BOOK REVIEW: The Fairies' Path (Fate: The Winx Saga #1) by Ava Corrigan
"Their suite was called the Winx suite, which was such a cool name. Maybe they could call themselves the Winx Club?"
Last year I found a series on Netflix called Fate: The Winx Saga. The little preview looked really interesting and so I thought I would give it a try, and did it live up to my expectations! I finished the series within a couple days and the cliffhanger drove me nuts wanting to know what will happen! I started looking up details about the show and story and ,at first, did not realize that it was a reinvention of an animated show (Winx Club) before becoming a Netflix hit, or even before the book was published. Secondly, the Netflix show was created before this book was published. The novel was set to be a retelling of the series but with more backstory, more scenes, more information. I quickly added it to my TBR and have finally gotten around to reading it!
Now, I knew going into reading this story that I would already know what is going on and what will happen since I watched the series, but I was very excited to learn more information surrounding the events taking place within the storyline, as well as learning more about the main characters' lives and backgrounds. Quickly after getting through the first few chapters, this did not seem to be what was happening. I actually felt that with many of the events, we were getting less of the story and plot than what I saw on the show. The story was a very easy read, but felt very rushed, almost quickly put together since the show had a good rating and did well. I am all for books that I have read and loved being turned into movies or shows, and then comparing them for differences, changes, and what came across better. 9.5 times out of 10, I always pick the book as being better! I always feel you have much more time to give background, to give descriptions, slow build character growth, and so much more where you can just feel immersed within the story. However, this is one of the rare instances where the show was so much better to me than the book. Let's dig into my thoughts about this story!
First, let me give a brief summary of the main plot of the story. The story takes place at the Alfea International School where students come from all over the Otherworld to train. Why do they come? To learn magic and to discover how to control their powers. Five students - complete strangers to each other - are assigned as roommates inside the school wall. Aisha, who has control over water to the complete envy of her fellow students, is an athlete and an exemplary overachiever. Terra, who has power over the natural world (which often takes her rivals by surprise), is often an awkward do-gooder. Musa can easily be overwhelmed by the emotions of those around her and appears to be introverted, keeping to herself so she is not continuously overwhelmed. Stella is a princess - yes, a real princess - whose command over light inspires but also intimidates. And then there's Bloom, the newcomer and outsider - the girl from the human world whose uncontrolled power over fire almost destroyed her family. These five teenagers want to figure out who they are. They want to make friends and fit in with everyone else in their new school. But when an ancient, long-vanquished evil suddenly resurfaces outside the castle walls, these five girls are forced to put their powers to the test. And in the process, they'll discover a secret so powerful, it will challenge everything they know about the Otherworld they live in...and themselves.
I will start and say that I never heard of the Winx Club animated show and never watched it before, so I am not sure how comparable the new show, and this book, is to the animation. Truthfully, the book was not bad. It has a really good plot and is full of mystery, intrigue, and magic. If I would have read it before I watched the show, I probably would have liked it even more than I did because it would have been a new story and a new world that I dived in to. Then I would have watched the show and fallen even more into the story and characters. However, I truly felt that the book was just a regurgitation of the show. I did not learn anything new or different and the whole story felt very rushed. Typically it is the show or movie adaptation that feels rushed with missing pieces of the plot that you would find in the book that ties things together more cleanly, but that was not the case here.
Bloom is very much the main character and the center of the whole plot and I have to say she is probably one of my least favorite characters in the story! She comes across as very selfish and does not take others opinions' or feelings seriously. I do not want to give too much away but, like the summary above says, Bloom is from the human world and has just learned that she is a fairy from this Otherworld, which means the parents she grew up knowing and loving are not in fact her true parents. Bloom comes to this school so that she can learn who she really is, where she truly comes from, and she cannot see anything past that. She cannot even fathom that if the adults around her are not being entirely honest or truthful with her, it might be for a good reason. She does not think about the consequences of any of her actions until it is too late. In the end, she realizes that she needs to think before acting, and even apologizes and owns up to the actions that set a series of events into place that could have been avoided.
I love Terra. Terra is thoughtful, considerate, and just wants to have friends that care about her as much as she cares for them. And Terra is quite the badass. You don't think about her power over the natural world being so strong, but that girl can make quite the difference in a fight! I also really enjoyed Musa's character as there is so much there beyond the surface. Her power is over emotions, and even though she can feel every emotion of the people around her, she is also help in times of pain and injury by helping to ease the pain they are going through. Musa is a very quiet character for most of the story and you keep questioning and getting frustrated of why she is so standoffish. Then while her boyfriend, and Terra's brother Sam, is injured and she feels she can't be there to feel his pain, you find out that when her mother passed, she felt her pain and felt her death and she still hasn't recovered from that emotionally. I wish we could have dived more into this! I didn't feel any certain way for Aisha. In one instance she is a tattle tale, and in another one she is the only one that can get through to Bloom, and then finally realizes friends are more important than being an overachiever and steps up to help them. And then there is Stella, the princess of the realm. You start out not liking Stella at all, and then she completely grows on you and I actually felt sorry for her.
In addition to the fairies at the school, there are also a group of students called Specialists. These students are your warriors. They are not fairies and do not have power or any elemental magic. They train, fight, and learn to defend and protect the fairies. The Specialist characters that we read about are Sky, Riven, and Dane. Sky's father died years ago fighting for and protecting the fairies from the Burned Ones. The Burned Ones are scorched, burned humanoid figures that have these claws that, if scratched, can fatally harm the Specialists and fairies. If the Burned One is killed, then the scratched Specialist or fairy can make a full recovery. Riven is close friends with Sky and Dane is a new student that Riven takes under his wing. It is fun to read how they train alongside the fairies so that the fairy can weaken the Burned One in some way using whatever their elemental magic is, so that the Specialist can make the kill shot, or even vice versa with the Specialist using their warrior trained skills. We learn at the end of the story, while the Specialists and fairies are working together to defend the school against the Burned Ones, that Bloom is far more powerful than any of the characters might have realized. And I cannot wait to find out how that is and where she comes from! Why are the Burned Ones after her??
Overall, I’m curious to see the direction the show/book series will take. I am so curious to see how things will play out from the cliffhanger of both the book and show. I hope we delve more into this Otherworld and see more of it as well as its people outside of the school! I hope this review intrigues you, and maybe you would like to give The Fairies' Path a try if you haven't already! It is not often that I feel slightly disappointed when finishing a story, especially when I had high hopes for it, but everyone has different opinions and you may find yourself liking it much more than I did!
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