Hmmm, how would I label this book? - YA alternate historical steampunk with a dash of time travel. The book has two young female protagonists. The firHmmm, how would I label this book? - YA alternate historical steampunk with a dash of time travel. The book has two young female protagonists. The first, Evaline Stoker, besides having a famous author brother, is also the ancestor of a famous vampire hunter readers of Gleason's Gardella series will be very familiar with. The other, Mina Holmes, is the niece of the famous detective and has inherited his power of observation. They will need all the skills they possess to investigate why young ladies of society are going missing and dying.
I really enjoyed Gleason's steampunk London. It's dark and dangerous. And I'm a fan of mysteries involving Egyptian mythology. I had a fondness for Mina more than Evaline, so enjoyed her chapters a little more. Though I really enjoyed Evaline's possible love interest - cocky and flirty Pix. Mina has two possible love interests. Dylan is adorable, but I have a softer spot for the crotchety police detective, Inspector Grayling. You can tell he's completely put out by his attraction to Mina. The ending is left a bit unsolved, but without an annoying cliffhanger. I'm excited to see where Gleason takes this series. ...more
Viehl departs from the paranormal romance genre for steampunk alternate history. What if America had never won its independence and stayed a subject oViehl departs from the paranormal romance genre for steampunk alternate history. What if America had never won its independence and stayed a subject of the English Crown? Viehl brings us this world and adds a bit of steampunk and a people who very much believe in magic and curses. Well, almost everybody. Kit is a private investigator who looks into claims of magic. She believes all mages and fortune tellers are charlatans. Her current case is for a women who believes she is cursed. Investigating this case will bring her into a place she promised herself she would avoid - high society and the presence of a certain Death Mage.
I'm definitely intrigued with the world and her characters. I really enjoyed the diversity and uniqueness to Viehl's characters in her Darkyn and Kyndred series. I equally enjoyed the characters in this book. Kit is a fun character to follow, very independent and smart. I want to learn more about Kit's past and "ability" that she doesn't believe she has. She has a great circle of friends and a possible love triangle with the previously mentioned Death Mage and a policeman who was a childhood friend.
This series is more like a serial with three different parts. This first book ends with no resolutions and will probably leave you anxious for the next book. I know I look forward to it.
I really really liked the setting and characters in this book. On the surface Delilah seems like a very selfish, non-caring character. She uses it asI really really liked the setting and characters in this book. On the surface Delilah seems like a very selfish, non-caring character. She uses it as a way of shielding people looking too deeply into her, because she herself doesn't want to look too deeply inside. But I feel like how she interacts with those she truly cares for and respects is telling. And as some of her past is revealed, I became more sympathetic. I did love that Delilah keeps her independent and sarcastic attitude throughout the whole book. I enjoyed her interactions with Ryder. It's a beautifully dramatic relationship.
Raybourn does a great job presenting Kenya. I loved her descriptions of the land and animals and Delilah and Ryder's reactions to and love for Kenya.
I wasn't too keen with the murder mystery part of the story. I would have just as much enjoyed a plot of Delilah only dealing with relationships and herself in the splendid setting of Kenya.
It's a beautifully written story. I think historical fiction fans will enjoy.
I wasn't really in the mood to read a young adult book when I started this ARC, so it was nice to find this book read more like an adult historical fiI wasn't really in the mood to read a young adult book when I started this ARC, so it was nice to find this book read more like an adult historical fiction with a bit of romance in it. The main character, Ismae, though innocent at times, never really acts like a teenager in my opinion. I think the author meant for Ismae to be 17 years old for most of the book, per the description, but three years pass in the convent, so that would make her 20 years old for the majority of the book. Or maybe she was younger when married off? I don't know; Ismae never says how old she is in the book, so I was a bit confused. In any case, it's the 15th century, so no matter if she is 14, 17, or 20, she is considered an adult and, for the most part, acts like one.
Ismae has just been married off by her abusive father to another abusive man. She escapes with the help of the local herbwitch and priest to the convent of St. Mortain. Mortain is also worshiped as one of the old gods as the god of Death. The sisters of this convent are trained to be his assassins. Ismae has an affinity with poisons. She is immune to poisons and the preparation of them comes naturally to her. After three years of training, her first two assignments go well. The third one will be her true test. It involves her entering Brittany's high court by acting as mistress to Gavriel Duval, half-brother to Anne, who is to become sovereign Duchess of Brittany. Part of her assignment is trying to figure out if Duval is working for or against his sister.
I really enjoyed the political intrigue. Anne is a real historical figure, and LaFevers did a great job introducing us to that time period and court. LaFevers fits the made up characters in nicely. Ismae is a little over her head at times, though. She tended to skip the "womanly arts" lessons at the convent for poison making, so flounders at times acting the mistress. And she is very confused when she realizes she actually has feelings for Duval, but still is not sure if she can trust him. Though Duval and Ismae end up working together, neither is completely honest with each other. Ismae also ends up questioning her devotion to her convent when she gets conflicting orders from them. She is a great character to follow, though I do wish we could have had Duval's point of view also.
This is a great book if you are looking for a historical fiction with a dash of fantasy and romance.