Wicked Nix starts out as the whimsical story of a woodland fairy who is up to no good but has the best of intentions. He brings to mind Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream — he is wonderfully awful and charmingly mischievous, and, for some reason, we know we won't be able to resist delighting in his misdoings, even as members of his enemy party: people.
Nix himself narrates the story of his experience with a human intruder in the fairies' forest, describing the impish tactics and spiteful threats he uses while attempting to drive the "tallish and oldish and baldish" man away. The truth is, though, that Nix lacks in the wicked magic he professes to have, and he fears the fairy queen who has left him in charge of the forest. The sordid tricks Nix uses to deceive the cottage-dweller into believing he does possess charms never sit well with him, and we begin to see that Nix is not exactly like Puck. He dreams of glory and feigns an overblown pride, but he has an empathic heart of gold and a deep-seated fear that we cannot help but want to quell. Eventually, we learn that not only is Nix not foul, but that he may not be a fairy at all. (From HarperCollins)
- Jonathan Auxier's favourite Canadian book of 2018: Wicked Nix by Lena Coakley
- The best Canadian YA and children's literature of 2018
From the book
There is someone in the forest.
It isn't the sound of one branch hitting another in the wind. It isn't the sound of a tree-pecker. It is the sound of someone who doesn't belong.
I climb higher in the old oak until I can see over the tops of the trees. I look in one direction all the way to Grandfather Mountain. I look in the other directions all the way to the village where the peoples live. Nothing seems wrong. Below me, the green forest sways in the wind. The crooked road winds through it like a scar.
I scan the road, up and down. I hate the idea of a people on it, but that is allowed as long as they keep moving. No. There is no one.
From Wicked Nix by Lena Coakley ©2018. Published by HarperCollins.