Early Review: Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles) by Karina Cooper

September 19, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★

Early Review: Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles) by Karina CooperCorroded by Karina Cooper
Series: The St. Croix Chronicles, #3
Genres: Horror, Steampunk
Published by Carina Press on September 23,. 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Kristina
4 Stars

Sexual content

References to sex

Hungry for vengeance, Cherry St. Croix is forced to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London.

My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff, and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London’s decadent pleasure garden.

Micajah Hawke’s dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor’s edge under his scrutiny His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit—no matter how sweet the sacrifice.

Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this, no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn’t kill me may leave its scars forever.

CORRODED continues to move a beautifully written story forward with amazing revelations and new challenges for Cherry St. Croix. Like the previous two books in the The St. Croix Chronicles. CORRODED feels like a dark nightmare with danger lurking around every corner.  I enjoyed the progressive darkening of the story as it ramps up the tension and conflict for Cherry. Unfortunately the first part of the story moves too slowly for my taste and at times I felt like I was forcing myself get to the next plot point or chapter. Luckily the story speeds up and gets really exciting and action packed towards the last part of CORRODED which made the slogging first half worth it.

One of the unique ideas in the The St. Croix Chronicles is the fact that our heroine, Cherry is addicted to opium. In CORRODED we get to see her yo yo between withdrawals and drug induced hazes as she seeks revenge on ‘Jack the Ripper’. Her downward spiral into opium and other dangers helps shows that Cherry is very flawed which is how I tend to like my protagonists because it makes their struggles from rock bottom to a ‘happy ending of sorts’ all the more satisfying. While I like Cherry as a main character I wasn’t to thrilled by her relationship with Hawke, the ringmaster of the Menagerie.

Cherry’s relationship with Hawke continues to be very baffling. I just don’t know what I am supposed to think about him. He comes to Cherry’s rescue plenty of times and I enjoyed seeing more of him as that meant the possibility of figuring him out. But I still don’t get his purpose in the story aside from a sort of  love interest and a way to get Cherry out of a bind. I assume his identity and background is supposed to be shrouded in mystery but he really doesn’t say or do much to really make him a full character.
CORRODED is an excellent dark steampunk story with a lot wonderful horror elements and a very troubled heroine who I gladly continue to root for as this dark, twisted story continues. I am looking forward to seeing where this story goes in the next The St. Croix Chronicles book which as of now has no release date.

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