Friday, 17 June 2016

To All the Books I Failed to Review #2

Well, it looks like it's time for another one of these. I haven't been sitting on these books for long, but they definitely need to be reviewed and let's face it me=lazy. Soooooo let's just get these lovely books reviewed already.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Pages: 378
Series: The Falconer #1
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5

Well, colour me surprised. I thought I was going into some kind of Scottish based fantasy story, and well that's sort of true, The Falconer was much more. Seriously, it's a historical set in Scotland with steampunk elements and a bunch of nasty fae trying to kill the humans. Enter our heroine, Aileana. After witnessing her mother's death, she's out for revenge; killing fae, training so she can prepare herself to eventually destroy the fae that murdered her mother. Aileana is fierce. She's becoming this strong defender, totally unafraid of what she knows she has to do. Well in that aspect of her life, in the one that public sees Aileana is a Lady and certain things are expected from a Lady. Aileana doesn't want to conform to societies expectations and rules. Aileana doesn't want to marry and she certainly doesn't want to answer to any man. Fortunately, Aileana is smart enough to know that she must act the part of a Lady, though. Especially when Aileana realizes there's more to her mother's death and what it means for herself. Aileana has a few complicated relationships, the main one being with her mentor, Kiaran. Being an immortal male fae, you can assume he has the broody secretive attitude down to a science, and you'd be right. Kiaran is frustrating in his want to see Aileana develop with as little help as possible.  Although Aileana and Kiaran form a strong bond through all their arguing and banter. I was pleasantly pleased with how their relationship developed. Thankfully there is also a strong female friendship between Aileana and Catherine. One that doesn't get pushed to the side. Add in her other childhood friend Gavin, who returns to Scotland with a secret of his own, but shows his worth in how much he cares for Aileana in a very platonic way. And there's Derrick. Oh man, a drunk on the honey little pixie. He's Aileana's sidekick and little protector all rolled into one feisty little package. Honestly, I thought the ending was going to be super predictable, thankfully I was proven wrong. And also very happy to have the sequel in hand because major cliffhanger! Which I think sets up for what should be a spectacular second book.
As a side note: Fans of JLA's Wicked should definitely check The Falconer out. It has a lot of the same elements.

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Littel Brown Books
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 352
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads

Death is something I, thankfully, do not have a lot of experience with. I have not lost anyone close to me. I've been to funerals and have seen friends and family grieve. But for me, it's that emotion and thing I don't know how to handle very well. I'm awkward as hell and will probably be the asshole that laughs because I don't know what to with myself in this situation. In that way, I totally connected with and understood Maddie. Although she's more afraid of death. Maddie pretty much wants to pretend it doesn't happen. Which you know is kind of hard when her Grandmother books the family of what is essentially a death cruise. I think The Loose Ends List is going to be hit or miss for readers. Not only is death a very prominent subject throughout the story, it's also a book full of ridiculous characters and dark humour. Which the latter two or totally my things. And the whole death and dying thing is not as depressing as it could have been. There were tears and emotions, but I felt like Carrie Firestone kept it as light as possible and more about living life to the fullest. It's all about firsts and lasts. I liked that the focus wasn't the romance between Maddie and Enzo(even though I enjoyed their romance, their connection and where their relationship went) but on the family. And the O'Neil clan is an interesting bunch. There seem to be no boundaries between them, uncle, brother, parents, Gram, cousin; everyone's in each others business. Maddie will pretend she's put out by it, but in that's a lie, she loves how close they are in all their weirdness. Gram is the star of the show. What a women. She doesn't take any shit, she's hilarious and worldly, with stories from a full life. If nothing else, reading The Loose Ends List and meeting Gram was so worth it. Add in all the other guests on the ship, who are all full of personalities and stories Maddie comes to love too. This is a book for the character driven reader. The Loose Ends List is funny and emotional, with that spark of something different. I cannot wait to see what Firestone comes up with next.

The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
Pages: 368
Series: The Witch Hunter #2
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4/5
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What this series has done wonderfully is cut out all the mundane, drawn-out bits that can make me a pissed off reader. You know the plot devices that will push the story forward in the most annoying way? Well, The King Slayer is the second and last book, thus making this a duology. Which means there isn't the time for all the crap. Instead, the story and characters move forward quickly and I loved it. The world is not overly complex, There's magic in a historical type fantasy world. And after the events of The Witch Hunter Elizabeth, John and the gang are left to start building a revolution. The bad guys don't give them much time to do so. Elizabeth's only problem isn't Harrow being attacked; there's the fact that the residents aren't so accepting and trusting of an ex-witch hunter. Even with John and Nick's backing. The biggest problem, though? Apparently saving John's life is coming at an even biggest cost than expected. It's taking a toll on their relationship, both are feeling resentment, keeping secrets well wanting to be the one that saves the other from certain death. It's really quite dramatic, but in a good and feeling way. The hardest part was seeing John's nice and sweet personality take an 180. Elizabeth had to some things that were near impossible, like the possibility of losing John's love. But I agreed that she had to do them to try and save his life. I saw their struggles and fall out as a side effect of the dark war looming. And although I wanted an immediate reconciliation it was more realistic how their relationship had to learn to trust again. Don't worry there's still some swoon because John. The characters are certainly what this series does best. From Fifer, Schuyler, Nick, Peter the Pirate, George and a few new faces in The King Slayer they're all fantastic and add so much to the story.
Although I didn't find the series to be totally original at its core, the good magicians trying to overthrow the evil magicians(or those that oppose magic), the elements, like the marks the witch hunters received and how that spiraled out to create a bigger plot point then I expected. Which in turn lead to an intense conflict and a few jaw dropping moments amongst all the magically fighting.
I truly enjoyed this finale. It wrapped everything up in a most satisfying way. There were some predictable moments and some that shocked me, which I believe is on point for a good finale. The King Slayer is fun and magical and a real treat for anyone looking for a quick character filled series with witches.

Happy reading!



  1. The Falconer sounds like a book I'd really enjoy though it's completely different from the bulk of my reading. I like the sound of the fae especially. Not as sure on the other two though they do look interesting.

  2. So The Falconer doesn't sound like something I would pick up but reading your review makes me rethink that. Especially the characters! Especially Kiaran. Hello, bring on the broody guys. And Derrick totally gives me Tink vibes from JLA's Wicked. I'm not sure about the whole historical/steampunk thang but the characters sure caught my attention.

    1. I was actually surprised by how many similarities I picked up between it and Wicked. Don't get me wrong, they're not the same book. With different settings and different writing styles you wouldn't mistake them. But I definitely think fans of Wicked or vica versa would like the other book for the same reasons.
      And Derrick is definitely Tink.