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Review: Faye and the Ether by Nicole Bailey

Faye and the Ether by Nicole Bailey

Faye and the Ether
Nicole Bailey
Published October 27, 2020

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About Faye and the Ether

For as long as I can remember, the sea has called to me, luring me to explore the secrets hidden beneath its cresting waves.

Faye is tossed into a current of uncertainty as she deliberates over her college choices. More than anything she wants to study by the sea, forever chasing the line where the ocean meets the horizon. But she finds herself dragged down by the riptide of her and her mother’s financial restraints. How can she be true to herself when anchored by her world’s limitations?

As the leader of the deadliest group in the Ether, Daron is at the top of his game. Yet there is one thing he’s failed at time and again–finding the human-raised Ether. It’s a known fact amongst his team that success on that particular mission would change their lives in unimaginable ways. Yet Daron couldn’t comprehend how true that was… until he saw Faye.

Guided by Daron, Faye enters a world she never knew existed. One filled with mythical creatures, struggling to coexist. As Faye wrestles with where she fits in this magical realm, secrets are revealed that turn the tide once more.

Inky darkness is seeping ever closer. Can Faye and Daron work together to save Ether and themselves? Or will the world be crushed under a wave of evil?

From author Nicole Bailey comes a young adult adventure filled with magic, intrigue, and the inner well of strength that flows through us all.

My Review

Especially at the beginning, this book reminded me a lot of the book OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks. (I liked the Syrena Legacy books, so it’s a good comparison.) I also liked that the story didn’t follow things I expected, both in the way the plot unfolded and in some of the story elements. For instance, I liked that Faye didn’t turn out to be quite what I expected.

Faye also turns out to be a powerful character, and she learns a lot about her power from another woman. I liked that she shared a bond and learned strength from a female character rather than from Daron.

I also like that the romance in the story doesn’t go the way I assumed since it’s a dual point-of-view story. The romance seemed to emerge really quickly, though. Like, there’s a conversation where one character basically says to another, “I need to talk to you about the fact that you’re in love with X.” And I was like, whoa, wait, what?! It’s possible that I overlooked clues because I assumed that a different romance was in the works, so that could just be me.

There were some scenes toward the end, though, where things moved really fast, and I felt like there were some gaps in the narrative that left me confused about what was going on. I felt like I was missing some understanding about the setting (At one point there was a ship approaching another ship, but not a lot of visuals there or anything to distinguish one ship from the other.) or the actions the characters were taking (In one confrontation with enemies, suddenly a character is bound, but there’s no description of that happening.).

I kind of wish there had been more to the magic system, too, but that might just be because I tend to be a fan of the kind of system where magic requires an exchange of some kind, and that’s not the system in FAYE AND THE ETHER. The magic kind of felt too convenient sometimes, I guess.

Other than those few things, though, I enjoyed the story. I particularly liked Faye’s character and her journey toward discovering her strengths and her role in the Ether. I loved the connections between mythology and the Ether, and especially loved that it focused on types of characters that I don’t see a lot. Reading a dual point-of-view story that didn’t follow a traditional romance arc was really cool, too.

I think if you enjoyed the Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks, it’s worth checking out FAYE AND THE ETHER.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

One major character is gay. Faye’s best friend Merri is mixed race. In the Ether, people are separated into groups based on what their Ether form is (there are centaurs, birds, selkies, etc.) and there’s some racial tension and prejudice between groups as well as some homophobia.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two boys. In one scene, the two boys go beyond kissing and it’s hinted that they have sex.

Spiritual Content
References to the gods in the Ether.

Violent Content – Trigger warning for rape, torture, and homophobia.
References to torture and rape. One scene shows soldiers whipping a bound captive, torturing him.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of FAYE AND THE ETHER in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support running this blog.