Starling

Starling - Lesley Livingston *Genre* YA Speculative Fantasy*Rating* 3-3.5*My Thoughts*Set in present time New York City, Starling follows the story of Mason Starling a star fencer on the Gosforth Academy team. Mason's whole world is thrown into a bit of chaos after she and her brother Rory, coach Toby Fortier, Calum Aristarchos & Heather Palmerston, find themselves trapped in Gosforth's gym and at the mercy of creatures known as Draugr who suddenly appear during a bizarre storm. (Draugr are ancient Nordic warriors who have been reanimated FYI). The storm also heralds the arrival of a very naked boy named Fennrys Wolf who comes to their aid and captures Mason's imagination. I have been informed that Fennrys Wolf first appeared in Livingston's Wondrous Strange trilogy (which I have not yet read) where he served as a Janus Guard of the Samhain Gate that served as a portal between our world and the faerie realm. His appearance comes along with the fact that he has absolutely no memories of his former life, or how he ended up in NYC, and apparently, he's also at the center of the prophecy which would lead to the arrival of Ragnarok (Apocalypse).I have to say that Starling has a pretty interesting opening scene as well as the last chapter of the book that left me hoping that I can get a hold of the sequel called Descendant soon. The story follows not only Mason, but Fennrys, Calum, and Rory Starling who made my blood boil each and every time the story came around to his point of view. I went from loathing Heather, to actually feeling several emotions towards her when she clearly shows she's not a bad person and may even be a possible ally of Mason's.Normally I talk about the main character of the book and why I liked them, or not. However, in this case I think Fenn more than makes up for some of the slower aspects of the story. He's a pure mystery that slowly gets exposed by Rafe (Anubis) and seems intent on sticking by Mason's side and protecting her from various mythological creatures like the drauge, mermaids, river goddesses, and hellhounds. Not that Mason needs total protection since she's handy with a sword. Mason isn't a bad character per se. She's definitely goal orientated in that she wants to be a champion fencer and join the National team. Her family is one pile of hot mess and if you were looking forward to hating someone, then you need to look no further than Rory. There are so many family secrets that Mason knows absolutely nothing about, that you want to somehow find a way inside the story so that you can leave her little cookie crumbs of information along the way to enlighten her into her families machinations, especially Rory and her father Gunther.Overall, a decent start to the trilogy? and I am definitely looking forward to seeing where Livingston takes the gang in Descendant. Published August 28th 2012 by HarperTeen