Reading Level: Adult
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. This was a very well done continuation of this steampunk adventure series. I continue to enjoy Elle as a character and love all the magic of the Barrier and the constant balancing between the powers of Light and Shadow.
Elle journeys far from her home in this book, eventually ending up as part of a pirate crew on an airship. She adventures through deserts and jungles in a desperate effort to find a way to return her husband Marsh to the realm of the living. In the end her search leads her to the forgotten temple of Angkor Wat.
I have really loved this series. There is a lot of action and many wonderful steampunk elements. The writing flows well and is easy to read. There is a little bit of romance in here as well but this series definitely tends to a more steampunk/urban fantasy type feel than paranormal romance.
Elle is a fantastic character to read about. She is obviously grieving still in this book and has driven many of her friends away. She is not the normally spunky girl that we have seen in the first two books. There are times where her behavior is fairly despicable, by I still admired her will to survive and her moxy.
With Elle’s husband Marsh turned wraith and missing, a new male lead enters the scene. Elle is traveling with the hunky Logan Dashwood. Elle is strangely drawn to him despite her loyalty to her husband.
I didn’t like the portions of the book told from Patrice’s view that much (he is the resident bad guy), but they were necessary to the story. They just weren’t as exciting or engaging as Elle’s portions of the story.
I liked that this story took place in some exotic locations. I also enjoy the power of the Oracles and the balance that is (or is not) maintained between Light and Shadow, it is some interesting and creative magic.
There were a few inconsistencies. When Elle first meets Dashwood’s first mate she vows to kill him, then by the end of the book the are bosom buddies. This was a bit too broad of a shift for me. We don’t really get to see a ton of the part where Elle goes from loathed by Dashwood’s crew to loved and are left to assume that Elle gains their respect over time. Also I didn’t really like where the story went with the whole Elle, Marsh, Logan parts.
Also Elle talks a lot about loyalty to Marsh but then there is a fairly explicit pool scene between Elle and Logan where this all goes out the window; of course their indiscretion is blamed on magic. I also did not like the ending when Elle brings Marsh back. It puts Elle right in the middle of a rather embarrassing love triangle and left me worrying about where this all is going. I hope Elle doesn’t end up with a whole harem of adoring men like some of our favorite urban fantasy heroines have.
Overall this is a fun steampunk adventure. I enjoy Elle as a character and love that she traveled to exotic locations in this book. I also really enjoy the idea of Light and Shadow and the role the Oracles play. There were a few inconsistencies in the story and I am concerned about where the whole Elle/Logan/Marsh thing is going. However I am still eager to see what happens next. On a side note I have really loved all the covers to this series, they are very well done.
Recommended to those who enjoy steampunk adventure with some magic. If you enjoy Brook’s Iron Seas series, Carrgier’s Parasol Protectorate series, or Priest’s Clockwork Empire I would recommend checking out this series.