Reading Level: Adult
Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the London Steampunk series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
This was a well done steampunk romance that features Will and Lena who we meet in the first book of the series, Kiss of Steel. Right now there are four books in this series with the fifth book, Of Silk and Steam, scheduled to publish in March of 2015.
Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. She is very adept at navigating the waters of the Echelon, while spying for the humanists. Her path has crossed with Will’s before but they try to avoid each other. Now Will has been asked to serve as a werewolf representative to help oversee the treaty between the Echelon and some neighboring werewolf nobility. Unfortunately Will needs to learn court manners and Lena is the one assigned to teach him. However, things are getting dangerous between the humanist rebels and the Echelon. If Will and Lena can’t figure out what is happening quickly the whole treaty may fall apart.
There is a lot of intrigue and politics here, as well as some well done action. Will and Lena have excellent chemistry together and there are some very well done steamy scenes between the two. Will does have that whole alpha werewolf thing going on. I normally am not a huge fan of that but it really works for Will’s character.
I will definitely say that the overall plot and world take a backseat to the romance in this book. This is hands down mostly a romance, which is something I don’t mind reading once in a while but something that I don’t like as much as book that is more plot/action driven. I will say that the McMaster is a master at writing engaging love scenes, really they are excellently and tastefully done.
There aren’t a ton of steampunk elements here, or at least they are more in the background. There are some people that have mechanical grafts/limbs and Lena likes to tinker with gears. Outside of that there isn’t a ton of steampunky goodness. The book focuses more on vampires and werewolves and the politics between them.
The story was fast-paced and very engaging. I whipped right through this book and really enjoyed it.
This series is very comparable to Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series, although I like that series a bit more because of the magic involved. It’s also somewhat similar to Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series; although I think the Iron Seas series is far superior to either of the aforementioned because of the incredible world-building in the series. It also reminds of Kate Locke’s Immortal Empire series but is definitely heavier on the romance.
Overall this was a fun and very well done addition to the London Steampunk series. This is a series that is definitely heavier on the romance and paranormal elements than the steampunk elements. I think fans of Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series will enjoy this, although this series has less magic and more paranormal. If you are looking for excellent steampunk reads with just a dash of romance I would also recommend The Iron Seas series by Meljean Brook, The Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke, The Magnificent Devices series by Shelley Adina, and The Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge