Review: The Landfill War by Luca Tarenzi

The Landfill War by Luca Tarenzi

Title: The Landfill War (Poison Fairies, 1)
Author: Luca Tarenzi
Translator: Kieren Bailey
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Acheron Books (13 December 2014)

Life in the landfill is hard. Between the ever-present danger of the deadly seagulls, problems with finding enough food, and the fights with other fairy tribes like the fearsome Boggarts, it’s a challenge just to make it day by day.
Needleye decides that things must change and so she convinces her friends, Verdigris and Thaw, to help her steal a car battery from the Boggarts.

Winter is on the horizon and the acid from the battery will provide plenty of energy for her people. It sounds like such a good idea, but then again, bad decisions usually do.

How will Needleye’s brother, King Albedo, react to the unauthorized mission? What is Waspider, King of the Boggarts, plotting? And who’s the mysterious fairy gifted with a Glamour that’s different from any other kind of magic Needleye has ever seen?

Find out in The Landfill War, the first chapter in a trilogy about the most ferocious beings in the entire world: fairies!

(Blurb taken from goodreads)

Rating: *** (3 stars)

THE LANDFILL WAR by Luca Tarenzi is the first book in the Poison Fairies series, and my edition is translated from the Italian by Kieren Bailey. The novel tells the story of Needleye, a fairy who lives in a landfill. Life is hard in the landfill, as the tribe Needleye is part of has to defend itself from other fairy tribes and from seagulls, as well as remain hidden from man. A battery has been spotted on another fairy tribes land, and Needleye is determined to claim it.

THE LANDFILL WAR is a really interesting concept; I don’t think I have ever come across a book about fairies that is set in a dump. Tarenzi makes the situation seem normal, and at the same time fraught with dangers. Tarenzi’s take on fairies is also quite unique, as the fairies in this book seem to be a conglomeration of different fairy species.

One of the things I most enjoyed about this urban fantasy is that Tarenzi drops the reader straight into the action from the first page, and it never seems to stop. If you come into THE LANDFILL WAR and expect there to be some sort of romance – which to be fair, does seem to be quite common in this genre – then you will be disappointed. If, however, you are looking for a book that has action and mystery and politics, then I don’t think you will be disappointed with this book.

Needleye is the main character, and the half-sister of her tribe’s king. As such, she is afforded a lot more leeway than other members of the tribe. At times I found her kind of flat, and I wondered about her motivation – my edition of the book is just over two hundred pages long, and although there is some backstory at times I found it difficult to empathise and relate to the characters. Having said that, Needleye is a kick-ass character, and very strong minded. She also has some very loyal friends in the form of Thaw and Verdigris. The friendship between these three characters is basically what carries the novel, and why I enjoyed reading it.

Plot-wise this book has typical first book syndrome; there is a lot of set-up for later books in this series, and not really a lot going on in this book. That being said I think there is a lot of potential for future books and Tarenzi builds a super interesting world, which I would like to see more of. Although there isn’t a lot of plot, what there is, is quite interesting and somewhat of a page-turner as there are lot of twists and turns, and so many things going on.

THE LANDFILL WAR is full of promise, and if you are a fan of the urban fantasy genre then it may well be worth your while to check it out. If you are looking for something a little different from your usual romance-orientated UF, then this may well be the book for you. Although there are a few things that I would have liked to have been explored more, THE LANDFILL WAR is an enjoyable read.

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