A STUDY IN DARKNESS has a much darker and more gruesome tone than its predecesor, A STUDY IN SILKS. While I liked the lighter tone in the previous book I enjoyed the fact that Holloway ramped up the danger since that meant more fun battle scenes with steampunk technology and thrilling chases. I was also amazed at just how dark and gory this book gets with the murders done by Ripper explained in stark detail.
As charming and quirky as Gail Carriger’s Soulless series, CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES delves back into all the ways that society, science, and magic can collide. Sophronia’s perspective on manners and intelligence gathering is a fantastic window into this world, which is as interesting for the social dynamics as for the dirigibles and mechanimals.
HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED was quite the ride. Action packed and full of surprises to the reader, there was never a dull moment. However, it very much felt like coming in halfway through the story, which, in essence, the reader is. From what I understand, HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED and HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE will be printed together as one novel in the spring. This makes sense; HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED starts off immediately where HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE ended, much to my relief. HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE wasn’t really a complete story, so I was curious to see where the second half would take us. Unfortunately, it almost immediately goes a little crazy.
What drew me to A STUDY IN SILKS was the fact that it was a sort of spin off of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series with Holmes’ niece taking center stage as the detective. I adore mysteries just about as much as urban fantasy and a good murder mystery mixed with some magical mayhem is my cup of tea.
THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB had a lot of potential – the niece and sister of famous literary characters! steampunk! Egyptian mythology! – and while it lived up to some of my expectations, I was slightly disappointed with parts of it as well. The very first thing I’ll mention is that the book description is a bit misleading- Mina and Evaline didn’t know each other before the book started, so they were barely rivals (even if they did dislike each other after meeting), and they definitely weren’t fending off advances from three gentlemen (because I would barely call their conversations advances) and they are both definitely already in the family business (even if Evaline hasn’t managed to kill a vampire yet). It does get right the bit about the mystery, though.
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.
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.
Set in an imagined America after losing the Revolutionary War, HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE was, while not perfect, definitely original and enjoyable. It was a quick read, with a brave and spunky heroine, and a mystery with so many parts that I can’t even begin to guess how it is going to end.
This was a great story to start this anthology out with as it gives you the flavor of carnival life with its descriptions of sleazy carnies and weird, almost creepy relationships they have with eachother. PAINTED LOVE’s narrator, Doddle, was a weirdly passive and silent character and throughout most of the story I was constantly trying to figure out what his deal was.
COLD COPPER is another exciting installment of the Age of Steam series with a solid mix of steampunk and supernatural elements. I liked how it almost felt like a thriller as the plot moved at a constant pace and there was an intensity of wondering what danger lurks on the next page for Cedar and his friends.