Sheila's Reviews > The Hidden Goddess

The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson
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's review
Aug 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: cultural, historical, paranormal, relationships, romance, scifi-fantasy
Read in August, 2011

The Hidden Goddess, by M.K. Hobson, is one of those well-crafted sequels that’s enjoyable and intelligible even if you haven’t read the book that came before. The past is alluded to in passing, and there are details that will leap more vibrantly from the page if you’ve read The Native Star, but the change of setting to turn-of-the-century New York City, and the increasing sophistication of young witch Emily Edwards, is enough to separate the stories and make Hidden Goddess stand alone.

Emily is now engaged to society’s darling Dreadnought Stanton, and some delightful conversations ponder the implications of what she might call him after the wedding. Meanwhile Dreadnought’s family strive to complete Emily’s civilization, and teach her to enjoy the dramatic reading of Wordsworth by studious young women in lieu of chasing round California looking after her Pa and neighbors’ illnesses.

Sadly, the newspapers are full of drama. Earthquakes and “black exunge” are troubling San Francisco and beginning to spread. And anti-magical Russian scientists have been questioning Pa and others to learn Emily’s whereabouts.

While Dreadnought is bound in the details of gaining and retaining control of magical authority, Emily becomes embroiled in apocalypse. The untied links of The Native Star all reappear nicely threaded into this tale. Dreadnought’s tortured character and past come together. And the gentle intrigue of seeing ourselves in a slightly distorted image of our past continues to amuse, inspire and delight. By turns scary and romantic, humorous and deep, The Hidden Goddess is a truly enjoyable mix of steam-punk, magical romance, and historical social commentary.

Disclosure: The friend who loaned me The Native Star loaned me this book as well. Thank you.

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