On her 17th birthday, Selkie Stewart learns of her magical heritage, parentage and destiny.
Raised by her great-aunts to be anti-social and secretive, Selkie blurts out her birthdate to her crush, Ben, accidentally unraveling her enchanted and illusory life. She discovers not only that she is half-faerie (and half-ogre) and that Boston was built and is inhabited by other supernatural creatures, but also that she is one of four fay prophesied to overthrow the Seelie Court...and that her mother, the queen, wants to kill her. Trading in a lavishly described Boston for a Carrollian Otherworld, Selkie risks murderous parental wrath to save her sort-of boyfriend, armed only with her newfound powers. Selkie’s relationship with Ben feels both artificial and shallow—as do all her interactions with other characters—and their romance swings from PG cuddling to vows of eternal love. Selkie is an unreliable, if poetic, narrator, first dazed by the enchantments and then disoriented by the bizarre faerie court, but she also wavers between childish frustration and adult astuteness in dialogue and behavior. Dorset excels in physical descriptions but falters with an arbitrary adventure and a clichéd faerie self-discovery/romance/prophecy plot.
A decent but unremarkable addition to the flock of teen faerie tales. (Fantasy. 12-18)