A review by erraticelle
Lava Red Feather Blue, by Molly Ringle

adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced

4.0

 Lava Red Feather Blue is a cute and light read with some humorous moments that kept me entertained and interested throughout. Though billed as an adult fantasy, I would classify this as a new adult read as Merrick, one of the protagonists, appears a bit immature for his age and felt more of an early twenties character than near thirties. Based on content, it is a bit above the level of an average YA read, though more mature readers of the YA audience would do fine with it.

The writing was good and comfortable for me. I found it adequately descriptive, though I could have used a bit more world-building and physical character descriptions. This was particularly true for me with regard to the fae world. However, I did very much appreciate the inclusion of different species and their customs. Also of note was the attention to modern conveniences as experienced by Larkin, who had been in a magically-induced sleep for over 200 years. The address of his exposure to technology was both realistically and humorously handled.

The relationship between Larkin and Merrick is cute and fun. It is a bit instalove-y in the fact that it is fairly predictable, but the progression of the relationship is well-handled and interesting. Their interactions gave me a few good laughs along with some warm fuzzies. Their banter was particularly fantastic.

In fact, the majority of the characters and their interactions were great, with Merrick and Larkin being particularly well fleshed out. The only characters that felt extraneous to me were Merrick's sibling and niece, who provided a relationship for Merrick, but not much else. They did not appear to serve the plot in much of a substantial way and could have been utilized more. This also may have helped to expand the importance of Merrick's involvement in the perfumery. I found the occupation interesting, but there wasn't a lot of exposition explaining what he did or showing how they did it. It would have been a fun inclusion for me.

The author handled diversity and LGBT+ representation wonderfully. Unlike a lot of novels with rep, diverse sexuality does not take center stage in a way that works as a plot device, it simply exists as a matter of course. This was pleasantly refreshing and I appreciated the lack of a heavy hand.

Though I enjoyed the world and would definitely be keen on exploring it more, this novel is a standalone and it does well as one. The plot is constructed nicely and the pacing is great. There is enough action to sustain the narrative from beginning to end. The ending is good and wraps up nicely. I will admit that there is some convenience factor in the final pieces of exposition, but it was fun to read and had a very satisfying resolution. Definitely recommend, especially for readers of light fantasy or those who wish to introduce themselves to fantasy.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *