Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Scotland, 1844. Aileana Kameron is a lady, and as such society expects certain things from her – to attend the assemblies, fill her dance card, and demurely charm potential suitors in order to make a good marriage match.
This is unfortunate, as Aileana is also the last of the Falconers – women with the ability to fight and kill the fae – and spends her evenings out with her fae mentor Kieran (who, for reasons unknown has honed Aileana’s hunting skills to perfection against his own kind) hunting the fae in the hope of finding the one who murdered her mother, so that she may have vengeance.

Trouble is coming – after an age-old battle the fae were imprisoned beneath the city, but the seal holding them captive is weakening and Aileana and Kiaran must try to stop this happening, or the city and everyone Aileana cares about will be destroyed.

I really enjoyed this fast paced adventure. I’ve never read a book featuring the fae before, and so loved the inclusion of all the different types of fae, some of which were more monstrous than I probably expected (my initial thought upon hearing ‘fae’ is the small, sweet winged creatures from fairytales.)
I liked Aileana as the central characters, and her motivations for her seemingly impossible task. Also… Kiaran. Yes, I liked Kiaran very much. Faestruck, anyone?
The supporting characters of Gavin, Aileana’s friend and also a Seer, and Derrick, the pixie who lives in Aileana’s room and has a penchant for honey and stealing things were also good.

The ending! I won’t give anything anyway, but I just can’t believe it was left that way. I was left thinking ‘No, you can’t end it like this, I need to know more, please’, so I really hope there will be a sequel to this book.

My rating: 4/5

Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Upon hearing the Beatles song Norwegian Wood, Toru Watanabe started to remember his youth and the women who featured prominently in his life.

Naoko is the girlfriend of Toru’s best friend, Kizuki, who killed himself. The two of them grow closer in the wake of his death, and Toru believes he is in love with the troubled Naoko, to the point where he offers to wait for her while she attempts to find peace of mind in a sanatorium, however long it takes.
Midori is a girl taking the same class as Toru, and the two become close friends. It is not until much later, and possibly because of his situation with the fragile Naoko that Toru realises his real feelings for Midori.

I read 1Q84 by the same author and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading this. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was for me – it lacked the fantasy element of 1Q84 and was far more grounded in reality (although in the translator’s note at the end this was exactly what Murakami was going for, a simple, direct tale, as a writing adventure or challenge).
I continued reading and somewhere along the line the narrative really gripped me and I couldn’t put the book down. I really liked Midori as a character, and felt a little frustrated that it took Toru so very long to realise and acknowledge his feelings for her.
The writing is beautiful, with some really good imagery, and thought-provoking ideas.
Overall, a good read, if not initially what I was anticipating.

My rating:  3/5

Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

When I began this book I wasn’t sure it was for me. (In fairness, I had just finished reading The Dark Tower prior to this, and I absolutely adored that book, so whatever I chose next would have to be really good).
I continued reading because I was drawn in by the way the chapter headings counted down the time ‘before’. Before what? I wondered, and so I carried on, because I had to know.
And I’m really glad I stuck with it, because After, well…

Continue reading

Book Review: The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Book 20 of 2014

And so concludes my reading of the Dark Tower series.
I can’t believe it’s over. Having been with these characters through all their adventures, it feels strange to have reached the conclusion, to know how it all ended – or did it?

Okay, it’s likely to become spoiler-y from here on in, because I’m going to talk about the ending first, which I didn’t really intend when I started this review, but it’s where my thoughts are taking me so who am I to resist?

The ending seems to divide people…

Trees Of Reverie Read-A-Thon Update 1

So, we’re a few days into the Trees Of Reverie Read-A-Thon and so far I’m really enjoying participating.

Not only does it help me focus more of my attention on my own reading (I’ve been distracted a lot lately) but it’s also a great opportunity to discover new and interesting books to read.
I love browsing the Tumblr tag and reading about what people have been reading and what they recommend, so much so that I’ve started a new Goodreads bookshelf to keep track of things that I may wish to read in the future.

I’m still reading The Dark Tower by Stephen King, but I’m in the closing stages of the book now (and will be very sad to leave the series behind) so I’ll be posting again with my thoughts on the book soon.

Treesofreverie July Read-A-Thon: Questionnaire Part 1

1. Where will you be sharing your updates?

Mostly here.

2. It’s TBR pile time! What are you hoping to read? Why did you select these books to read?

I’m hoping to finish The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Next on my list are Looking For Alaska by John Green and Joyland by Stephen King. That’s all I’ve planned for now as I’m just over halfway through the Tower and it’s a really long book. Also, having been with those characters for the whole series, reading of their fates is petty hard at times, so I’m probably reading slower than I normally would.

3. What are you looking forward to reading the most? Why?

I’m looking forward to finishing The Dark Tower, because so far I’ve avoided all spoilers so I don’t actually know how it ends. I’ve been reading these books for the last few months, and so will be sad to reach their conclusion and move on to something new.

4. Have you participated in a Treesofreverie Read-A-Thon before?

No, this is my first time. I don’t know how I’ve. Ever heard about it before because I love reading so it’s a great thing to be part of.

5. What are your goals for the July Read-A-Thon?

I’d be really pleased to complete the books listed above and actually make regular blog updates, then keep my reading blog going after that.