Not afraid to kick faerie a$$!!,
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This review is from: The Falconer (Kindle Edition)
After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother a year ago, Lady Aileana Kameron has had to put up with the not-so-secretive suspicion of all of Edinburgh society that she herself was the murderer. She can say nothing in her own defense, however, as the truth is far more far-fetched: her mother died at the hands of a cruel faerie. Instead of wallowing in angst, Aileana dedicates her life to hunting down these beings and killing them.
She is aided in her task by the mysterious Kieran MacKay, a faerie himself, who trains her in the ways of the fae and in how to kill them. However, after increased faerie activity in the city, she discovers there is more at stake than simply avenging her mother's death.
Elizabeth May has created a fun, action-packed world perfect for the post-Buffy generation (such as myself) or even those poor Twilighters who never grew up watching Buffy, but need a new world to play in. Aileana is a great character, very human and easy to rally behind and cheer for. This is not a drippy romance with a disappointing heroine who never lives up to her expectation: Aileana takes her destiny in her own hands and tries to make a difference. The emphasis is very much on the action here, which gives it a nippy, page-turning pace.
Other characters, however, do not get the same attention as Aileana, making them a little thin and stock-character-esque. Her best friend is a society belle with golden hair, but an acid tongue, yet doesn't get a lot of screen time. Her side-kick, Derek the pixie, is simply comic relief, and the brooding Kieran never rises above his Heathcliffe impression long enough for us to actually like him. No, it is all about our central protagonist, which it maybe should be in a first volume of a series, but I would have liked the others to be bit more fleshed out.
Another aspect that did not quite click with me was the mash-up between the hidden fantastical world of the fae and the open fantastical world of steampunk. The reference to the various items of steampunk tech would shock me from the story from time to time and it took me a while to accept this is not real Victorian Edinburgh. This is a Victorian Edinburgh that never was: people own steam-powered carriages and Aileana herself owns an ornithopter which she uses to traverse the city skies, and houses are lit by floating globes of light. Yet, no one knows of the existence of faeries. Perhaps I'm being pernickity, but "secret world" fantasy works better, in my opinion, if the "real" world is closer to reality, or closer to history if set in a historical setting.
That being said, May has created something quite fresh (no vampires, or the new 'monstre du jour' zombies) and the heroine is not trying to complete herself with a man. I enjoyed the romp and the creation of a new slant on Scots Gaelic mythology and I will most certainly be reading whatever Aileana does next.