A Clockwork Heart
FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.
As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.
In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.
A CLOCKWORK HEART was a decent second book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow with interesting plot developments and huge twists. I like the very creepy concept of zombies being made with clockwork hearts and the shadow world in which Elle can connect with as the Oracle, though it wasn’t explored or explained very much leaving me a little confused. A CLOCKWORK HEART felt like a mystery investigation with little action and while I love a good steadily paced mystery this one dragged a bit too much in parts.
Unlike A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS, Elle is aware and accepting of the supernatural existing. What was odd was her lack of interest in actually figuring out more about her powers especially considering she comes off as a pretty adventurous character willing to learn new things. Where Elle came off as spunky and resourceful, Marsh appeared unstable and even weak which is a sharp contrast to the Marsh in A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS. Their relationship is not going well at the start of the A CLOCKWORK HEART and while a bit of relationship drama makes for an interesting story it came off as more childish bickering that merely served to advance the plot.
Though I have some issues with the pacing and characterization I enjoyed the overall mystery and take on zombie creation. Hopefully the shadow world and Elle’s Oracle powers will be explored more as Chronicles of Light and Shadow continues. The ending of A CLOCKWORK HEART is intriguing and leaves open a lot of opportunities for some big changes in Elle’s life in SKY PIRATES out June 3, 2013 by Del Rey.
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