Review: War for the Oaks

War for the Oaks - Emma Bull

It was OK, just OK. The narration is somewhat annoying, which makes the characters somewhat annoying, but the action sequences make up for that. I can't fault this book too much, though, since it's the first its kind and therefore, like most pioneering writing pieces, reads more like a lengthy writing exercise than a book.


The story is about a young woman with great musical aspirations--she wants to start her own band—who stumbles across a fae war and gets recruited. She does get to put a band together all the while helping her fae "friends" take back—and this is where I can't stop laughing—Minnehaha Falls for the fae court. It's one thing to read about other cities getting bombarded with and pillaged by otherworldly creatures, but it's another thing entirely to read about your own hometown as a battleground.


Since I mostly read stories set in far off places (and imaginary worlds), it's a little unsettling—in a good way—to dive into a book that features Minneapolis... as a secondary character. I would have to say the experience is similar to a mild episode of meta-awareness; you know you're reading, but you can't believe you recognize every landmark (and street corner) in the book. Who woulda thunk Nicollet Mall is actually a bridge between our world and the fae's? Or that fae factions used to duke it out every night right across the street from where I used to live?


Urban fantasy has come so far from its origins that reading this book is like examining a piece of relic recently unearthed from some lost burial ground. It's always interesting to read the book that started it all.