Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

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Title:  The Falconer (The Falconer book #1)

Author: Elizabeth May

My Rating:blog 5 leaf rating

Buy from Amazon – Buy from Waterstones – Buy from The Book Depository

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Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

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?

– Summary not mine; taken from The Falconer’s Goodreads page. 

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If I had to describe this book in three words, I would choose the first words that left my mouth as I finished the last page:
Oh. My. GOD.

To say the least, Elizabeth May knows how to craft a story, or she has some magical power that allows her to hold her reader’s heart in her hand, slowly cradling it at the beginning, gently carressing, and then, by the end, throwing it into a pit of alligators.
At least, that’s how I felt.

Aileana was the kind of kick-ass, sassy lead-role female I absolutely loved. I loved hearing about her fighting abilities, and her training, and her general skill in torching faery butt. I also liked how to herself, she was never strong enough. Then, when we meet Gavin and he witnesses her fighting for the first time, we learn that actually, she has some incredible talent. To put the icing on the cake, the fighting scenes were very well described and very vivid.
One of the other things that I loved about the book was something that was so incredibly unique and fulfilling, that I actually screamed with delight:
Both love interests were present in the story before the actual narrative began.
Aileana had known these people for at least one year. That meant no awkward and vomit inducing love-at-first-sight meetings, and a big thumbs up from me.

The steampunk elements of the story weren’t that much of a prominent interest to me, but I know that a lot of other readers would really like it. I simply saw it as an extra oddity in Aileana’s world.

The bestiary at the back was a wonderful addition to the book, and added a little fun to it. But, be warned. If, like me, you were looking the creatures up in the back whenever they were happened across in the story, you will come across spoilers. Minuscule ones, but still. I’m probably a minority that did this, so it probably doesn’t matter that much.

Now, for my only complaint about the book, which isn’t really a complaint, and isn’t really about the book. The blurb was awful. Simply, awful. If I had never heard of this book, and was simply deciding on the blurb alone, I probably wouldn’t read this book. Thankfully, I had heard wonders about the book, and I simply scoffed at the blurb and opened it up.

That ending though. Oh my.

TBR Pile #2 – April 2014

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Well, last month’s TBR Pile ended up being a DISASTER. I didn’t read a single print book that I had planned to read in the entire month, which I feel fairly bad about. I did read a few ARcs though. Hopefully this month will go better. Here are the books I did read:

Seven books in one month doesn’t leave much room to complain for me, even if I didn’t really stick to my plan. Reviews are already up for Stolen Songbird and Knight Assassin, and reviews will follow shortly for the others!

Here’s the books I fancy reading this month. It’s a much more modest selection this time.

Owned/Library books:

tbr pile

eARCs from NetGalley:

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

I N F O R M A T I O N 

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

Author: Sarah J Maas

My Rating: leaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating button

S U M M A R Y

Celaena’s story continues in her new position as the king’s assassin. But, with the amount of secrets Celaena is carrying around, her relationships with best friends and potential romances often suffer. Even so, she is still curious of the Wyrd marks and their purpose, and is only one step closer to discovering the king’s real plans. It is a dangerous game Celaena is playing, and soon she will be found out…

R E V I E W 

I LOVE THIS  SERIES. SO MUCH.

The second book in the series was just as amazing as the first, if not better, for me. Even though the abrupt beginning made me feel like I had missed something, I soon caught up and was absorbed into the story. The romance was still perfect, the characters were just as real and wonderful…

It’s amazing how much time and effort has gone into these books, and it shows just how much Sarah has worked on the series. 10 years is an extremely long time, and I know everyone can see just how much love has gone into every chapter. So very cliché, but when I’m older I want to be like Sarah J Maas!

But the pain-staking deaths have already begun and it’s only book 2.

The wonderfully rich world building and characterization pushed away the few qualms I had during the first book. I am literally aching for the next book, and I will be purchasing the prequels as soon as I can.

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

My Rating:blog 5 leaf rating

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Shadow and Bone opens with heroine Alina and her friend Mal being tested to see if they are Grisha – special humans with various magical powers. Both fail the test.

Fast forward to many years later, where Alina and Mal are travelling into the Shadow Fold –  a darkness that covers some of the nation of Ravka, filled with horrible man-eating creatures. When Mal is attacked by one of these creatures, Alina discovers that she has a brilliant power stored inside of her, one that might just be able to destroy the Shadow Fold.

But, when the Darkling takes her for Grisha training, Alina is seperated from her childhood friend and thrust into a strange new world, filled with jealous and powerful Grisha who want to be impressed.

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I had heard a lot about  Shadow and Bone before I bought it so I had high hopes, that were only made higher by the gorgeous and intriguing cover. Thankfully, I was in no way disappointed.

When people claim Leigh Bardugo’s novel is a wonderfully told fantasy story set in a Russian-esque world, they are telling no lies.

