Distiller: Brittney Jenson
by H. D. Gordon
Aria Fae is a 17 year old halfling warrior. Her mother has recently died and she's been completely cut off from the faerie life she knew and banished to the human world for the role she played in helping out the faery realm. Now she has to deal with all the difficulties of being a high school student while she tries to find a way to survive alone in the cold, drug ridden, Grant City.
Fortunately she stops a school bully and ends up saving Samantha (Sam) - a 15 year old genius hacker who's also hurting from the loss of a loved one. The two team up and with their powers combined they start digging into the city's drug issues one vigilante attack at a time. It isn't long before they get noticed by all the wrong people and Aria has to decide what she's willing to do and how far she's willing to go to protect her new found life.
This story read like a super hero novel. Aria Fae is gorgeous, ferocious, and a little bit of a bleeding heart, feeling driven to step in and help out anyone in need regardless of the personal consequences. Her friendship with Sam and their friendly banter was fun, her crime fighting was great, her snark with her hottie neighbor was comical, and I liked that there were at least a few adults in the book who were good, caring, helpful people (I feel like a lot of teen fiction is lacking decently caring adults). The overall storyline was solid.
With that said there were a few things in the story that didn't work out great for me. I felt like Caleb (one of the hotties) was too good to be true, he was a flawless human, rich, gorgeous, generous, kind, forgiving, honest, etc. I had a hard time connecting with him and a hard time buying his romance with Aria.
I also felt like there was lot of redundancy in the book. We read multiple different times about how Aria is finally able to go to sleep without crying, and about Aria fighting the blackness of depression, and about how the Peace Keepers, that she used to work with, would be furious about the novice type mistakes she was making. I would have been happy to hear about the sleeping and the depression once, and if she really was this amazing warrior that had been trained her whole life I expect her not to make multiple silly mistakes.
Also I didn't realize until nearly the end of the book that this is a spin off series. Mostly it works fine as a stand alone, but there is a character introduced toward the end of the book that I felt like I needed a touch of a back story to really understand the interaction between the two characters.
All in all I like the premise of this story, and I loved the strong females, but a number of things felt a little too convenient for me and I had a hard time completely immersing myself in the story.