Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Steampunk
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 6th 2014
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Crimson suits you best.”
Aileana is the only heir to her father’s fortune and has quite a promising dowry. She tries her best to play the proper lady but her mother’s death haunts her and many still believe she’s the murderer. What they don’t know is that while Aileana didn’t kill her mother she’s murderer far more than they could ever imagine. By night she hunts faeries to protect innocent lives, and one day she’ll destroy the fae who killed her mother.
A fairly standard faerie series with a steampunk twist. Both the hisotrical setting and the steampunk features were weak at best. this story could have been set anywhere and would have played out about the same and the “steampunk” elements are fairly limited. Although it does allow Aileana to create game breaking weapons like a sonic canon that disables faeries that she inexplicably will only use for seconds at a time.
Much like the story the characters – for the most part – feel stock and standard. Aileana is driven by vengeance, still grieving her mother. Kiaran is broody, sexy and dangerous. Of course there’s the well-meaning but oblivious best friend and her brother whom the protagonist once loved (a la Winner’s Curse). There’s a fairly weak love triangle full of forced romance that feels mostly empty. The exception to this is Derrick who was absolutely delightful as a character.
Over all Aileana has it far too easy. She’s given far too many game breaking weapons and nothing in the story ever feels like a real challenge to her. She’s too good, given too many powerful things that are often ridiculous even within the story world and readers are just meant to accept them. Too many convenient things happen.
The book is tame, bland and just standard. It’s not TERRIBLE – but it might have been more enjoyable if it was. At least then it might have been funny. It’s just terribly average. It also bears a few too many uncanny likenesses to Moning’s Fever series.
This story ended on a cliffhanger and I am not even compelled to find out what happened. I suppose if faerie are your specific niche and you’ve run out of material you’ll enjoy. There are however dozens of books that do faeries and murder better – Holly Black, Sarah J. Maas, Karen Marie Moning – so there’s really no reason to bother with this.