Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer #1)

 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?

Source: Edelweiss ( Thanks Chronicle Books!)

My Thoughts:

I've been dying to read this book since I read the author's hilarious "review" on Goodreads. I screamed for joy when my request was accepted in February but I stopped myself from reading because I knew it was out in May. So sorry for the delay because I nicely forgot what month it was out in. (In my defense, there is one edition which comes out in July)

The Falconer is a book I'm not sure how to rate because I enjoyed it but I wasn't addicted to it for some reason and I kept having a hard time getting back to it. 

I'm going to do a slightly different review for this.

The Positives

World building:
I love the whole world that Elizabeth May introduces us to in this novel. It's a hybrid world that has elements of the Victorian era and is full of futuristic technology. It's a mix of fantasy, steampunk and still comes under the genre of young adult. Before starting this novel I wasn't too sure about the world it would be set in but the author combines things we know with futuristic ideas quite well. It's a creative world that is known as well as unknown at the same time.

This book is action packed. I loved the fact that there was a heroine that could really kick @$$ in the novel. There's lot of fighting and action in this book. Some of the negatives are nicely glossed over because you're too busy enjoying the action. 

The weapons and the terminology :
Some of you might think this comes under world building but I love some of the innovative weapons that the protagonist invents in this. I also loved the terms that are used . Especially the one for fairies. 

The whole plot is pretty unpredictable especially the ending. The ending REALLY surprised me. It's a cliffhanger( which is little annoying) but in my opinion it was completely unexpected. The action was also unpredictable. Anything could happen at any time and I loved that! 


- Relationship between Aileana and Kiaran
I just didn't buy it. He doesn't exactly treat her well. It's a really messed up relationship. It's hard to even comprehend why she tolerates him anymore let alone likes him. I just didn't understand it. I'm not saying that I didn't like Kiaran as an individual. He really fascinated me but I guess I didn't feel the spark between Aileana and Kiaran

- Relationship between Aileana and Gavin
I actually liked their friendship but then things escalate VERY quickly (trying to avoid spoilers) and it gets too weird. I was confused whether Gavin even likes her as a friend in the middle because their relationship is not defined well and just keeps changing. I felt sorry for Gavin and I really didn't like how his character is barely developed but still keeps turning up in important moments. I also didn't like Aileana's hot and cold whatever it is with him. One second she's all "He's my best friend."

Next moment she's almost forgotten about him.

It was also really weird how even though they meet each other after years and have NEVER fought together. The first time they team up they're like the Avenger's Black Widow and Hawkeye. (Atleast they had a lot of implied history together)

Instant Perfect TEAM synchronization 

Holding my Interest/Originality
While I was reading the book I was thoroghly invested in it but for some reason once I stopped I didn't feel like going back to it.I think the reason for that could be that even though the concept of the book is different it is a hybrid of things I have read before.Like the world of faeries reminded me of the world introduced in the Fever series. 

On the fence / Mixed feelings 

The protagonist is someone I really liked in the beginning because she wasn't helpless and was working towards a goal. As the story progressed I started liking her less and less. I love the complexity of the emotions that the character goes through. I even liked the fact that she is a grey character but for some reason I liked her more before I found out her complex backstory. The more we get to know about her past the more complex her character becomes and it does add more depth to her character but I guess I just liked her more when she was a killing machine.(I'm weird I guess) I also didn't like some of the decisions she made and how she treated some characters especially the male interests. So that is also one of the reasons why I didn't like her as much as the story progressed. 

My Rating:

I have no idea how to rate this . I just don't know how to rate it. I guess on Amazon I will rate it as 4 but I just don't know . It's a good book but it didn't blow me away. If I had to I would give it a range of 3.5-4 stars. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)

One kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
Source: Publisher (Thanks HarlequinTEEN!)
My Thoughts:
I was really looking forward to this book as I'm a Jennifer Armentrout fan. I've read a lot of her books and I follow her releases so I was DYING to get my hands on this. Unfortunately this book did not live upto my expectations and left me disappointed. 
As stated above this is not the first Jennifer Armentrout book I've read. I've read both the Lux series and Half Blood series, and this book's situations and characters reminded me of both. I understand that this book was written before both series but published later. It was almost like I was reading a hybrid of both the Lux series and the Half Blood series and not in a good way. It was very hard for me to form a connection with characters that were shadows of characters that I already loved.I was very close to not finishing this one because I just didn't feel like reading a book that wasn't even a patch on her other series. 
The gargoyles angle was interesting but there wasn't a lot of focus on it.This is also not the first gargoyle novel I've read so the idea of gargoyles wasn't as novel to me as it might be for others. Maybe they will focus on the gargoyles more in the sequel but the focus wasn't on gargoyles on  this one.
This book focuses on Layla , a teenage girl adopted by the gargoyles who is restless and wants to be "helpful" by kicking ass and putting herself in danger.Instead of focusing on the gargoyles and their history the author chooses to focus on Layla's adventures with demons and her romantic feelings. Which may sound good but I think it would have been better if there would have been more focus on gargoyles. There are already so many books that are on demons that there's nothing that really interests you about them in this book. Layla is also a character that is not easy to like .
Zayne, Layla's crush is also someone that I for one did not like. He's CLEARLY either REALLY dumb or he's leading her on.Both of which are not traits that make you as a reader like or swoon over him. 
Roth is the only saving grace of the novel and he is a LOT like Daemon in ways. I like how he riles up everyone and is pretty clear about what he wants, though he is a demon. I also like how he's unpredictable.I really wanted to know more about his back story. Armentrout gives us a nice glimpse into this character. 
The plot could have been much better. It had so much potential but the story drags in some places and doesn't manage to hold my attention. Good thing is that once you really get into the story , you hang in there till the end. The problem is getting into the story.The ending was unpredictable and in a way shocking. 
The problem is that even when I reached the end I didn't really care much for the characters.
Overall, you might enjoy this novel a lot if this is your first Armentrout novel but if it isn't you might feel a sense of deja-vu while reading the novel.The plot is interesting and the ending shocking. The pacing could do with some work. I might check out the sequel but right now I'm not too sure. I might just snuggle with the last Lux book instead. 

My Rating:
2.5 stars 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Review: Across The Universe

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)
by Beth Revis
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Links: Amazon.COM, Goodreads ,Amazon India
 (The cheaper version is currently out of stock in Indian online sites but you can try the notify me option on this site  )

Source: Borrowed 

My Thoughts:

So I've been having a bit of a hard time finishing a novel for some time. This is the first novel that I have finished since Mid-May (I think) so I think it deserves props for keeping me engaged. 

The best thing about this novel is the world building. I loved it. I love the world building and how everything is set in space and the condition that these people live in. I am loving the YA science fiction genre (*cough* These Broken Stars love *cough*) . The high point of the entire story in my opinion was the world that is introduced to the reader. I enjoyed learning more and more about the world.

This book is told from dual point of view of Amy and Elder, the main protagonists. I was never confused between their voices. They both have distinct voices and perspectives. Which fits together in this book pretty well. You get to see the same thing in two perspectives and it's not repetitive. 

The writing in some places is beautiful. Some of the dialogues and feelings that are portrayed through the words really kept me hooked . The problem is that the author is not very good at building up the mystery and keeping it unpredictable at the same time. I knew almost everything that happened in the climax pretty soon. There were some surprises of course but most of the twists, I had already predicted.I think by the time the climax came along I was just happy that there were atleast SOME things I had not managed to predict.

Another issue I had with this book is how some serious issues and problems were handled or should I say NOT handled at all.The issues just seem to be brushed aside.The world they live in is different and I like how they show how different it is but how some issues were portrayed and handled, I was disappointed with. As I want to avoid spoilers, I'll just hint towards it. There's a pretty heartbreaking discovery that happens near the end and it's not really addressed or it seems it's just swept under the rug. Maybe the author plans to address it in the sequel but this is just one of the examples. The characters just seem to handle these issues in a robotic manner and not even have any emotional dialogue on them, which just didn't sit right with me.

Overall,I did enjoy the novel and am interested to read what happens next. I want to learn even more about this world and the space they live in. I also really enjoyed some of the dialogues and parts of the writing immensely.I just thought I would point out the reasons why I'm not giving this a higher rating even though it managed to keep me entertained and hooked till the end. 

My Rating:



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