Author: C.T. Adams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Fae #1
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publication: March 10, 2015 by Tor Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Brianna Hai runs an occult shop that sells useless trinkets to tourists—and real magic supplies to witches and warlocks. The magical painting that hangs in Brianna's apartment is the last portal between the fae and human worlds.
A shocking magical assault on her home reveals to Brianna that her father, High King Liu of the Fae, is under attack. With the help of her gargoyle, Pug, her friend David, and Angelo, a police detective who doesn't believe in magic, Brianna recovers what was stolen from her and becomes an unwilling potential heir to the throne.
I thought the world-building was well-done, even if it’s your standard urban fantasy with the usual Faes, Gargoyles, Seers/Oracles, Pixies, and Trolls variety. The book is set up in a closed world, meaning the humans don’t know that magic and supernatural beings exist. Brianna Hai, is half-human, half Fae and she has been living in the human world for years and it isn't until someone attacks her beyond the veil does she go back to Fairy. I’m really big on world building, I expect it to be both complex (but not overwhelming) and believable…to have that oomph, but I didn't see it in The Exile. It’s was good but there was nothing new that we haven’t already seen in other urban fantasies. Also, the plot has been done before countless of times. I was waiting for a big revelation or twist to make this book stand out but it never came. Plus, it didn't help that the part of Fairy (The Palace) we explored was built to mirror the human world. I was expecting to see a magical and exotic plane, but I didn't get that. I hope this little issue will be remedied in the next book so we can see beyond the palace since the characters were only in two locations for most of the story; Brianna’s shop and King Leu’s Palace.
Brianna was a likable heroine, as were most of the other characters. But even after I finished reading it, the characters felt one-dimensional and that I didn't connect or relate to them at all. There were multiple POVs and while I usually don’t have a problem with it for once I think having so many narratives actually hurt the character developments. Since everyone was vying for equal page time we didn't get to know the characters beyond the basic facts/info presented at the beginning of the book.
As for the pacing of the story, I thought it was a bit shaky. At times it would flow smoothly but a few pages later it would get interrupted by a tedious scene. This happens on and off throughout the book. I would find myself riveted one minute and bored the next. But it isn't for the lack of trying; the book is full of action and commotions within the first chapter till the very end but it was written in a way that didn't work for me…I don’t know why though, everything just felt a bit off.
Overall, I liked The Exile, just not as much as I hoped. Despite the rocky start and flaws, I think it’s a good start to a new urban fantasy series. I am curious to see what’s in store for Brianna and Co, so I might check out the sequel when it comes out. I’d still recommend it to UF fans, I think it’s worth checking out…if you can, read an except/sample before buying or borrow it from the library.