Reading Level: Adult
Length: 384 pages
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st volume in the St. Croix Chronicles
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They’ve no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London’s streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.
Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his—for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company . . . the other might just see me dead.”
I am a huge fan of steampunk novels so I was really excited to start this series. This ended up being just an okay investigative steampunk romance novel. I had some trouble engaging with the characters and the plot, but the world-building was intriguing.
On the surface this book had a number of things I love about steampunk series; the Victorian setting, interesting devices and a heroine that’s torn between the underworld and a glittering high society. Unfortunately all of this just kind of fell flat for me. I had trouble engaging with and enjoying Cherry as a character and didn’t find any of the surrounding characters to be all that intriguing either (in fact a week after reading this book I would be hard pressed to tell you any of the side characters’ names).
The plot mainly involved Cherry tracking down a man who was eviscerating prostitutes (very Jack the Ripper). There is a love triangle between Cherry, a society man, and a man who rules part of the London below. The chemistry between the characters was just so so.
I did enjoy the idea of a London below and some of the world-building around this; that was my favorite part of this book.
Overall an okay investigative steampunk novel but not great. At the end of the book I wasn’t dying to read anymore about this world or characters. There are much better steampunks series out there.