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Readers Advisory: The Boy with the Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset

Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 trade, ISBN-10 1402292562, December 2014

Selkie Stewart has just saved her quasi-boyfriend, Ben, from a fairy prison run by the Seelie Court. If they weren’t the two most-wanted individuals in the Otherworld before, they definitely are now. Along with Ben and the rest of their ragtag group of allies-Selkie’s ogre aunts; a wizard named Will; Ben’s cousin Safford; and Kelsey, Selkie’s best friend-Selkie is ready to embrace her destiny and bring the Court down. Until she hears the rest of her prophecy: Benedict le Fay will betray you, and then he will die. 

Skylar Dorset closes out her Otherworld series (at least, this storyline) with a grand adventure to stop an apocalypse of Fae proportions. Dorset hits all the right notes for an urban fantasy featuring faerie creatures, from a magical clock that keeps its own time to an Unseelie Court visit to cursed objects. Of course, the big question is not so much whether Selkie will save the world but whether Benedict Le Fay will actually betray her and die, and more importantly, whether they’ll wind up together either way. After Ben ditched Selkie at the end of the first book (The Girl Who Never Was), she’s learned not to trust a Le Fay.

As in the last outing, shades of Doctor Who and Alice in Wonderland give the proceedings a delightfully screwball cant. Dorset has a gift for illogical logic and for snappy dialogue. Although the plot is a bit jumpy and the resolution comes out of left field, the characters and pacing more than make up for it, as does the romance. While it’s not conventional these days to write a two-parter–trilogies being the norm with quadrilogies increasing in occurrence–the length feels perfect, and hopefully Dorset will return to the same world with new characters.

Recommend to: Urban fantasy fans, readers who like a bit of silliness

To buy or not to buy: A good choice where the genre is still popular

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