Though the beginning may seem a little abrupt, the story very quickly becomes enthralling and action packed. Alina is a wonderful female lead who does not let anything get in her way, and reading her is nothing but pleasurable. The Darkling comes across as a stereotypical heart throb, but it is all just a facade! His big reveal is surprising and I didn’t see it coming at all, which is a refreshing thing to come across in books. Like Alina, I feel drawn to the Darkling ans since he never confirmed those things Baghra said… is there still hope? I wonder.

I can’t speak for how true/untrue/accurate the Russian elements are in the novel, but since it is fantasy I do believe that the author has pretty much free reign, since fantasy is meant to be different from our own world.

I loved the world building in this novel; it was simple but very effective and I am very much excited to read the sequel.

TBR Pile #1 – March 2014

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Hello! I have started this new feature where at the beginning of each month I will show you what I plan on reading throughout the month.

First of all, here are the two piles of books I’ve set aside to act as my TBR for March:

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Now, I know there’s no way I’ll make it through that many print books in one month. But, I like to still be able to choose a book even if I do set myself a TBR pile.

Most of the books are mine, except from:

Changeling by Phillippa Gregory – From my local library. I’ve had this one for quite a while, and have had to renew it several times (naughty me).

The Fog and The Rats by James Herbert, The Omen by David Seltzer – I have borrowed these from my friend and I am very excited to read them.

And now, the books on my tablet that I need to read:

tbr pile march 2

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A lot of them are ARCs, which means they need to take priority, but I’m entering the month half way through a few books which is a bit terrible of me. I’ve hit a slight slump though, but I will get reading as soon as I can!

Review – Legend by Marie Lu

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Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

blog 3 leaf rating

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Fifteen year old June lives in the Republic, a nation torn by war.She has been born into an elite family, and is hoping to rise to success in the Republic’s most prestigious military circle. Day, a boy living in the slums, is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. When June’s brother is murdered, Day becomes a prime suspect, but when the two meet they will discover just how many lies the Republic tells it’s people.

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I did enjoy Legend, as I found it was a quick read with a lot of action. However, I also found that I had a few problems with the book.

I found that the voices of both of the characters were fairly similar, and it seemed like Day and June were the same person a lot of the time. Another thing that I found slightly annoying was that it was very emphasized that both that prevented me from becoming as immersed and obsessed with it like a lot of other people.

of them were extremely attractive, and it seemed like both the characters knew it as well. The romance seemed rushed to me, since one moment Day and June were just

talking and then all of a sudden they were kissing. Because of this, I felt that other parts of the story that should have been focused on, like the plague and and Thomas’s character, were left undeveloped and I felt slightly cheated at the end. I would have liked to have learned more about him and why he did what he did. I also felt that some parts of the plot were left underdeveloped, and while I understand this book is part of a trilogy, I felt like after reading the book, I knew just as much about it as I had before I started it.

Mostly, I enjoyed it because it was a quick read that was rather short, and though the first half was fairly slow and I did have a few problems with it, it was okay. I doubt I will read the rest of the series though, unless I suddenly find myself desperate to know whether Ollie the dog was harmed or not.

Review: Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

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I N F O R M A T I O N 

Title: Magic Study (Chronicles of Ixia, Book 2)

Author: Maria V Snyder

My Rating: leaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating buttonleaf rating button

S U M M A R Y

Yelena’s story continues exactly where the first book left off, and Yelena’s journey to Sitia is short but sweet. Because as soon as she arrives, things start to go awry…

Discovering powers she thought she never had, she finally is reunited with her family for the first time in fourteen years. But her own brother is suspicious and believes she is an Ixian spy, and rightful heir to the throne Cahil is making plans to over throw Ixia’s Commander.

R E V I E W 

I really love this series. The first book set the bar high, but the second in the series didn’t disappoint.

There wasn’t too much recapping, which is always good in my eyes, since I always start to fall asleep if an author goes on about what has previously happened in a series. I know, I read it! And while recapping can be useful for those who missed the first book, I feel like this doesn’t happen very often.

I had almost no problems in this book. One thing that sort of irked me whilst reading was how many dream sequences there were. Many people regard them as a type of ‘cheating’, but I honestly wouldn’t have been bothered if there hadn’t been so many. They seemed to work well within the book though, I just hadn’t noticed that many in Poison Study. My other small problem was how much Yelena went on about missing Valek – I can understand why, I’m a bit of a Valek fangirl myself – but it did get a bit boring.

I like how Reyad hasn’t disappeared. Even though he isn’t directly involved in any of the plot points of this book, he still pops up every now and then, in Yelena’s thoughts. It makes sense, due to the horror he put Yelena through, and also because she killed him, and Yelena isn’t the type to kill with no remorse. She is a very well fleshed out character.

All in all, very excited to carry on with this series!