Okay, this is going to be a new thing here. Every week, I’m going to do my darndest to get through an Indie book – small press or self-published – in a vain attempt to add some publicity to an already flooded web. Every Friday, I’m going to put my thoughts on what I’ve read here. Hopefully, it helps people find some good reads for themselves.
I’m starting with Flicker, because this one really is kind of an expectation-shifter. For all of you who think everything self-published is dreck, think again. Flicker’s a modern fantasy in which our Protagonist, Lee, gets taken into a mystical realm of faeries.
Lee’s an interesting character, and I have no doubt that Thornbrugh put a lot of herself in there. There are multiple facets to her personality, and she reacts very differently to different situations. Thornbrugh does a great job of keeping the wide-ranging Lee feeling like a real teenage girl, and not a cultural stereotype of what a real teenage girl could be. Props to her for that; I don’t think I could have pulled it off.
The world Flicker inhabits is much darker than your average girl-taken-to-magic-world story. Faeries are dangerous, and they don’t actually care that much about humans. She is tolerated, not welcomed, and her struggles to make her way through the world make for an excellent read. There’s romance here, between Lee and a Seer named Nasser, who has his own issues. The romance is handled well; both sides are awkward, fumbling idiots when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex, which again feels much more realistic than your average novel about a teenage girl.
At least, it lines up with my own teenage experience. Enough is said about that.
The real moment this book started, for me, was here: Lee is given the option to return to her mortal life, and she comes very close to taking it. Upon confronting the mortal world, we really get an insight into the character, and her dealings with people.
If what you’re looking for is a character-driven story grounded in realistic behavior (in the midst of magic and faeries and other cool stuff, of course), then Flicker is a good way to lose an afternoon.