I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Title: The Queen’s Gift
Author: T.R Allardice
Published: December 15, 2014
Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen’s Gift–an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen. After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they’re willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean’s family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that’s known to lead to madness in order to save her family. Jean’s greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there’ll be no wishing the Queen’s Gift away.
Jean and her family moved to Tokyo to start again and she convinced her parents to allow her to enroll at the Preternatural school even though she has no powers of her own. She uses slight of hand tricks like Houdini to fool everyone though not everyone is fooled. When white creatures start showing up around town and being seen by Commoners (people who have no power), Jean is pulled into chaos. She has no idea whats going on, The Assembly wants to bind her powers, her parents won’t talk to her and she is an outcast in school for being friends with a Ghoul.
It’s a typical high-school drama story but with a hint of magic throughout. There is a love triangle but it disintegrates by the end of the book (which I’m fine with..I liked Spider more anyway). Jean came off as being very naive and annoying but she had great other qualities. She stuck by her friend, Karen the Ghoul even though everyone else was too scared of her ( I mean she will eat you if she became hungry enough but she adds in humor and wit). The main issue I had with that relationship is that Karen is bulimic and Jean knows about it and knows its wrong but feels like she has no right to question her friend on what she does with her body. It then gets pushed to the side and doesn’t really come up again in the story. I feel like that is a rough issue to bring up in a teen book and then for Jean to ignore it and not be brought up again is wrong (don’t know if that’s the right word to use…wrong). I don’t know if the author plans on bringing it up again in the next book but it felt out of place in the story. There was so much going on in the story itself and to bring in an eating disorder that affects a lot of young girls might have taken it too far and I just worry how it will play out in the later books or if it will be ignored? I hope that it won’t be but we shall see. Spider and Michael are the boys and of course one is another outcast but a Fey while the other is the school jock and is beyond beautiful. You KNOW who Jean falls for first! (rolls eyes) I felt like the foreshadowing was a little weak and there really wasn’t any twists that surprised me at the end except maybe one when the blue ball of light showed up.
This was an enjoyable short book and teens would like it and it’s a good one to start out with if you are new to the YA/Fantasy world but it’s not quite my cup of tea. I felt like it was too high school drama for me but if you are into that, then this is the book for you!