Wings is my favourite faery story of all time. This was my fourth re-read of the book, and I can promise you now that it never gets boring! The world will completely suck you in and the folklore is different to anything that is normally portrayed in faery fiction. Aprilynne Pike has somehow made this stunning and complex world that absolutely leaps off the page. Laurel’s story is so dear to me and I can’t wait to continue re-reading the series and reviewing my thoughts, because I first read these books in 2011 when YA was still very new to me.
Laurel is one of my absolute favourite protagonists of all time. I love how she’s able to logically think through a situation and manages to stay calm under pressure to protect her friend. Although she’s going through a really strange and confusing time – finding out your a faery after a humongous flower blooms on your back has to be pretty weird, right? – she keeps her cool and actually goes to someone for help! Three cheers for communication!
David is one of the sweetest boys you will ever read about. He’s so damn charming, and he really cares for Laurel with no secondary motives at all. I love how he’s completely accepting of Laurel’s situation and we don’t have to sit through 20 pages of a freak out scene. Tamani is the third member of the love triangle, and this boy captures my heart every time. He’s pretty much my Jace Wayland before I found the Mortal Instruments series, just without the whole self-loathing thing. Again he cares for Laurel extremely and I there’s more of a mystery surrounding him because he’s been watching over Laurel all her life in the human world and they share an intimate past from her time in Avalon.
But my favourite character is probably Chelsea, because she’s so bubbly and the perfect addition to the group. She has a much stronger role in the later books, but in her introduction you get a real feel for her enthusiasm and kindness. Chelsea is literally the model best friend. Secondary characters are just used to effectively in this series, and I love them as much as the mains!
Even for experienced YA readers this love triangle won’t put you to sleep. Yes, there’s angst and it’s slightly cliche at times. In fact, on a secondary read the boys persistence is a lot more concerning to an 18 year old Bee than it was to a 14 year old Bee that didn’t really understand why ‘I’ll wait to become something more’ was problematic. But, oh my goodness, I overlook this, because the boys are so sweet. I think it’s one of the most successful love triangles I’ve read, because Laurel’s making her own choices no matter what. Romance isn’t a particularly large part of the plot in this book, and the boys are mostly used to represent the two sides of Laurel’s personality. So, at the end of the series, it boils down to Laurel’s self-discovery facilitating which boys she realised she’s in love with.
Plot and Pacing:
Wings introduces the key plot points: sentries, the hierarchy, trolls, magic and the powerful controversies that cause serious disputes later on in the series. As for world building, I can only say that it’s AMAZING because I’ve already read the series, but when it comes to Avalon we only get a look through the gates. However, I think this series is perfectly paced. Laurel’s discovery of the fae world is slightly hesitant, so of course she’s not going to be overwhelmed straight away. Wings focuses on introducing the characters and the main issues, and the way we learn more about the faery world as the series progresses is one of my favourite things about these books!
The plot is enticing, with just enough tension to build to the climax of the story that comes relatively late in the scheme of things. You get a really good feel for Laurel as an individual, but also how she works in team with her friends and family. Wings has so many twists and turns which perfectly blend the contemporary and fantasy genre to create a really magical world. I mean, where else do you get to read about school dances and all guns blazing show downs in the same book?
I would seriously give Wings more than 5 stars if I could. It is a story that I will read over and over again, guaranteed!