Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Secret Order series
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the first book in the Secret Order trilogy by Bailey. The second two books in this series, Rise of the Arcane Fire (in paperback) and Shadow of the War Machine (in hardback), just released in last week. This was a very entertaining young adult steampunk romance and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Meg is left with nothing after a fire consumes her home and kills her parents, nothing but a tarnished pocket watch that she was able to rescue from the wreckage. Meg ends up working as a maid at the house of one of her father’s friends, it’s a strange job since no one is ever in the house but the maids and the cook. The job gets stranger when Meg discovers the pocket watch can unlock many secrets. Meg starts to unravel the secrets and finds that her family was involved in an elite and secret society.
I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. I have had a review copy of this to read forever and I am not sure why it kept getting pushed back on my reading list. There is an excellent mystery and I enjoyed Meg as a heroine. I also enjoyed the male lead in the story, Will.
There is some romance in this story. Meg was the daughter of a well-off man and her position as a maid is most likely temporary, but Will is a stable boy who was pulled off of the streets. After working together to solve these mysteries the two end up having feelings for one another…feelings that Will doesn’t want to act on because he is worried about their future. Meg and Will aren’t necessarily a swoon-worthy couple…but I did really enjoy how they built a relationship over time and how realistic they were about the future.
My favorite part of this book is that Meg basically ends up on a scavenger hunt of sorts trying to find clues on where a horribly dangerous device has been hidden. Each clue she finds leads her to another amazing clockwork device and another clue which leads to another crazy creation. The steampunk creations in the story were very imaginative and fun to read about.
The book was well written and engaging. The story is tied up very well, although there are two more books planned for this series.
Overall I really enjoyed this book it was a fun read and had an excellent mystery. I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt aspect of the story and all the incredibly creative steampunk devices. I plan on reading the next two books in this series. I would recommend to steampunk fans who don’t mind a little YA romance in their steampunk adventure.