Reviewed by Ami
Author: Caleb James
Series: The Haffling #2
Heroes: Liam Summer/Charlie Fitzgerald
Genre: MM Fantasy
Length: 236 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Liam Summer, with the face of an angel and the body of an underwear model, has done bad things. Raised as the whore and cat’s paw of a murderous fairy queen, his beauty has ruined many. When Queen May’s plot to unite and rule the fairy and human realms fails, Liam wakes naked and alone in a Manhattan building on fire. Unaware the blaze is arson, and he’s its intended victim, he prepares to die.
Enter ax-wielding FDNY firefighter Charlie Fitzgerald, who Liam mistakes for an ogre assassin. As Charlie rescues Liam, he realizes the handsome blond has nowhere to go. So he does what he, and his family, have always done—he helps.
As for Queen May, trapped in the body of a flame-throwing salamander, she may be down, but she’s not out. Yes, she failed the last time, but Liam, and others, will pay. She knows what must be done: possess a haffling, cross into the human world engorged with magic, and become queen and Goddess over all.
As Liam realizes the danger they all face, he discovers unexpected truths. That even the most wicked are not beyond redemption, and that love—true love—is a gift even he can receive.
Review: Exile is the second installment in James’s fantasy series, The Haffling, about half-human/half-fae descendants and their fights against evil Queen May, who wants to rule over both See and Unsee worlds. The first book, Haffling, was released in 2013 and introduced readers to this world, including the main protagonist, Alex Nevus. Exile, on the other hand, focuses on Liam Summer, the paw of Queen May, who used to do her deeds, even though Alex makes an appearance in this book.
Overall, I thought it was a good follow-up. I got to know more about Queen May and why she became ambitious of ruling both human and fairy realms. I was introduced to other new characters, and I was quite pulled in with the legends that made up this universe. I felt empathy with Liam who wanted to do penance after basically being Queen May’s ‘slave,’ and destroying a lot of lives.
However, I have to admit that I stumbled in terms of the writing … most of the time, I felt like I was being told a story by characters that were in a trance, that they talked in riddles which made everything fuzzy. I also wasn’t a fan of how the perspectives seem to switch from one character to another within the span of paragraph after the other. I didn’t recall the same experience happening when I read the first book, so I was quite annoyed with this one. It reduced my enjoyment, in an attempt to feel involved with the characters and storyline.
I will still follow the series in case James decides to continue. But I hope the writing style will be smoother than this one.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*