Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel

( 4 )

Overview

A spectacular modern retelling of the ancient Scottish ballad of Tam Lin—a beguiling fusion of love, fantasy, and myth that echoes the imaginative artistry of the works of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Kami Garcia

In the wake of her older sister's suicide, Finn Sullivan and her father move to a quaint town in upstate New York. Populated with socialites, hippies, and dramatic artists, every corner of this new place holds bright possibilities—and dark enigmas, including the ...

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Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel

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Overview

A spectacular modern retelling of the ancient Scottish ballad of Tam Lin—a beguiling fusion of love, fantasy, and myth that echoes the imaginative artistry of the works of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Kami Garcia

In the wake of her older sister's suicide, Finn Sullivan and her father move to a quaint town in upstate New York. Populated with socialites, hippies, and dramatic artists, every corner of this new place holds bright possibilities—and dark enigmas, including the devastatingly attractive Jack Fata, scion of one of the town's most powerful families.

As she begins to settle in, Finn discovers that beneath its pretty, placid surface, the town and its denizens—especially the Fata family—wield an irresistible charm and dangerous power, a tempting and terrifying blend of good and evil, magic and mystery, that holds dangerous consequences for an innocent and curious girl like Finn.

To free herself and save her beloved Jack, Finn must confront the fearsome Fata family . . . in a battle that will lead to shocking secrets about her sister's death.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"O, I forbid you, maidens all,/ That wear gold in your hair,/ To come or go by Carterhaugh,/ For young Tam Lin." The sixteenth century Scottish ballad "Tam Lin" has metamorphosed into almost countless songs, plays, and even a movie. Now it emerges again, artfully recreated by debut novelist Katherine Harbour. In this incarnation, its central character is Finn Sullivan, a beguiling 17-year-old who moves to Fair Hollow, a small hamlet in upstate New York with her father after her older sister's suicide. There she falls under the spell of Jack Fata, a member of a hamlet's most prominent family. As she settles into her new home, she learns more about that family and also about the secrets and magic that seem to seem to lurk behind all too many mansion closed doors. A relatively gentle otherworldly tale.

Romantic Times Book Reviews (James Davis Nicoll)
“Influenced by luminaries like Tanith Lee and Crowley, Harbour delivers an excellent, promising debut novel.”
Barnes and Noble Picks for June (James Killen)
“Now [Tam Lin] emerges again, artfully recreated by debut novelist Katherine Harbour.”
Fresh Fiction
“Thorn Jack is highly recommended, particularly for those who like their fairy tales dark, enthralling, and a wee bit disturbing.”
FantasyBookCritic.com
“An engaging and entertaining story, offering mystery, frights, young romance, and a chance to brush up on your mythology.”
Publishers Weekly
05/26/2014
Debut author Harbour finds some new ground in this twisty, contemporary reworking of the oft-retold Scottish ballad “Tam Lin.” Serafina “Finn” Sullivan, haunted by her sister’s recent suicide, is just starting college in bohemian, old-moneyed Fair Hollow, N.Y., when her lakeside encounter with the enigmatic Jack Fata attracts the enmity of his powerful family, particularly the ageless, calculating Reiko Fata. Finn’s awkward and ghost-ridden but growing romance with Jack soon proves inseparable from the machinations of the “children of nothing and night,” especially after she enlists Jack’s help to save classmate Nathan Clare from the centennial Teind. Soon Finn confronts a prediction that she herself will die on Halloween. The climax detonates one too many reversals, revelations, and fight scenes after the lengthy buildup of dreamy mystery, but fantasy fans will find much to savor in Harbour’s delicate, myth-conscious prose. Loose ends suggest a sequel. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (July)
Library Journal
05/15/2014
Finn and her father have moved to Upstate New York to escape painful memories of Finn's sister, Lily Rose, who committed suicide. Finn enrolls in a local college where she befriends Christie and Sylvie, and develops a dangerous attraction to Jack Fata. Jack doesn't go to the college; his family lives in town and throws spooky parties and lures young coeds to their doom. They are faerie folk and dangerous. But Finn can't stay away from Jack and will fight his immortal family for him if she can. VERDICT This retelling of the Scottish ballad "Tam Lin" seems heavily inspired by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and other angsty teen vampire romances but with a more gothic, fairy-tale sensibility. Finn is likable but makes so many bad choices that it's hard to root for her. As a first novel, this shows an abundance of imagination but needs more polish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062286734
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/10/2015
  • Series: Night and Nothing Novels Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 408,959
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Harbour is a bookseller in Sarasota, Florida. This is her first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2014

