The Last Changeling

360p. Flux. 2014. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9780738740843.
Gr 7 Up—Elora, princess of the Dark Faeries, enters the mortal world disguised as Lora, a teenage runaway. Working to overthrow her mother, the Dark Queen, Elora must find a human offering in exchange for the Bright Queen's alliance before her mother's consort, Naeve, finds and kills her. Elora soon meets Taylor, a high school outcast wracked with guilt over his younger brother's death. Taylor feels an instant attraction, but Elora is simply looking for an in. However, as the two grow closer, Elora must fight her growing feelings for Taylor and her increasing affection for her human friends while she ensnares her offering and protects those she loves from Naeve. Pitcher's tale attempts to draw too many disparate elements together, leaving a story and characters that never feel fully fleshed out. Taylor and Elora's charged attraction is so immediate and inexplicable readers may fail to believe its depth. Other characters and plot elements have potential and address timely topics (the students organize a protest against the school's anti-gay prom policy) that tend to lose steam toward the end. Taylor and Elora serve as alternating narrators, but their inconsistent voices make it difficult to differentiate between them. Those looking for faerie lore will have better luck with Julie Kagawa's "Iron Fey" series (Harlequin Teen) or Melissa Marr's "Wicked Lovely" series (HarperTeen).—Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, La Crosse Public Library, WI

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