Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: The Faerie Ring

Title: The Faerie Ring

Author: Kiki Hamilton

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5 

Part of a Series?: First in series

Goodreads Summary:

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger. 

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty

2.5 stars

I feel like I might be a just a little harsh in reviewing this book. But when a book like The Faerie Ring takes itself as seriously as it does, I like it when my historical fiction actually feels like historical fiction. I admit that the description of London in this book is fairly impressive, but the way the characters speak, think, act, etc., you wouldn't know they live in Victorian England. Everything remotely interesting about that period in time has been watered down by the author to satiate the blind tastes of the masses. As a history buff, I was incredibly disappointed. 

First of all, I really, really don't like Kiki. I didn't like her from page one when I realized the author was self projecting herself into Kiki's character. When authors do that (e.g. Stephanie Meyer), the characters end up a mess--in other words, they end up trying to hard to be likeable. Take Kiki--I MEAN Tiki's character. Tiki is the maternal figure to her family of street urchins in Victorian London. She has this darn tragic past, and now she struggles to make a living because she has to sacrifice her day's pickings to get money for Clara. She's actually beautiful and intelligent despite her situation, and she's loyal to the bone. Gosh, she's just so perfect. She's a model citizen. And I want to facepalm. It's just this lack of any personality flaws that makes a nerve pop in my forehead. And yet, despite being so intelligent, Tiki is just so stupid sometimes. She doesn't believe Rieker could actually be helpful. It takes her more than half the book to even believe that he's not trying to scam her, let alone allow him to help her. Even when Rieker protects her TWICE from vicious faeries, Tiki doesn't even thank him. So let me revise my previous statement. Tiki is so perfect except for the fact that her judgment is crap. 

My second main disappointment with this book is the mixture of supernatural aspects into the story line. Actually, I wish that The Faerie Ring was just The Ring. For the first time ever, I wish that this was just a historical fiction story...not a historical fantasy. The concept of the faerie truce was cheap and weakly written. We mostly learn from it via Rieker's info dumps and a few scenes in the later half of the story. The faeries are not a major or necessary part to the story. I have this fantasy about what the book could have been if it was just a crime-heist-mixed-with-Victorian-England--think 19th century Oceans Eleven. But alas, Hamilton has failed my expectations. 

This could've been a great book. Maybe if Hamilton hadn't tried so hard...oh well.



No comments:

Post a Comment