BOOK REVIEW: The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May

BOOK REVIEW: The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer (The Falconer #1)
by Elizabeth May
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale

She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

I focus on the clicks, on mentally reciting my lessons. Propriety. Click. Grace. Click. Smile. Click. Kill. Click.
Hell and blast.

Ya know when you read something and you genuinely want to love it, want to obsess over it, but you just can’t? This is that book-To say I wasn’t obsessed with it at some point would be a gross misrepresentation, as I fell head over heels for Kiaran the minute he traipsed onto my screen and I found it breathed life into an otherwise clunky novel. I started to think about it 24/7, when I could pick it up next, and weeped when my plans fell through and I couldn’t read it as I wanted to.

Gavin studies me intently. “Did you choose this?”
Leaning in close, I press my cheek against his, a touch that goes against every social rule I’ve ever been taught. It’s the excitement of the hunt that courses through me, a savage hum. I’m beyond propriety, beyond etiquette.
“I revel in it.”

But, like all things, I need a strong finish, and an even stronger pull to continue with a series. This book, as it were, is hanging by a thread because I did start book two immediately upon finishing and I did find that book two started way darker [like I like it]. Already, though, I find the darkness slipping a tad (will it stay mildly dark, or go back to the style of book one? Who can tell?).

Time won’t fix me. Time allows me to become more skillful at hiding how much I hurt inside. Time makes me a great liar. Because when it comes to grief, we all like to pretend.

I find so many things palatable with this series-I’m truly enjoying it. But, as I read, I find it hard to grasp onto certain images, ideas, flowing of plot. And this just…it has always messed with my mind, made me wonder if I’m skimming, missing something, or just too damn tired to enjoy any book. As I read The Falconer, I felt as if I was in a fever dream. Never fully in the story, but never not immersed. I cannot possibly fathom how to explain that…but I think it has much to do with Kiaran, and less to do with the plot.

Kiaran surprises me by moving too fast again, shoving my chair back from the table. Then he leans in, his arms on either side of me. “That might have amused me this time, but try it again and I’ll break your pistol.”
I match his stare. “Break my pistol and I have about fifteen other weapons that will do the same job.”
His grin is slow, downright seductive. “I knew it since the day I pulled you out of that river.”
“What?”
“That you would always challenge me.”

Kiaran is a fae (I love this, I really really love this) who trains our heroine to battle his kind, because the end of the world as they know it is fast approaching. And upon his first appearance, for some inexplicable reason I still cannot name, my heart went erratic. I became utterly obsessed and knew this book had finally hooked me. Call me a sucker, but his snark and attitude just got me.

And one of my favorite tropes has to be the ‘I’m saying something important to you/about you in another language’, which generally leads to the biggest butterfly inducing revelation near the end of a lovers’ perilous battle or situation. I. Am. A. SUCKER. For. IT. And yes, it happened here. Was it the best I’ve read? No. But did it make my heart pitter patter? Yes. That being said, I did spoil it for myself by accident when perusing Goodreads reviews. So take that with a grain of salt.

When did I come to care so much for his opinion of me? I want so badly for him to see me as the huntress and not the lady, never the lady. The nights we hunt are the only times I’ve ever felt on equal terms with a man—even if he isn’t one.

And I never really felt anything in action sequences. Again, is this my fever dream style of reading this poor book, late into the night with dreary eyes, or is it a style of writing I don’t wholly connect with? It seems like everything is there to make a book I’d love, but maybe it just didn’t go there, for me. Maybe it didn’t reach that crescendo of destruction I so crave. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m a daft fool and it was written perfectly and I ruined it all on my own, since it seemed like something interesting was almost always happening. There was also her pixie who, while funny, made me feel like I was reading the movie version of Ella Enchanted or something. No idea where that came from but…it didn’t necessarily bode well.

I feel. I feel. Strong and untouchable and capable. An exquisite glow of joy fills me up and extinguishes my anger. For this instant, I am whole again. I am not broken or empty. The shadow-self inside me that compels me to kill is silent. I am unburdened. I am complete.

So perhaps, in the end, the stakes just didn’t ever feel high enough. They went to battle for their world…and it just didn’t feel like it. I don’t know why. I was tired, read it disjointedly (the most likely candidate here), or it just isn’t a style of writing that gave me a sense of urgency I needed to connect to the final showdown-either way, I didn’t ever feel like it was the end. I don’t know if that’s the author’s fault, or mine.

He looks amused. “No? Then what do
you long for?”
Vengeance is what I desire most, the only thing I’ve craved strongly enough to kill for. After all, it’s the oldest motivation in the entire world. People might think it’s love, or greed, or wealth, but vengeance gives you life. It strengthens you. It makes you burn.

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1 Comment

  1. ShootingStarsMag

    Thanks for your honest thoughts. I hope that the second book keeps being better. It’s tough when you want to love a book so much but it’s just not working as well as you’d hoped.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…(Interview/Giveaway): Chris Wieland, Author of The Crabtree MonstersMy Profile

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