Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: The Falconer

Title: The Falconer (The Falconer #1)
Author: Elizabeth May

Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Steampunk | Fae
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

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 (goodreads). 

The Falconer was an unexpected ride with unforgettable characters, a slow burn romance, and revenge (because who doesn't like revenge). 
Plot: The Falconer didn't waste any time getting to the good stuff. I was instantly transported to regency era Edinborough with its social politics and creatures that go bump in the night. Aileana's thirst for revenge forced her to lead a double life - and try to clear her name of her mother's murder. The Falconer, in one word, was addicting. It moved rather quickly but no aspect of the plot ever felt rushed or that it was stagnant.

Characters: Aileana was a force to be reckoned with. She was strong, she stood out, and she wasn't afraid to take her own life in her hands. All of the characters were written well and had a some uniquely witty conversations between each other (I want a pixie now).

The love aspect was something I couldn't put my finger on. It began as a slow burn with the two parties skirting around each other and their feelings about each other. The novel was told from Aileana's perspective and I found it odd that she almost never considered her feelings toward a certain boy. And just like that, they were professing their love for each other. The flow didn't feel natural, it felt like May got tired of waiting so she added kissing scenes instead of developing a real romance. The romance was the only disappointment in The Falconer for me, and I'm hoping The Vanishing Throne fills in the blanks that The Falconer did not.

Worldbuilding: The Falconer was a fun historical fiction/fantasy/steampunk combination and had just the right amount of steampunk for someone (me) who was new to the steampunk genre. The world was developed very well even though a lot of fae kept to the fringes of the world.

Audiobook Performance: Susan Duerden was different but still enjoyable. She had a habit of whisper-talking all of her lines, especially the men. It worked really well for the villains, but not so much for the romantic interests. I'll probably end up continuing the series as a hardcover.

Short N Sweet: The Falconer is a very strong introduction to a series that will become a favorite I'm sure, I only wish that the romance was more thought out.


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