Book Review: Nightingale Girl (Sparrow Man Book 2) by M. R. Pritchard

It's been weeks since Meg arrived in her father's kingdom, and life should be great, but she's growing restless and Sparrow is starting to act strange. Meg soon finds out Sparrow's craziness wasn't because his memory was wiped but because he's cursed. In order to regain his sanity, Sparrow will have to go back to the place where they met, and Meg is determined to go with him in order to not let him forget, even if doing so puts her own life and heart in danger.

Book Review: Nightingale Girl (Sparrow Man Book 2) by M. R. Pritchard | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal/urban fantasy, angels, demons
Title: Nightingale Girl
Book Number: Book 2 of TBA
Pages: 228
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book via Kindle Scout. This has not influenced my review.*

I was hesitant to even read this after the first book, not because I didn’t enjoy but because I knew this would have a totally different feel to it. What I loved most about the first book was the quirky, offbeat, feel-good vibe of Meg and Sparrow traipsing through the continent, killing zombies, collecting feathers, and getting to know one another. I was sad when the book changed and took that away from me and introduced certain supernatural creatures into the mix, creatures I generally don’t like reading about. But I am SO glad I decided to continue because I loved this book!

First of all, Meg’s characterization and voice really stood out in a great way. It was fantastic. She grew up in a trailer park with a dad who beat her. She spent her time smoking, drinking, stealing, speeding down roads, having underage sex, and doing all sorts of illegal things. She spent time in juvie as a kid. She likes to party and drink beer to unwind. She’s the opposite of little ol’ goody-two-shoes, bookworm me in so many ways, yet somehow I was able to like her and understand her and empathize with her and even relate with some of her emotions. She also cracked me up quite a bit. And she was a strong person, someone who dealt with a lot but still kept fighting. So I just loved her character.

By the time I reach the stairwell, I wish I had something more appropriate on. I’m wearing nothing but a long T-shirt and underwear. Oh well, I’ve worn less into Walmart.

(I also just really love quotes about Walmart because they’re always so accurate, but I digress.)

In fact, the characters in general were what made this book shine. There really wasn’t much to the plot until the very end, but I was drawn in regardless. I loved seeing the interactions between all the characters and how they were all handling things.

I was surprised that Jim seemed so docile; I thought he’d be a lot more angry considering the things that have happened, but no, he displayed his asshole-ness in a more subtle way by sneering and using words to fuck with Meg emotionally, knowing just what to say—or tell Sparrow to say—to poke at her fears and doubts. I loved seeing how Meg dealt with him (I give her props for even being able to deal with him at all after what he did), and I was always leery of what vile thing he might do next.

I also loved Meg’s friendship with Noah, and Noah himself totally won me over. He may not have been a typical “knight in shining armor” kinda guy, but it was clear that he had always cared about Meg and still did, and he ended up being really lovable.

I am kind of worried though, like Meg, that I won’t like Sparrow’s “normal” because his quirkiness was what I loved so much about him in the first book, and that was another reason I was hesitant to continue, but he still wasn’t entirely normal in this book because of the situation, and my love for the other characters made up for the differences in Sparrow.

“Cool threads, man.”

Sparrow whistles something that sounds like a blue jay call. The guy at the counter looks confused. I should tell him not to mind my man, who has apparently decided to communicate with birdcalls.

I was also intrigued by the whole Hellion thing. I don’t know, like, they’re awful, but they have this crazy lair stocked with alcohol and blood and chains and a pool table where they hang out and then they go off during the day and do mysterious Hellion stuff, all while wearing leather and flying around with leather wings. How is that not intriguing?

I don’t even know… I just found so much about this book intriguing. I don’t have any other word for it. The whole book had this kind of oddly surrealistic yet realistic feel.

I was also super glad that the book was really focused on the characters and not about *SPOILER (for Book 1)* angel-demon fighting, *END SPOILER* which is what I had thought it would be about. And I was glad it was set mostly in *SPOILER (for Book 1)* Hell rather than Heaven because Heaven is great, of course, but Hell is just so much more interesting to read about. And this author has the most unique, interesting, original version of Hell I’ve ever come across. *END SPOILER*

I also cracked up a lot, what with Meg’s thoughts and her interactions with Noah and even just the way *SPOILER (for Book 1)* they were in Hell and Meg was Lucifer’s granddaughter but they spent their days bird watching and playing cards. *END SPOILER* And hearing about how Noah got all the food was kind of funny but also kind of horrifying and I wasn’t sure how I should feel about it lol.

“Never wore dirty underthings like this for me, Meg.”

“I couldn’t afford that shit when we were kids.” I pull a gray top from its hanger. I didn’t have a bank full of money until I turned twenty- five.

“What’s there to afford? It’s just string.” Noah closes the drawer. “I could go get some fishing line and make you something.”

But I also really felt for Meg. She’s this super tough, thick-skinned, been-through-shit, not-emotional kind of girl, but, somehow, she was never cold or emotionless either. And seeing her actually feel heartbroken just made me feel for her even more.

The only negative thing I have to say is that all this stuff started happening near the end, and I just couldn’t quite make sense of all of it or all the characters’ parts in it. Like why Clea kept being so cryptic and didn’t step in to help if she knew everything that was going on and wanted Meg and Sparrow to be happy together. Or how she could have known that the random things she did would lead to the desired outcomes. Or why the man running the place didn’t seem to know, or maybe just didn’t care about, what was going on right under his own roof.

Overall though, I loved the book and the characters and the completely unique premise, and I’m definitely glad I decided to continue the series!


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  1. Greg

    This definitely sounds quirky and different and all that stuff! Obviously character- driven but it’s nice that Meg is relatable even though she’s been through all that- it would be really easy to make a character like that kinda jaded or cynical. And it sounds funny also. Meg seems like a really interesting character and I’m curious about this Sparrow guy too.

    Love the Walmart quote. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was definitely unique! And very character-driven. And I love both Meg and Sparrow. Sparrow wasn’t actually in this book quite as much, but I’m curious to see where the author will take his character development since I do like his quirky, feather-obsessed side.

      Walmart quotes are the best lol.

  2. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Glad I read your review, which was awesome by the way, because I totally forgot this is the second book in this series. I’m hoping to get to them soon, but there’s always so much other stuff to read.

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Glad to see you enjoyed this second book. I’m even gladder to hear it (is gladder a word? It is now) because I’ve got the first book on my Kindle so it’s good to know the next book is definitely a good read. I couldn’t remember exactly why I wanted to read it but now I remember your first review I feel a lot of motivation to get reading it now.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Well gladder has no red squiggly line under it when it type it, so apparently it is a word 😀 And yay! You should definitely try the first book if you already have it!

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    So I added these books to my tbr pile, Kristen, on your shelf. I know I was on the fence about the first one but this book sounds amazing and I think it’d be worth the time to read them both with how you gush over the characters. I do find it interesting that this book is mostly character-driven, with not much happening plot-wise until the end, and yet you still loved it. That says a lot about these characters. 🙂 Plus, you have me very curious about this unique premise…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Glad I could convince you 😉 I can definitely enjoy a book that doesn’t have a ton of plot as long as the characters are good and it’s well written!