Betrayed by her mother, Val shaves her head and runs off to New York City, where she falls in with a group of street urchins who live in the abandoned tunnels of the subway. Not long after she arrives, she discovers that things aren't quite what she always thought they were and that an entire magical underworld exists.

Val finds herself bound into the service of Ravus, who is that rare thing: an honorable troll. As Val gets to know him, she is torn between two worlds—that of the Faerie and that of her new friends, who are being destroyed by the Never, a Faerie drug that gives human users a glimpse of what it can be like to be not-human, just for a little while.

While the book is at times heavy- handed, Val and her friends are fully developed characters that the reader comes to care deeply about. Black creates a realistic world, populated with all sorts of creatures. While it's intended for older teenagers, this book will appeal to adults as well. (Jun., 320 pp., $16.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs