The Girl who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente
Published: Feiwel & Friends, 2013
Series: Book 3 of the Fairyland Series
Awards Won: Locus YA AwardThe Book:
“September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.” ~WWEnd.com
I have reviewed a few of Valente’s books on this blog so far, and I generally really enjoy her work. Unfortunately, this will be a little shorter than my usual reviews, because it is months delayed and I don’t seem to have written a whole lot of notes.
This series as a whole is following September as she grows up--in the first book she is a child, in the second an adolescent, and in this one she is a 14-year-old teenager. The ideas and problems she faces are also maturing with her. Some of the main topics she struggles with this time include free will vs. predestination, self-identification and purpose, and social responsibility. I enjoyed the new realizations September comes to as a result of her journey, but it seemed a little more meandering than the first couple of novels. In addition, while September does a lot of talking, thinking and wandering, she has more of a passive observer role in the main adventure. Part of that might be due to the fact that the conflict of the story is much more nebulous than dethroning a marquess or a shadow queen.
As usual, September travels across a new area of Fairyland, meeting varied new creatures, such as moon-yeti, oyster cities and self-aware tools. Her old friends A-through-L and Saturday are also much more involved than they were in book 2, and it was nice to see them again. Valente’s writing was as lovely as usual, though I think that the flowery language coupled with the slower-moving story might make it a little more difficult to get into than the previous novels. In general, if you thought the writing style of the first two books was charming, this one is pretty similar. One other thing that I rather enjoy about Valente’s Fairyland is that it is not limited to children-- September doesn’t have to give up her magical world when she becomes a teenager. Rather than teenagers putting away childish things, it is refreshing to see a story where a girl and her dreams are allowed to grow up together.
My Rating: 3.5/5