Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Steampunk
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5 stars
I have been wanting to read this book since it released (and even before it released). I read the first 200 pages of it but had a very hard time staying engaging in the story. There is some cool alternate history/steampunk stuff in here, but the story moves very slowly.
Karen works at a bordello. The life of her and her fellow working girls gets complicated when an injured girl shows up at their door seeking sanctuary. Shortly after that another girl ends up dead in the alleyway outside of their house. Initially it looks like both events might be tied together. By sheltering the injured girl, the madam of the house has put herself in direct competition with another force in the city. However, when a Marshall shows up hunting down a serial killer they find out that the mystery might be much more complex than expected.
There wasn’t anything awful about this book I just had a very hard time engaging in the story. I read the first 200 pages of the book and felt like it moved really really slow. At 200 pages in we were just starting to get involved in the mystery surrounding the deaths of working girls in the area.
I also had some trouble engaging with the characters; there are a lot of them. The story is told from Karen’s point of view but I had a lot of trouble engaging with her as a character and really caring what happened to her. All the characters were all okay, they just weren’t all that interesting to read about.
There were some interesting alternate history details in here and I did enjoy those. However, that wasn’t worth slogging through the tedious day to day life of these working girls. I finally just gave up because it was a struggle for me to stay interested in the story and I have a lot of other great books to read.
Overall this was a slow read that I found fairly boring. It takes a long time for the mystery to get going. I did enjoy some of the alternate history details in here, but I had trouble caring about the characters or engaging in the plot. I wouldn’t recommend this book. There are many other very good alternate history/steampunk books out there. I would recommend checking out Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series or Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series.