Reading Level: Adult
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Clockwork Agents series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam powered world—the Wardens of the Realm—a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil.
Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: She has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.
He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before the Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, he can’t seem to complete his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him, and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well.”
This is the first book in the Clockwork Agents series by Cross (who also writes under a variety of other pen names). There are three books in this series and all have been released. I have had this book on my TBR pile for a while and was excited to get to read it. This ended up being a well done steampunk romance. I enjoyed it.
Arden is in an interesting situation. Her husband has been missing, presumed dead, for seven years and she has struggled to be faithful to both him and his position as a Peer of the realm. When she thinks she sees him one night on the streets she is stunned. Thing get even more complicated when she finds out his memory is gone and he has been sent to kill her.
The majority of the story focuses on a power struggle between the Wardens (who work with the Crown of England) and the Company. Arden works for the Wardens and has been consulting on a mission involving young murdered debutantes. The two storylines about the Wardens vs Company and the storyline about the murders are somewhat related. The storylines could have been put together better, at the end it was a bit confusing what the whole point was and I didn’t think the story made that much sense. So, hopefully the story elements are more well done in the next book.
There are some fun steampunk inventions throughout, so I really enjoyed those aspects. The story is fairly romance heavy but it was a well done romance. The fact that Arden and Luke are already married and are having to fall in love again and get to know each other again (after seven years apart) is very intriguing and engaging.
Overall this was a quick and engaging read. I enjoyed the chemistry and romance between the main characters and enjoyed the steampunk elements throughout. I thought that the story could have been better put together; it was a bit pointless and hard to figure out at times.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Steampunk Reading Challenge
– Paranormal Reading Challenge