The Falconer by Elizabeth May
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
After reading so many high fantasy YA, you get to recognize thinly-veiled tropes that happen all.the.time. And to be frank, it gets boring and expected and dry, until you don’t see the point of continuing now with the story, when the romantic interest takes over the thoughts and sensibilities of the main character. Here’s a washed out synopsis of this book: the “Chosen One” is going to have to fight out an event that the “end of the world.” There is a love triangle between the “bad boy” and “childhood best friend” and both are extremely protective of our capable female protagonist.
Aileana is just an average character, who was actually unlikeable in my eyes. Did she need to be so extremely stubborn? She was not the bad-ass heroine character type that I was expected; she was very much clothed in privilege and kept on bragging about what number/how many faeries she had killed and her many battle wound scar. Like lady, this is not a contest and no one really cares what the exact number is, okay?
The romance was almost non-existent and I was never on board anyways, because I never really knew if what she felt was actually legitimate. At the beginning she was so opposed to falling in love with a dark powerful Fae, because after all they are monsters without feelings. But as the story goes on and she sees “glimpses or flashes into his emotions” she realizes that there’s more to him then at first view. Obviously the romance happens and a love triangle develops, but I could never feel the chemistry between her and Kiaran. Doesn’t she know that she could be faestruck this whole time, or that it would be less complicated if the relationship stayed strictly platonic like it had for the past year?
I would say that there are two elements that redeem this book in the slightest. The setting in Scotland is enchanting, although I still thought that the author could have gone farther with that to describe the specific colors, senses, smells, etc. Also I love me a revenge plot, because this whole book was essentially fueled by the death of Aileana’s mother by an evil faery which triggered her darkness and thirst to kill along with her thirst for revenge. At least the author made her motivations crystal clear.
The steampunk element was overlooked by me personally, I actually didn’t even recognize it until a reviewer pointed this out, and I’d rather that the author wanted to overdo do it then underwhelm it, which is exactly what ended up happening here. I always knew that the character liked fixing and tampering with things, but I just didn’t think that it was anything more than a hobby.
The buildup to the climax and then that horrible cliffhanger ultimately ruined this book for me. Why does the character literally do nothing, only sits around and waits for days to countdown for this “thing” to happen? There is no action except a couple of fights at the beginning, and then later on it was all her going to balls and keeping up appearances. Then that horrible cliffhanger, I thought that it had just cut off my galley early. Nope, that was the real ending which was literally in the middle of the climax scene. If this is a ploy to get me to read book two, it’s not going to work.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.**
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