Author: Megan Curd
Series: Bridger #1
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Genre: Paranormal YA
Source: Provided by Author for review
Ashlyn McVean doesn't believe in fairy tales. That is, until Ashlyn is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago. After finding out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, along with navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam. As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn't enough, her new abilities mean trouble for Liam. Knowing her new life puts everyone she loves in danger, Ashlyn must decide what's most important in her life between friends, family, love, and ultimately, realms.
Bridger definitely starts off with a ton of action. On the first page, Ashlyn's Dad is dying, and the scene is complete pandemonium. Then within moments of her Dad's death, Ash slams a 6'5", 200lb man up against the side of a truck and holds him by his throat. Then Ash's Memaw yells at her and they fight about family legends and history and Ash decides to take a trip to Ireland with her best friend. Then Ash disobeys her Mom's wishes on the day her dad dies and goes over to her friend Reese's house, where she eats some eggs (which she's allergic to) and has an allergic reaction, landing her in a coma in the hospital for three days...and then there is the question of her ever changing eye color...is it black? green? bright blue? And what does all this mean!?! THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON! lol.. To be honest, it was a lot for me to handle (and that was only the first 30 pages). I felt like everything that happened could have been dealt with over 100 pages or so, rather than 30. In fact...there was so much action in this book, and SO many characters that I feel like the first book alone could have been like...3 books to themselves! Every chapter there was something or someone new popping up so it felt like you were on the edge of your seat the whole time. Despite all of the action, I found myself becoming a little bored...it was a constant barrage of images and characters that never got pieced together so I found myself struggling to get through it.
Some things I totally adored were the side characters. There was such a crazy mix of them! There was definitely something going on with someone at all times. At first, I really really didn't like Memaw, but I knew there must be SOMETHING underneath the surface of her coldness towards Ashlyn. Eventually I thought she grew into a really interesting and driven character. You got more and more attached to her as the story progressed and I really liked all of the family-lovey-bonding stuff that went on. I also LOVED the McVeans in Ireland! They were so rowdy, loud, and funny. They kind of reminded me of an even bigger Weasley family with extra jibes, jokes, and awesomeness...if that is even possible.
Liam, the love interest, was very cute. I love that he was awkward around Ashlyn from the beginning, and then they had lots of good conversations (apparently...we don't actually get to "hear" these conversations...) Liam and Ash's relationship did move a little too fast for my tastes. There was an initial spark, then they hung out for a few hours talking, then all of the sudden they started making out and professing their love. Seriously?? I mean...there are fast love stories and then there is Bridger...It was like a romance on steroids on fast forward...I really didn't like that. Also the fact that Liam totally switched love interests after finding out that Ashlyn was part fae really didn't speak well for his character... and I was also a little irritated by the love triangle at home when there didn't seem to be a clear reason to need one. This book was the prime example of cliched YA love triangles and not the good kind...
Curd's portrayal of Changelings was a very unique one. The rules for her fairies/changelings/humans were definitely none like any I have seen before, and even the very concept of a Changeling was altered to be more original. For example, in traditional Fey myths, Changelings are simply sick/weak fairies who have been left behind in place of a healthy human child. The fairies do this to improve their bloodlines, create life, etc...however, in THIS incarnation...Changelings actually infest a human child like a parasite, then slowly take them over during a period of months, then somehow( the mechanics of the event weren't very clear) the child was transported to Faerie to be the Changeling's slaves, leaving the actual hideous Changeling behind in the child's bed to confront the anguished and confused parents. Though there was a few blank areas to this kind of a changeling...it was indubitably original and interesting. I would have liked the process to be a tad more fleshed out at points, but overall I found it to be kind of cool.