Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape

Book 1 of Cindy Spencer Pape's Gaslight Chronicles, "Steam and Sorcery" is a sweet romantic, steampunk read that takes a while to build up steam. (yeah - I went there. I couldn't resist.) I almost gave up on this after the first quarter of the book but forced myself to forge ahead. I think all the background story built up too slowly. Practically the first quarter of the book passed before the hero and heroine even appear together for more than a paragraph. I would have enjoyed this book more if the first half of the book could have been condensed into a few chapters. A few scenes were jarring to me as a historical romance reader even though the author provides an explanation. An example: the heroine, in her role as governess, is invited to dine at a dinner party - hosted by the hero's boss, a duke. The author provides an explanation, but it just didn't seemed historically accurate to the time period steampunk is set in. I understand she's not exactly of the same class as the downstairs servants, but she's not even a distant relationship or presented as such before the invite.

The children/orphans the hero takes in were interesting and definitely stole the show. I'd especially be interested in reading Wink's story. This e-book is available now from Carina Press. Below is the back cover blurb:

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.

When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...

Rating: 2.5/5

ARC courtesy of NetGalley


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