This was quite the pleasant surprise. Scotland? Steampunk? A dark heroine that slays? Why yes, thank you. Magic? Fae? Seelie/Unseelie Courts? Heck yes, I’ll take them all.
We start off with a broken heroine– which is how I like them best. I find that I connect with MC’s when I catch them in their moments of weakness- and Aileana drew me in quickly. She’s cold and barely hanging onto her humanity when we first meet her. It’s been a year since her mother was murdered; since she re-purposed her life for revenge.
“Time won’t fix me. Time allows me to become more skillful at hiding how much I hurt inside. Time makes me a great liar. Because when it comes to grief, we all like to pretend.”
She keeps up a normal “pretense,” but behind everyone’s back, she is someone else entirely. Not only is she driven by revenge, she’s also brilliant. She legit builds her own gadgets to take down any fae she comes across. At night, she trains /hunts Kiaran. We know next to nothing about this dude. All we know is he is fae and he hunts his own kind. (AAAND not to mention the fact that he’s Rhysand’s doppleganger basically… seriously, they look identical.) He’s devious, mysterious, and wowza super powerful. Then we have Derrick, the pixie that lives in her closet (who, I might add, is my favorite character.) He’s sassy and hysterical and obsessed with getting drunk on honey (yes, that’s a thing).
Honestly, I knew nothing about the actual plot and I’d recommend reading it without any expectations. The development/world building was a bit lacking, if I’m honest. I liked the amount of mystery surrounding everything – I love being kept in the dark and left guessing. However, the whole “war” element was extremely vague and didn’t make much sense. (Like okay- if this upcoming war is such a big deal… why is she and Kiaran the only ones doing anything about it? And why aren’t they more worried that its going to be 2 people against thousands??) So, on that note- I felt like there were big chunks missing out of the plot and general world building. I’m hoping for better development in the next book. If it weren’t for this, it would have been an easy 5 stars.
Whatever, I still enjoyed it… mostly because I loved the characters so much. Plus, several elements of the magic system paired along with the whole steampunk gadgetry really made this super fun and unique. The Fae have all different classes and abilities and I’m stoked to explore that more in later books.
One thing I’ve seen in several reviews is the complaint on the similarities of this book vs. the “Fever” series by Moning. I’ve read the first book in the Fever series and was quite let down. The idea was really cool (and very similar to this- true) but that one just went over the edge with the cringe worthy sexual content (death by sex… really guys?) and a heroine that was annoying. Sorry if you like the series- I’m not judging… but this was everything I wanted from the “Fever” series and didn’t get. I’ve been searching for similar books since I read that one – looking for the whole Seelie/Unseelie court jazz.. and FINALLY found this one.
NOW FOR A BIG FAT GIANT WARNING…
Holy crap… Cliffhanger alert. Seriously, have the next book ready. Aaaand I’d just like to add that I’ve already started the first few pages of the next and I’m pretty estatic at the direction soooo YAY.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend checking out this book. I think it deserves much more recognition and hype.