Victoria Waters, a rich scientist who created synthetic skin to clothe automatons, called Clockworks, is on her way to speak to the Commission for Animatronic Affairs when she is kidnapped by Dash, a member of the Brotherhood, a group of unemployed and disenfranchised who want to stop the spread of Clockworks in society due to the effect on employment on the lower income caste.
by Bonnie Dee
When Victoria wakes, Dash finds an ally to the cause and a willing partner in trying to slow Clockwork adoption in society. Their plans to challenge the Commission are thwarted when Dash’s former mentor is killed by the Southwark Slasher, a fiend who kills women and steals their hearts.
The story quickly moved into conspiracy and politics, which would have been satisfying if not for the fact that these areas are severely underdeveloped. Instead, Bonnie Dee takes this novella (just over 100 pages on a Kindle) straight and true on the well worn and shallow path of lustful romance. The overused themes of love overcoming class, loss and providing redemption become more important than the plot itself. I admit that much of my dissatisfaction with this novella is that it is sold as Steampunk Romance, but in reality is it trashy, dime store romance set in a Steampunk world that is fully unnecessary to the story.
Readers who enjoy Romance – and I know there are many of you – will enjoy this story as well, but you already knew that as all cheap romance novels are basically the same with different names and settings. But those looking for a smart Steampunk novel that includes romance will be sorely disappointed. As for me, I have to admit that I moved through the book quickly and I never lost interest. In the end, though it was over too quickly with little to no resolution to the societal issues and too little development of the murders.
A final note for those readers who may be sensitive to this topic: the book includes sexuality and a detailed description of sexuality in the epilogue to the point that it can only be describes as pornographic. Be warned.
Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on current events and Christianity.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.