Reading Level: Adult
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
“In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.
When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .
Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.”
I really loved Cato’s Clockwork Dagger duology and was very excited to see a new book by her. I absolutely loved this book and was amazed at the depth and creativity in the world created here. This is very much a steampunk alternate history and it was just incredibly engaging and well written. Cato came and commented on my blog and ends up this is the first book in a series, not a standalone. The second book will be titled Call of Fire and is scheduled to be release next summer (2017).
I loved the alternate history here, it was very creative and incredibly well put together. Cato wrote the book in such a way that you really get a sense of the broader world and the issues the world is dealing with.
The characters were amazing. Ingrid is a female geomancer (unheard of until now) and she tries to make her way through life without causing too much upset to those around her; although this frustrates her at times. She is a wonderfully strong female but strong more in spirit and intelligence than action-hero-like strong. I really enjoyed her a lot and loved some of the revelations about her geomancy powers.
The plot is somewhat investigative and somewhat political with many delightful steampunk devices and of course geomancy throughout, there is a lot of action and even some romance as well. I really enjoyed the blend of genres in here. The way geomancy was described and explored was fascinating.
There is a very nice Afterward that explains the real history of this era and how Cato blended that into this new world. I enjoyed reading this and am glad it was included.
Overall I adored this book. This is a beautifully written story that is exciting, creative, and engaging. I loved the characters, the world, and the plot. I would highly recommend to both fantasy and steampunk fans out there. I also really enjoyed Cato’s Clockwork Dagger Duology; however this book was a step up from that in complexity and creativity. I am incredibly excited to see what the second book, Call of Fire, holds for us!