Series: The Falconer, #1
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, YA
Source: Bought it
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Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.
Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.
But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?
Well. It has finally happened. For weeks and weeks I’ve seen people praising The Falconer, or rather, Kiaran *cough*. Naturally, I had to read this, because who doesn’t love a good, swoony love interest? Add the whole faery-killing premise and you’ve got me wanting to read this.
Fortunately, the Falconer didn’t disappoint. I did think it was lacking in certain departments, but overall, it’s a solid and engaging story. The book opens with our protagonist, Aileana, attending a ball and killing a faery. I’ve seen a few complaints that the beginning was too slow, but I was sucked into the story right away. Aileana is a faery-killing machine, and May doesn’t hold back on descriptions when it comes to fighting scenes. There are a lot of fighting scenes though, and if you’re not really into that you might find yourself getting bored with this book. Fortunately, I’m all for fighting scenes and I immensely enjoyed Aileana’s badassness. The book mostly switches between balls and kills, and that is basically Aileana’s life for you.
After her mother’s death, Aileana fells empty and angry. It was a faery that killed her mother, and Aileana wants revenge. Believe me, May did an exceptional job describing Aileana’s inner turmoil and the all-consuming rage. Aileana’s character is alternately hollow and full of anger – her need for revenge drips off th pages. However, May still managed to make Aileana feel like an actual person, not just some kind of badass killing machine (though she is that, too). Aileana gets a good portion of character growth throughout The Falconer and I found myself really enjoying her character.
Some of the other characters were developed well too, for example Kiaran and Derrick. However, I found other characters to be a bit lacking in depth. Aileana’s friend, her father, her friend’s brother…. They were there, but I never got a good grasp on their characters. Although I was too busy enjoying the story to really care. Kiaran is a well-rounded character, and I loved him. At first, I didn’t really feel for him – or for the romance, for that matter – but somewhere halfway through I started shipping him and Aileana. Kiaran’s just such a wonderful and troubled character, and I wished we got to see even more of him. Derrick, a tiny pixie living with Aileana, was just plain wonderful. His comments were often funny and I absolutely loved the scenes were he was drunk on honey. Hilarious!
As for the story itself… Hmmm. I really enjoyed the clever plot and all the badassness happening, but I wish I would’ve had more of a grasp on the world and the faeries. The story takes place in Scotland, but except for the occasional “aye” I never really felt that. I also didn’t really care much for the steampunk elements in the story, but I’ve got to admit I just really care about steampunk at all, so that might work out better for others. What did leave me disappointed were the faeries. Aside from the fact that they were called faeries, I just never really felt that they actually were faeries. They could’ve been any kind of creature, and I would have believed it. Although I enjoyed the way May played with their different powers and “tastes”, I never really saw them as actual faeries. There were a lot of descriptions of the different kinds of faeries, but that was really it.
In all though, I really enjoyed The Falconer! It’s an action-packed adventure with some great characters and a clever story. However, can we talk about that ending for a second? CRUEL. There are endings, and then there are endings. This book didn’t end, it just stopped. MAJOR cliffhanger. Seriously, the book basically stopped in the middle of a sen-
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