Book Reviews

[review] Starling – Lesley Livingston

Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: ARC received from publisher

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school.

Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name–the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason’s world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn’s identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them.

When they discover Mason’s family–with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods–is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Tell Me More: If there’s one thing Lesley Livingston does well, it’s smart and sassy adaptations of European mythology. Starling is just as enchanting as the Wondrous Strange trilogy, and highlights Livingston’s charming writing style just as well.

Mason Starling is–dare I say it?–the Livingston heroine to the letter. She’s clever and capable, with a touch of the strange about her. Even without having read the synopsis, it’s clear from the first chapter alone that Mason is a mystery even to herself. On a related note, I’ve always found it interesting that paranormal stories mirror the unpredictable nature of adolescence. Mason isn’t an easy character to know, and the reader discovers her identity the same way she does, through action. Livingston takes her readers into a new world, with unfamiliar rules, and it’s only through actually participating in it that you can begin to unfold the richness of that world and its people.

Starling is an extremely lively novel, and the pace is rewarding for readers who don’t like a lot of exposition before getting to the exciting parts. As you find out about Fenrys and the supernatural conflicts that awaits Mason, the story is deepened with just the right amount of details to help flesh out both worlds. I will admit that I was wary of what Fenrys would be like in this story–he had never felt quite real to me in the Wondrous Strange trilogy. But from his outstanding entrance to the very last page, he is a solid and believable person and the right kind of partner for Mason to have on her journey. There’s a very real sense of that partnership throughout the entire story. They complement each other and best of all, neither of them are afraid to tell each other off. The development of their relationship is realistic and understandable, and it never takes away from the focus of the plot.

The Final Say: The Norse gods may have already made their comeback with Thor and Loki, but Starling can certainly give both boys a fight to remember. Young women will find an admirable heroine in Mason, who never fails to remain interesting as well as dangerous. 

About Lesley

Lesley Livingston is a writer and actress living in Toronto. She has a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in Arthurian literature and Shakespeare. She is the author of Wondrous strange, which won the Canadian Librarian Association Young Adult Book Award in addition to being a White Pine Honor Book, as well as Darklight andTempestuous.

Add Starling on Goodreads | Follow Lesley on Twitter @leslivingston | Visit Lesley’s website

Order Starling from Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters

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4 replies »

  1. I really enjoyed this one too! I haven’t seen much about it on the blogs but I can’t wait for the sequel. I loved the Norse mythology and I really, really liked her oldest brother!!

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