Review: Tarnished by Karina Cooper

June 21, 2012 Review 2

*This title will be released on June 26, 2012*

Tarnished (The St. Croix Chronicles, #1)


(The St. Croix Chronicles, #1)
by Karina Cooper

Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: No
Reviewed by: Kristina | Source:Edelweiss

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (June 26, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062127640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062127648


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Multiple references to sex


In Victorian London, where science skirts the line between magic and mechanics, one stubborn miss will face shadows from her past, demons from her desires, and choices that will forever shape who she is.

A brand-new, sexy series from Karina Cooper featuring fearless heroine Cherry St. Croix-debutante by day, bounty hunter by night-set in an alternate London where proper Victorian society sits above a seedy steampunk underworld teeming with dubious loyalties, advanced technology, and incredible magic

Book Trailer



One of my favorite approaches to worldbuilding is when an author takes an existing city like London and transforms it into something completely new. In TARNISHED, London has finally been consumed by its famous fog and pollution causing filthy and unhealthy living conditions for a great portion of Londoners. The upperclass have built communities a few miles above the fog where the air is clean (they even use gondolas to travel around on top of the fog). I had The Jetsons on the mind reading this as they also live in the sky and get around on spaceships but we never see the ground. The lower class is subject to living in the miserable polluted fog on the ground. While the story is mainly steampunk there was an element of horror including allusions to Frankenstein and Jack the Ripper

Even though her childhood is far darker, Cherry could be an example of what Annie from the musical Annie could have become; unwilling to give up her ‘street urchin’ ways even though she’s been adopted and has all the money she could want. Cherry works as a collector or bounty hunter to support her opium addiction and socially unacceptable interest in science. The opium addiction plays into the plot but we don’t get much of an explanation for the scientific research she is doing. It felt unnecessary.  Her drug problem was reason enough to justify her need to work as a collector.

The murder suspect list is quite long, unfortunately they weren’t all very interesting. Lordship Cornelius Kerrigan Compton was bland and underdeveloped. He and Cherry had very few interactions, so I’m not sure why she was attracted to him beyond his title. There was definitely more complexity in Hawke; the owner of the Menagerie (brothel) and his relationship with Cherry. Their story looks like it has room to evolve into something interesting as I saw a lot of chemistry in their scenes. I hope his Lordship is gone for good or he gets more three dimensional if he does come back. Plenty of intriguing unanswered questions and a strong protagonist have hooked me enough to read the next book in The St. Croix Chronicles series when it is published in 2013.

Titles in Series

  1. Tarnished

2 Responses to “Review: Tarnished by Karina Cooper”

  1. Becca

    Loved your thoughtful review. This book is new to me–hadn’t heard of it before–but the cover immediately caught my eye. After reading your review, it sounds like something I might like to look into more and possibly try. Thanks for sharing!