Review posted December 27, 2014.
Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2014. 382 pages.
All the society ladies gossip about Aileana. She was found crouched over her mother's body, covered in blood. Aileana knows that a faery killed her mother and ripped out her heart. Now she hungers to kill faeries herself.
But meanwhile, she's supposed to be a proper young lady, and her father wants her to get serious about attracting a husband. It's tricky when Aileana senses that a faery is hunting one of the guests at the dance. How can she stay for all the dances when she needs to save someone's life?
Since her mother's death, Aileana, unlike most people, can see faeries. Like even fewer people, she can kill them. She's being trained by one of the more powerful faeries, but she's not at all sure she can trust him. Then her childhood friend comes back from school, and he can see faeries, too. But more and more fearsome creatures are coming after Aileana, and she learns the seal keeping humanity safe is weakening.
Set in a steampunk Scotland, this story is a page-turner. I'm not crazy about books written in present tense, but this one was worth the read. The other thing I didn't like, though, was that as the first of a trilogy, this stopped in the middle of the action, and didn't come to a satisfying conclusion at all. However, I have to admit that it hooked me, and I very much want to know what happens next.