Mini-Reviews: Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey and The Falconer by Elizabeth May

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Welcome to Mini-Reviews, in which I give you a quick take on some new releases! 

Buzz Kill
by Beth Fantaskey
Published on May 6, 2013
by HMH

Source: Thanks to HMH for approving me for an e-galley on Edelweiss.

Synopsis, adapted from Goodreads: When the widely disliked Honeywell Stingers football coach is found murdered, 17-year-old Millie is determined to investigate. She is chasing a lead for the school newspaper - and looking to clear her father, the assistant coach, and prime suspect. Millie joins forces with her mysterious classmate Chase who seems to want to help her even while covering up secrets of his own. Drama-and bodies-pile up around Millie and she chases clues, snuggles Baxter the so-ugly-he's-adorable basset hound, and storms out of the world's most awkward school dance/memorial mash-up. At least she gets to eat a lot of pie.

My mini take: Not every book is for everyone, and the quirk in this may put off some readers, but I really enjoyed it. I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries, and I loved the way that Buzz Kill put a fresh and funny spin on the girl detective story. Millie is a bit of an odd duck, but I really liked her. She's just trying to get through high school unscathed when the football coach is murdered and her father's a suspect. So Millie, who's a reporter for the school paper, decides to solve the murder herself.  I thought the mystery in this book was really well-done. The police were competent, there were plenty of suspects, and I didn't guess the outcome at all.

The Falconer
by Elizabeth May
Published on May 6, 2014
by Chronicle Books

Source: thanks to Chronicle for allowing me to read an advanced copy from Edelweiss.
Synopsis, adapted from Goodreads: Lady Aileana Kameron was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother. Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways. But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?
My (mini) take: I'd describe The Falconer as a action-heavy vengeance story set in a world that's Fae with a touch of steampunk, and a plot that has a Buffy-esque -- "the hellmouth is about to be opened unless we stop it" -- kind of feel.

Then there's the romance. Before her mother's death, Aileana was in love with Gavin, the brother of her best friend. But now that Aileana kills faeries to avenge her mother's death, she spends all her time with two new guys, a pixie and a Fae. Thankfully, the love triangle I feared did not really materialize, but I did not like the new guy that Aileana seemed to be drawn to. (He was one of those dark, manipulative characters like Morpheus in the Splintered books. Some readers adore those types of characters; I'm not usually one of them.)

For my tastes as a reader, this story was a bit too heavy on fight scenes and a little too light on characters I could connect with on an emotional level. But if you're a reader who loves action-packed stories with kick-ass heroines and a lot of fight scenes, The Falconer is definitely for you.


  1. I agree with not being a fan of the manipulative characters. Morpheus, Warner... Nope. I do love action, so I'm very interested in The Falconer. :) I haven't heard of the Buzz Kill, though. Awesome reviews, Jen!

    1. Aimee! I agree with you. Morpheus and Warner turned me right off. <3

  2. Love these mini reviews, Jen. It just tells the pertinent things you found about the books. I'm with you on manipulative characters - despise them too. :)

  3. Buzz Kill sounds adorable! Is that the same author who wrote Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side?

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  4. I really enjoyed The Falconer but I can totally see what you are saying about the characters. They were not the most relate-able but I loved the action and Scottish lore.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  5. Buzz Kill sounds interesting...The Falconer maybe....but the cover is fantastic :)

  6. I really loved Buzz Kill too. It was a fun and well-written book and I liked the quirkiness. :) The Falconer I'll be reading at some point. I love the new cover!

  7. Buzz Kill might not be like something I'd usually read, but The Falconer is for sure!! I love a bit heavier fantasy and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Great reviews, Jen :)

  8. I haven't read much about these-- but quirky can be good.

  9. I spy the falconer, I want this book.

  10. Wow the Falconer sounds crazy good, like something i'd love! Thanks for the review, this book wasn't even on my radar, and now it's on my must read list! :) And I LOVED Nancy Drew as a kid too, so looks like Buzz Kill would be fun!

  11. These both look pretty great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  12. Thanks for sharing, Jen. Love your mini reviews!


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