Never Contented Things by Sarah Porter
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Summary from NetGalley:
Seductive. Cruel. Bored
Be wary of…
A Novel of Faery
Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries—until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.
First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price—and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.
ARC provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley for an honest review.
I really liked this book, but I’m not sure I can tell you why. It is a very dark and complex story and the ending was nothing like what I expected.
The story is split up into parts and each part is told from the perspective of one of the characters, Ksenia, Josh and Lexi. They have very complicated relationships to each other. Ksenia and Josh are foster siblings who have lived together since they were young. Josh has an unhealthy obsession with Ksenia, and this obsession is what drives the whole plot. He can’t bear that when she turns 18 she will have to leave their home, possibly the town they live in, and that it is possible that he will never see her again. This is what drives him to make the bargain with the Fairies. Ksenia loves Josh, but as a sister and although it pains her that they will be separated she can’t bring herself to let Josh down. Lexi is their friend who gets caught up in the whole situation, and who eventually saves them both.
I liked Ksenia, although she was hard to like. She doesn’t let many people in to her private life, and I can understand why. She had a hard childhood and her first forays into the foster care system did not go well. Her current home has been good if not exactly loving. She truly loves Josh, but not in the way he loves her. And even though she tells him this, she still gives him hope that when he is of age, he is 2 years younger, she would consider a relationship with him. She unwittingly feeds into his obsession with her.
Josh was harder to like, his obsession with Ksenia was creepy and so unhealthy. Plus he is the whole reason why they find themselves in the situation they are in. But by the end of the book, I at least felt sorry for him, and I wanted the best for him.
Lexi was my favorite character. She was certainly the strongest of the three. She did not put up with Josh’s obsession and called him on it more than once, about how unhealthy it was. She was also able to be objective about what was happening and was able to outwit the Fairies because of that.
The Fairies were unlike anything else I have run across. They were horribly cruel, but in such ways that it was sometimes painful to read. They took delight in pitting Josh and Ksenia against each other, and in destroying the town they lived in. The changelings were also different than other stories I read.
The plot was very original I thought. I don’t want to say to much because it is the best part of this story. It is very dark and disturbing at times, but it was also hard to put down. The world building and the writing were of course excellent.
I don’t think this book is for everyone. If you liked Vassa in the Night then definitely give this one a shot. If you like dark and disturbing then you might give this a try. But be prepared for an ending that will make you sad but will also leave you satisfied.