Ballad - Maggie Stiefvater
Published May 5th 2011
"The stunning sequel to Lament. When his best friend, Dee, fell in love with a faerie. James realised she'd never feel the same way about him.
Trying to escape into music, James finds himself surrounded by more faeries than ever. Before he knows it, James is trapped in a dangerous game. One where the only way to win is to betray the one you love..."
It has taken me a full week to claw my way through Ballad. I first read Lament last year, and I have anticipated this ever since. Lament on its own is a fantastic book, and I would recommend it to anybody. However, I have found Ballad to be quite lacklustre. It's one of those books that some will love, while others like myself wonder if Stiefvater was writing for the sake of another sequel.
The cover is quite pretty, and fits perfectly with Shiver/Linger. The book does continue on with the characters that appeared in Lament, and we find out a lot more about James as it is from his perspective. The book is quite long, so you do get your pennies worth.
I am afraid this will mostly be a cons list as I honestly could not take to Ballad. It was like watching paint dry, and I continued hoping it would get better. It did to an extent, although this wasn't enough to save it due to the long hours I spent forcing myself to finish it out of respect for the beloved author.
I found the introduction of new characters to be a little disconcerting, and was unable to form an emotional attachment. In addition to this after a while James became a whiny angsting fool, which I found difficult to read.
The books introduces Nuala whom I found to be selfish and annoying. I couldn't make myself like her, or even find her interesting. In addition to this James' feelings for her seemed to be related to making Dee unhappy, which was unfair and made me dislike him more.
Furthermore, I spent the entire book feeling sorry for Paul, poor guy.
Finally, I think Ballad does not meet up to the high expectations I have. It's well written as all Stiefvater's books are, but the story in Ballad just didn't sit well with me. This is only my opinion though, Ballad has recieved very mixed reviews.
I give Ballad 2 bags of Milky Way Magic Stars