The Falconer by Elizabeth May holds many firsts for me – it’s the first time I’ve been chosen to read and review for Gollancz Geeks, my first encounteThe Falconer by Elizabeth May holds many firsts for me – it’s the first time I’ve been chosen to read and review for Gollancz Geeks, my first encounter with this author and my first delve into a steam-punk-esque world.
The Victorian era of proper etiquette is in full swing, with a splash of steampunk for good measure and not forgetting fae feeding upon their human victims… as you do.
The heroine Lady Aileana has a conflicted personality since her mother’s death – which she witnessed with her own eyes. Fitting in with Scottish High Society whilst vengeance rages through her veins is a balance she just can’t seem to keep. Though her night murderous rampages do calm her for a short time.
The main characters are all very believable and likeable; despite their sometimes venomous banter.
The faeries are not just your general opposite of nice kind of evil, they have a dark almost Gothic feel to them. They are unrelenting and emotionless. And perhaps more shockingly so… only a few fae are gob-smackingly gorgeous.
Aileana may have unlocked the secrets of being a fairy killers, but the book focuses on her grief over losing her mother. How it has changed her as a person, her perceptions of the world, her priorities but most importantly how she must learn to control her grief if she is going to stop the fae from destroying Edinburgh.
This was a really enjoyable read and although I was skeptical of the steampunk at first it really did add to the story. The book is well within Young Adult realms and isn’t overly complex but with this book clearly being the first of a larger series the story has great potential. I found Aileana easy to identify with and I most definitely want a pixie like Derrick living in my closet! I soon found I didn’t want to put the book down and with the ending being a complete cliffhanger I was left craving a second book (which better not take a age to be released otherwise I might explode!)....more
I’ve wanted to read The Diary of a Young Girl: Definitive Edition by Anne Frank for a while, but never seemed to get around to it. Then I was going toI’ve wanted to read The Diary of a Young Girl: Definitive Edition by Anne Frank for a while, but never seemed to get around to it. Then I was going to read it before I went to Holland, and visited the Anne Frank house but I didn’t have time. I’m so glad I waited to read it until after I’d been there to see the setting for myself.
I’ve seen various reviews on this book, varying from the terrible to the incredible. I have to say in most cases they’re both wrong in my opinion. What they fail to take into account is that this is not written for someone elses entertainment. Sure Anne repeats herself, she is immature at times and there isn’t a whole lot going on in the Secret Annexe most of the time. But this is real life. This in an insight to a persons real experiences. Is it astonishingly well written? No. But it’s not meant to be. Has Anne lived to tidy up this and make it into a publication it may have been better written, but it would miss the raw emotions of the moment.
I didn’t read the version before all the “extra” bits were added but I can see why her father wanted to keep some of that out of it, some of it is very personal and I’m not sure some of those extremely personal things really added anything.
As I said above, I’m glad I decided to read this after visiting the Anne Frank House, where all this takes place. It helped me visualise the surroundings and how the shortage of space caused arguments between people who has just been around each other too much.
I loved reading this book but it did take me a while to get through. Although I wanted to know what happened next to these people in hiding, it’s not exactly a world you want to get lost in. However I do recommend the book, but you must read it for what it is – an historical document, a personal account/experience not entertainment....more
Spells by Aprilynne Pike is the second book in the Wings series, which follows Laurel a faerie living the human world.
I have to admit, this book is prSpells by Aprilynne Pike is the second book in the Wings series, which follows Laurel a faerie living the human world.
I have to admit, this book is pretty much "filler" in terms of the action, after the excitement of battles with trolls and Laurel finding out that she's a faerie - it's hard at first to accept this calmness.
However this book doesn't lack excitement or interest. We now see Laurel going to study in Avalon during the summer - essentially re-learning how to be a Fall Faerie which is far from easy for her. We get a fantastic and memorizing look into Avalon and life there - which although it has it's faults, you can't help but want to live there yourself. Everything is so magical but er... without actual magic.
It's during this book we also learn a little more about Laurel's past - how she came to be in the human world, and what her relationship with Tamani was like before she left on her mission. The undeniable connection she has with Tamani now comes into it's own and we have a full blown love triangle on our hands which Laurel finds increasingly stressful.
Not only is the pressure on with her fall faerie studies but she has her human school work to keep up with too. She has a lot of decisions to make about what path she wants to take with her own life - but before she thinks about herself, she has to think about others safety.
Although in terms of action and moving things forward, this book is actually filler - there is a ton of character and relationships development which makes a really interesting read with the plot slowly coming together in the background. In some ways this is my favourite book in the series - Avalon is so beautifully described and this is truly where you get into Laurel and Tamani's minds. I couldn't wait to go to bed each night to read more!...more