My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Okay, breath. I’ve managed to decompress after reading this novel. It sent me into fits of joy and had me squealing and declaring my love for a new OTP. Was it perfect? Nope. Was it everything I needed and didn’t even realize? Yes.
Let me start by saying that I was going through a tough time at the point when I was reading this book. I wanted an escape and it gave it to me. That was exactly what this book gave me and I was so appreciative that it will forever hold a soft spot in my heart. So maybe this score may be elevated a bit by the emotions behind it, but it is a generally great book. I’m just extra keen on it.
So, let’s be brutally honest. I nearly gave up on this book. I was ready to put it down and chock it up to a loss. Alexia was amusing, but I just found myself inexplicably bored and only mildly interested in the goings on after the rather hilarious opening. For 5 days, I slogged through the first 80 pages. I’d read a couple of pages and pass out or find something else to do or it just read so darn slow it was painful. I put in hours. I would have expected to be done with it and I just wasn’t. So I decided I would read another 30 pages (or whenever I passed out that night)and if it didn’t do it for me then I was done.
As you can probably tell, I pushed through and I hit a point where I felt like I had reached this strange euphoria. I had hit bliss town and this is mainly because of the evolving relationship between Alexia and Lord Maccon. I’m not going to say much because I’d hate to spoil the fun of this novel, but they literally saved it for me. Their banter and interactions uplifted me and my enjoyment of the story. Almost instantly, I was engaged and loving the book. It was something that made my heart sing and squeal in excitement. The characters came alive.
While the pair of them made the novel for me, quite a number of the characters were quite entertaining. In fact, Lord Akeldama was the main reason I read on in the early sections of the book. Alexia’s best friend was amusing with her hats. That’s not even to mention the ridiculousness of Alexia’s family who were entertaining in their own right. Professor Lyall was a delightful old man. At least I imagined him as an old man with a mean bite, a firm grasp on reality, and enough exasperation to kill a horse.
Just because the book became a breeze to read that doesn’t mean it was smooth sailing. There were moments that were rocky and that began to drag again. In particular, I got worried that a section near the end went on just a little bit too long. Even still I was able to push through it willingly because the book had finally made me feel invested in the characters.
As much as I loved the book, I’m not going to say that it was quite as super original. It was definitely unique, but it still fell to predictable notes. Yet, they felt like satisfying predictability. There were no incredible swerves you could see where things were going before they happened and that was okay. I didn’t need it because it was the characters that I was invested in not the story.
This book is filled with dry wit. I’m sure there are many jokes that just went completely over my head. I’m okay with that. It made me laugh and smile enough. Personally, I didn’t find Alexia particularly funny, but I did love seeing her use her intelligence to turn things against others.
So yes, I loved this book. I will most certainly be continuing on in the series. If anything this book has reminded me how much I desire books of the like.
Quick side note, if you are looking for Steampunk, this is not a Steampunk heavy story. It is Steampunk-lite. It works if you are not familiar with that kind of story, but if you are looking for an engrossing Steampunk world this is not it.