chess alone – the ability to unlock a mysterious vessel that will unleash unimagined powers – with devastating consequences.
Thrown into a new world where nothing is at it seems, Chess must work out who to trust as vying forces race to control her. Or kill her. Reunited with her childhood friend Tom Williams, an enigmatic shape-shifting unicorn, Chess discovers love for the first time and is prepared to risk her life for it. But first she must learn to overcome a fear of her own power and stop waiting for other people to save her. She is the one she’s been waiting for.
I found a lot to love about this fun and fast paced fantasy novel and its fierce young protagonist!
Here are some of my favourite things about The Girl who Fell:
The fact that Chess is a reluctant heroine. This is ‘the chosen one’ trope, but with a difference from what we often see in these stories. Chess doesn’t immediately accept her new ‘destiny’, and really struggles with her new powers and responsibilities.
While there’s a battle going on in the story with a definite villain, everything isn’t black and white when it comes to good versus evil. Chess doesn’t automatically trust the people who are supposed to be on ‘her side’, and through her we question the motives of the ‘good guys’.
Chess finds out her mother was Queen of the Fae, making her a pretty important. But she wants more than that. She fights against inequality she sees, and is appalled to see the conditions people are living with while she is offered luxuries.
The Girl who Fell is full of strong women in positions of leadership – not only Chess, but two of her closest allies (probably), and the leader of an organisation trying to get their hands on Chess are all women.
Ok, so this is maybe a minor/shallow thing, but there are shape-shifting unicorns (handsome ones!) – I can’t leave that off the list!
This was a quick and easy read, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Chess in the next two books (out in April and September next year). I gave this one 3 stars and a sprinkle of magical handsome unicorn dust!
*** The Girl who Fell ***
Source: Thanks to Nero Books for sending me a free copy for review (and for the other gorgeous swag in the photo!)
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Read it is you love: Early noughties late night B-Grade sci-fi tv like Dark Angel (this is a good thing! I loved this show!)
Find Chess Raven online here