Source: ARC via VOYA
The dragon slayer designation obviously belongs to Emma Jones, what with her top combat exam scores and famous dragon-slaying mother’s legacy. No one can dispute that fact until Curtis Green, the relative newbie at Burtonwood Academy, snatches the coveted title right out from under her nose. Assigned as a fairy slayer instead and humiliated with the job of chasing these little winged critters around shopping malls, Emma is quick to jump to action when a large dragon-like creature is seen attacking a school bus, bypassing the school’s meticulously placed and calibrated wards in the process. Well, no one can actually see this gargantuan and evil-looking creature besides Emma and her archenemy Curtis. As she sets out to eliminate this threat, Emma unearths secrets about her deceased mother and the history of the elemental creatures’ descent into her mostly blissfully oblivious world.
Now this is the type of YA paranormal story that actually delivers in both pacing and originality. The world-building occurs right alongside the story, which just keeps rolling along after Emma discovers the elusive attacker almost no one else can see. As a stand-alone novel, the author did a remarkable job in wrapping up the conclusion by answering questions and simultaneously leaving a few threads untied. The writing style is not overly sophisticated, and while this doesn’t subtract from the overall flow of the novel per se, it left something to be desired.
Onto the characters: both the main and side ones are multi-faceted and actually have personalities -- from horoscope and techie-geek Loni to betting and pet cockroach-obsessed Trevor. Emma and Curtis’s interactions are cute in a slightly gushy way, whereas Loni and Trevor have a seriously hilarious rapport going on. These four are adorable. Simply adorable.
Fairy Bad Day is a unique combination of boarding school life and paranormal creature-slaying teens told in a snarky narrative that makes the novel quite a joy to read. I will be looking into other books by Amanda Ashby.