The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar

Good Fairies coverThis story begins when two Scottish fairies, Heather and Morag, stumble drunkenly through the window of the worst violin player in New York City,  an overweight slovenly man named Dinnie. Arguing over whose fault it is that they are stuck in this unknown city far from home, Morag takes off and ends up in the apartment of Kerry, young artist suffering from Crohn’s Disease who is trying to create the Celtic alphabet using dried flowers and win an Art competition to stick it to her ex-boyfriend. Heather and Morag decide to try and help these two humans they have unwillingly gotten stuck with, while trying to learn to survive in the city very different from their home. In just a short time, they manage to  upset the homeless population, destroy priceless family heirlooms and start fairy race wars, all while trying to help their two hopeless humans fall in love.

This book sat on my “to-read” shelf for awhile before it appeared at my library and I was able to read it. It looked really interesting, and different from the typical fae stories I usually read. Well, it was different–maybe a little too different. I just couldn’t get into this book, despite the wonderful introduction by Neil Gaiman, whose recommendations I typically like. There was too much happening in this story. There were Heather and Morag and their various exploits. There were the other fairies that came to New York with them and were living in Central Park, each with their own backgrounds and stories. There were the fairies back in Scotland in the middle of an industrial revolution, and the rebel fairies trying to “save the middle class.” All of this happened more or less simultaneously, and while it was all very interesting, it was also just too much to take in. I couldn’t get emotionally invested in anyone, since as soon as I became interested in one story, it switched to another.

I did like some of the imagery in this novel, and the way some things were described. I loved picturing the fairies hanging on to the back of taxis and other vehicles as they raced around New York City. Heather and Morag had great attitudes. I loved the way they would get incredibly drunk, throw up, and then say “Not to worry, I’m sure fairy vomit is sweet-smelling to humans” before passing out. And they are punk rock fairies, which are the best kind if you ask me. The fairy industrial revolution was a nice touch too, and certainly an idea I had never read before. And I was impressed by how all the stories came together in the end, even when they seemed like they never would.

This wasn’t a bad book, there were parts of it I really liked. It just wasn’t really for me. Oh well. In other news, my copy of Kevin Hearne’s next book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Hunted, recently arrived on my doorstep, and I’m certain I’m going to like that version of fae. I can’t wait to read it and see what happens to Atticus and Oberon next!

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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