Jaclyn's Reviews > Kiss of Steel

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
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Aug 04, 14

bookshelves: net-galley, steampunk-gaslight, vampires, werewolves, historical-romance, arc, opposites-attract
Read in June, 2012

I received an advanced copy of Bec McMaster’s Kiss of Steel from NetGalley. This steampunk romance takes place in an alternate version of historical England. In this alternate London, the Echelon rule the country and the poor are relegated to Whitechapel where their ruler, Blade, takes care of justice.

The Echelon is where McMaster plays with the conventions of vampires, as these upper class citizens are what I’m going to refer to as “pre-vampires.” In this version of England, there is a disease that is purposely infected on upper class males on their fifteenth birthday. This disease gives the infected enhanced abilities such as speed, strength and healing. The catch – you gotta drink blood to reap the benefits. However, like all diseases, this one runs its course ultimately turning the infected into a crazed, animalistic vampire that doesn’t have a conscious. This disease separates the rich from the poor. However, there are accidental infections, such as Blade (king of Whitechapel).

This unrelenting disease is where the heroine comes in. Honoria Todd is hiding out in Whitechapel after the death of her father. Her father was a scientist working on a cure to the vampiric disease for Lord Vickers. Although this disease is what gives the upper classes their power, it also leads to their downfall into insanity, something that Lord Vickers wants to prevent by any means necessary. Hence, Vickers is after Honoria.

Cue the tragic hero that will protect Honoria. Blade decides that he will protect Honoria and her two siblings and find out exactly what Honoria is hiding. Blade also has his own hidden agenda as he has a score to settle with Vickers and wants to find out what information Honoria has that Vickers wants.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel. I liked how the conventions of vampires were played with in the novel and how vampires and werewolves were accepted in this alternate London. This world really reminded me of Gail Carriger’s Soulless because of the acceptance of supernatural elements. I did find Kiss of Steel to be heavier on the romance than Soulless, but it was a good mixture of romance and plot.

I also really liked the secondary characters in the novel and I hope that the author picks up on some of them in future books in this series. Specifically, I would like to see a book featuring Honoria’s sister, Leo and Blade’s werewolf friend, Will.

This was a fun, romantic read and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
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