    Let me preface by saying I don't normally read YA, some of the


    Let me preface by saying I don't normally read YA, some of the standards in it tend to annoy me. That being said, Katherine Harbour did an excellent job with Thorn Jack. The story and characters were so interesting I was able to completely ignore those aspects that I usually find so bothersome.
    The protagonists remind me of people I know, or could’ve known, in college. They’re well rounded, have depth, and are filled with wonderful flaws that make them feel very human and very real. She took a very interesting path with the faeries in the book, urbanizing them, but blending the modernizing with traditional stories. In fact, one of the things I enjoyed was she, subtly, walks you through how the fae (Fata in the book) went from the old stories to the modern. An especially interesting, and enjoyable aspect of the story is how it walks the line between faerie tale and ghost story. That’s a line I had never even thought about existing, and Ms. Harbour crafts that novel idea (no pun intended) into a really fascinating story.
    The characters at times did annoy me at times, but to me that is just further proof of how well developed they were. That being said, I grew to like them all, to care about what happens to them, and I’m eager to see where their story goes from here.

    I don’t like to give away details about the story, I know I prefer to experience stories fresh. So while nothing that follows isn’t really a spoiler, it might give away some things you might prefer to find for yourself.
    Now that you’ve been warned, I do have to give credit for some very interesting features:
    The oracle being autistic was a nice touch, and played very well. The character herself doesn’t appear much, but I found her to be one of the most interesting.
    The way the legend of Celtic Hounds was blended into the fae was a nice touch.
    Silvie could’ve fallen into the trap of too many stereotypes, but the character is saved by a personality that doesn’t fall into the traditional “goth” stereotype. In fact, I could easily see her out growing the affectations and evolving into a very interesting witch/wizard character as she matures.
    I really like the notion of the Jacks and Jills (female version of the Jacks) in the story. A nice touch to bring that old children’s story in.
    I love the misdirection associated with the moth key, and the truth behind its origins.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2014

    Welcome to the Rose Society. . .

    Eelcome to the thorns. Or the Rose society. We are a group of malfettos with abilities. We are Young Elites. Some say we are decendants straight from the gods. Others say we are cursed by demons. On the black market, people sell wooden slabs with intricate signatures of the Young Elite, and belive that if they hung them in their home, the Young Elite would protect them. Not names like Sally or Joe, but their code names. A Young Elite never reveals their own name. We are given names by the leader of a society. Things like White Wolf or Reaper. Star Theif, Spider, the Architect, or Windwalker. Those are just few of many. <p>


    Many years ago, a horrible fever swept through The Sky Lands ad the Sun Lands. The blood fever it was called, for the tears of the ill were tinted pink from blood. Those over 16 mostly doed, nd those under 16. . . Well, they'd like to be dead. They were called Malfettos. People who had markings like a change of hair color or markings on one's skin. People despise Malfettos because of their deformities. And so does the king. The king threw out his daughter many years ago. Not because of envy, distrust, disloyalty. . . But because she was a Mallfetto. Only some Mallfettos have powers. They are called the Young Elites.<p>


    The Rose Society is a group of Young Elites created to destroy the king and his evil reign over the Sky Lands. They will go on dangerous missions, reach amazing feats, and all to over throw the king. You must be tested before you join. You will be tested with crystals to see which gods you are alligned with. Then you will be brought for power training. If you do well, you may join. But if you don't, the leader of the society must. . . Take care of you. Welcome to the initiation of the Rose Society. You are only one step into a world of danger.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Outstanding

    I was drawn to this story when it was compared to another favorite, "the Night Circus". If there were more books by this author I would buy them all. A whimsical mystery that I highly recommend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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