Reading Level: Adult
Length: 131 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1.5th book in the Blud series
Source: Bought for Kindle
Rating: 4/5 stars
“An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot.
Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind. “
I really enjoyed this steampunk novella set in the Blud universe (I have read the first three book in that series and decided to go back and read some of the novellas). I always seem to enjoy Dawson’s novellas more than her full length books.
Imogen is a very smart woman fleeing a very bad situation. She has a butterfly circus and Criminy recommends that she talk to Mr. Murdoch (who doesn’t talk to anyone) about getting her act and equipment set up. The Mysterious Mr. Murdoch is a mechanical genius of sorts but also very reclusive. With their shared love of all things mechanical and steampunk the two hit it off. I enjoyed both Imogen Morpho and the Mysterious Mr. Murdoch as characters. Of course it was delightful to see Criminy again as well (although he isn’t in the story much).
This is a romance heavy story. The romance is very well done and I enjoyed the chemistry between Madam Morpho and Mr. Murdoch. I also continue to love the slightly twisted world that the Blud series is set in; it’s like a crazy twisted steampunk Wonderland of sorts.
The only thing I found disappointing was the revelation of what made Mr. Murdoch so dangerous; it was fairly anticlimactic and kind of silly. However, the story does wrap up nicely and was an entertaining read.
Overall I really enjoyed this novella set in the Blud universe. The characters were fun and engaging and had great chemistry. I enjoyed the world and the steampunk elements, as well as some of the magic in the story. I would recommend to those who enjoy steampunk romance.