Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ferryman by Claire McFall

Publisher: Templar
Format: ARC
Published: 1st March 2013

Number of Pages: 380
Book: For Review*
Genre: Paranormal, Magic, Urban Fantasy, Mythical, Fantasy, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Claire McFall

“I exist because you need me.”
When Dylan emerges from the wreckage of a train crash onto a bleak Scottish hillside, she meets a strange boy who seems to be waiting for her.
But Tristan is no ordinary teenage bot, and the journey across the desolate, wraith-infested wasteland is no ordinary journey.
Life, death, love – which will Dylan choose?

"I wasn't on the train…  I was..." Tristan's voice trembled and died.  How to say it?  "I was waiting for you…  You weren't the only one to walk away from the crash, Dylan."  His voice had dropped to a whisper, as if he could lessen the blow by turning down the volume.  "You were the only one not to."
Dylan is on the train, on her way to meet the father she's never known.  She's terrified this man will not want to know her or have a new family or be a criminal or something.
She will never find out though.
Why?  Well, because her train crashes in the middle of a tunnel.
She emerges, alone and confused, from the wreckage onto an alien landscape - a deserted hillside in Scotland.
Alone but for one boy - a boy who is sitting, waiting for her.
At first she's overjoyed to see another survivor.  But as it turns out, she didn't survive at all: Tristan is her Ferryman, her guide across the wastelands of the afterlife, and to the After.
And her protector, her guardian against the wraiths - demons who want to steal her soul and make her one of them...
As they journey deeper into the wasteland, can Tristan keep Dylan safe?
Can he figure out why she - of all the souls he has guided - is so different, why she makes him feel the way he feels?
And what will Dylan choose:
Life.  Death.  Or Love?
From the moment I laid eyes on Ferryman, I was desperate to read it.  First, look how shiny and pretty this cover is!  Second, c'mon, how awesome is this premise?  How can you say no to a journey filled with wraiths, ghosts, demons and a hot guide?  You just can't.  Ergo: much excitement for me.  And Ferryman so didn't let me down!  It was amazing -gorgeous, epic, addictive.  I just totally raced through the book, utterly hooked.  Which, obviously, is a very good thing!
The characters... Well, admittedly, there were really only two characters - main ones anyways.  And I loved those characters.  They were real.  They were human.  (Well, y’know, metaphorically speaking for Tristan.)  These two made me laugh - I really, really liked Dylan; she was a great character - strong, caring, brave, determined.  I really admired how composed and calm she was when confronted with everything.  Her compassion and heart was obvious.
As for Tristan...  Well, sue me, but I have a bit of a soft spot for the tortured bad boy types.  Tristan was complex, tortured, smart, funny and protective.  So strong and protective...  I find guys with a protective streak irresistible.  Tristan was no different.  I liked him.  Like, a lot
I also loved hearing Tristan's stories of all his souls - two in particular tugged my heart strings... I liked learning about them - it added a whole new level to the story.  
And I loved the relationship between Tristan and Dylan.  How they started off all distant and moody and distrustful.  And I loved watching them grow together.  It was so sweet and real and touching.  It made me smile.
Ohmigod, the writing was just so beautiful.  Lyrical, gorgeous and so descriptive.  I could see everything in my head.  I loved how we got to read from both Dylan and Tristan's perspectives - it was so cool and I do so love split POVs.  I especially loved Tristan's perspective - it was funny at times.  However, the way it could hop between the two in a single paragraph at times could be a wee bit confusing.
And double ohmigod - this world: oh!  I loved it.  It was freaking amazing.  The best path to death kinda thing ever.  I just loved learning all about it - about souls, wraiths, Ferrymen.  I loved the wasteland - how it was created and controlled.  It was awesome!  And the After - oh how amazing McFall's mind is!  I absolutely adored every single freaking thing about her world building.
The plot was awesome too.  It wasn't action from the word go.  Instead, we got to meet Dylan, get to know her, her hopes and fears.  Just get to know her before she died - which obviously made it all the more horrible and tragic for us.  And then we met Tristan and see the world, felt the suspense, and it got so, so much more actiony!
A beautiful story set in a stunning and horrible place.  A story of love, loss, death, life and everything in between, Ferryman is a book that will have you hooked from the very first page, hooked to every word and storming through the book, 100% addicted.  You know how it is; some books are just so good they have magic.  Now, I know I say that a lot, but Ferryman really was enchanting, with such a unique take on death and the afterlife.  It had amazing characters, a stunning world, beautiful writing and an utterly hooking plot.  And it's such a beautiful story, but one that will tug the heartstrings too.  I dare you to read this and not be moved by that ending.  
 I mean, talk about a hell of a debut novel!  If this is Claire's first book, just gimme gimme gimme her next one ASAP!  I mean, I honestly can't think of a single thing I didn't like about Ferryman - and believe me, I'm trying! It was just too beautiful and mind-blowing and incredible.
So if you haven't gotten by now, I loved Ferryman to pieces and I simply can't wait for more by Claire.  A stunning, stunning debut that left me absolutely breathless.  Stunning.    
So we're back to whoa! and OMG this debut was amazing and kickass!  It you're into fantasy, atmospheric, awesome world books, I can't recommend this enough.  Hell, even if that thing isn't for you, I still recommend it.
And yeah.  That good.

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

Happy Reading
* This book was received from Templar in exchange for an honest review


Lucy said...

I am annoyed with you now because I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MINUTE! It sounds absolutely amazing and so I'm going to try and get it ASAP. Thanks so, so much for writing such a fab review! :D

Shoshanah said...

This is the first I've heard of this one, but after reading your reviews I'm definitely intrigued. Will definitely have to be looking out for this one!