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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Do Not Believe the Hype

The Falconer: Book 1 - Elizabeth May

I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Falconer, but I didn’t love it.

I didn’t hate it either.

It was a fairly decent (okay, slightly above average) YA paranormal that’s sequel probably will be really, really, good but as a first book.  Well, I wasn’t unimpressed but it wasn’t like everyone was making it out to be.

Don’t get me wrong this book was better than a lot of things out there, but I wouldn’t say it was the most unique book ever.  It had shared several of the tropes that are common in the genre.  But The Falconer did have a lot of things going for it.

Before I proceed further with the review, for full disclosure I’ll state right now that I’m not a huge fan of faeries.  I think it’s because I’m not that familiar with the lore.  I tried to.  I bought some books over them, but I haven’t had enough time/interest to actually read them.  So, I’m always a bit lost on the rare event that I do read a YA faery book.  However, I don’t think it was the faery lore that was what bothered me about The Falconer.

I think to pinpoint what issues I had with this book, I have to talk about the action sequences.

Amazing action sequences.  If you like all explosions this is the book for you. Those parts were really well written.  The problem is that I never thought the plot or the characters were fully developed. They just seemed to take a back seat to the action.  Which in a way I’m okay with, but at the same time this was the first book in a series so I did want a little more backstory than I got.

For what I got though, the characters weren’t terrible.  The lead, Aileana,  was pretty kick ass and not in a lame way.  She has limitations and for the most part appears pretty realistic. I also liked how the time period also affected her.  In a lot of historical YAs, most notably  Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices, restraints on the time period seem to disappear but not in The Falconer.  Albeit, history rears it head in the most annoying of forms (the romance plot), but at least its noted in a realistic way that the time period is going to have some effect on the main character.

As for the romance, I’m sort of on the fence.  At one point in the novel, I smelled love triangle.  And even though that character explicitly stated (for now) he’s not interested n Aileana I smell developing feelings.  And right now, I don’t know.  I’m just sort of over triangles.  At least in the traditional sense, if this does become a triangle and develops into something different I  could be interested.  I guess.

As for the other potential love interest, who is in the designated YA bad boy (the obvious winner) category.  Surprisingly, I didn’t hate Kieran like I do most of his YA counterparts.  I think it was in part because he didn’t try to be something he wasn’t and he wasn’t possessive at all.  Grant it, that might change in future books.  But I’m okay with him (for now).  The thing was like with the other characters in this book, I thought that he could’ve been fleshed out a bit more.

The plot was probably the weakest aspect of this one.  While there is a definite story, I never thought it was developed enough.  Sure, the elements were definite there but it really seemed to be there just to take backseat to the action sequences.

Got to love the action sequences but…

It did sort of put a drain on the story.

As much as I hate info dumping and an excess amount of exposition, I thought that the book could’ve done with a bit more of that.

Overall though, this one isn’t a bad read.  It’s actually pretty good, but is it worth the hype.  Shrug.

No.  Not for me.  I will probably read the sequel though but I don’t have to have it now.