I was looking forward to reading this novel. I started listening to Allen’s Steampunk Proper Romance novels last year on audio and took a quick liking to the first book, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, which is influenced by both the fairytale Beauty and the Beast and the classic novel Jane Eyre. I liked the second book as well, but the third one wasn’t as engrossing as the first two. However, I was still interested in the series and even more so because the fourth book, this one, hinted at some Cinderella influences. Unfortunately, my reading experience with Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts was not as great as I thought it would be. I didn’t like it. 🙁
(Btw, I received an ARC through NetGalley to review, but my thoughts below are my honest reaction to the book.)
I continue with the Steampunk Proper Romance series. This time, a beautiful young woman with long golden hair is whisked off to a tower in Romania by her mysterious uncle to help her supposedly crazy twin sister.
Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.
Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.
I hardly ever post mini reviews of novels. I prefer to dedicate a full post to each one. But things are getting ridiculous because it’s now November and there are books I read in August that I haven’t yet talked about on here. Not that it’s a big deal, but I like to post a review for every book I read so being this behind on reviews irks me. It makes me feel as if I’m not progressing with my reading goals, even if I am.
Although the stories I’ll discuss in this post are all fantasy, they are quite different from each other. The first is a Tor novella about a Wild Man of the woods whose life is upended when he receives a visit from an unassuming human. The second, a paranormal, historical fiction romance with some steampunk influence that’s inspired by the fairytale Sleeping Beauty. And the third is a middle-grade fantasy novel about the boyhood years of the famous wizard Merlin.
I enjoyed reading two of the three, but one was surprisingly boring. However, I’m glad to have read them all. Here’s what I thought of each.
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
Greenhollow, book 1
There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.
How did I come by this story? It’s the same as always happens. I was at work doing a boring task and wanted to listen to something entertaining. I got lucky when I took a chance on Nancy Campbell Allen’s Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. The synopsis made me think it would be similar to the paranormal romance series I read last year — Fairwick Chronicles by Juliet Dark, which is set in the present day at a small college in upstate New York. The stories aren’t similar, but I’ve enjoyed both and am glad I’ve read them.
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast is a historical fiction novel inspired by the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. The story is set in Victorian England (but women, especially our narrator, exercise some independence) in a world that has certain technological advancements (such as airships and automatons) that give the story a strong steampunk quality. It is very atmospheric, has a strong gothic vibe, and features several supernatural creatures, such as werewolves, vampires, and ghosts.
A deadly white mist has cloaked the earth for hundreds of years. Humanity clings to the highest mountain peaks, where the wealthy Five Families rule over the teeming lower slopes and rambling junkyards. As the ruthless Lord Kodoc patrols the skies to enforce order, thirteen-year-old Chess and his crew scavenge in the Fog-shrouded ruins for anything they can sell to survive.
Hazel is the captain of their salvage raft: bold and daring. Swedish is the pilot: suspicious and strong. Bea is the mechanic: cheerful and brilliant. And Chess is the tetherboy: quiet and quick…and tougher than he looks. But Chess has a secret, one he’s kept hidden his whole life. One that Lord Kodoc is desperate to exploit for his own evil plans. And even as Chess unearths the crew’s biggest treasure ever, they are running out of time…(Goodreads)
Getting into comics last year was one of the best things I did. I love story and I love art, therefore I love this medium. The comics I’ve since read are interesting, profound, and fun. They mirror my taste in fantasy books but are sometimes grittier. Since reading my first four, my interest in the medium grew until I found myself seeking more and more recommendations of what to read next. I decided to try mangas too and have indulged in my old love of illustrated books. Basically, I’m one happy booknerd for having discovered comics.
I discovered a new blog to love called Fiction to Fashion. The creator, Julie, posts outfits inspired by various books. And the great part is that she includes links to the websites where you can purchase them! It’s totally great for book nerds who love fashion, such as myself. My mantra is “boots & books!”
My favorite outfits are below but click here to check out the rest.
I can see myself wearing this outfit in the spring or summer. My favorite item is the trousers.
I read Hartman’s Seraphinalast year and this outfit fits the novel. I could see Eskar wearing this outfit. The colors and the leather vest gives it a Steampunk look, which fits the nature of the novel.