Wendy Magdalena Braca’s privileged upbringing in a Victorian mansion under three moons in Jupiter City comes to a screeching halt upon her mother’s murder and her father’s untimely demise.
Kicking and screaming, she is shipped off to Greenleaf Asylum for Troubled Girls, where she is interred for years until her ”rescue” by a strange guild that opens Wendy’s eyes to a new world - one teeming with intrigues, double crossings, and strange alliances. It is the world of Guild Assassins, made up of the Cæcus (normal humans), the Validus (magic-users), and Half-Breeds (demi-gods).
Though her head reels, Wendy is made of sterner stuff. She adjusts - up until she discovers she is the most special and powerful Validus known to exist, the Curse Breaker. Now that, at least, has to be a crock of you know what. Hasn’t it?
I picked up this book for review from Curiosity Quills Review back in September, It took me a while to get through it between work schedules and kids schedules.
I normally don't read a lot of steampunk novels but I really liked the premise of the story line so I thought I would give it a go.
Wendy is introduced in the story as a young girl who happens upon her mothers body after she has been brutally murdered. With no other suspects Wendy is tried and convicted for her mothers murder and then placed into a psychiatric hospital where she is physically assaulted by the doctors with the help of some of the male staff. This is where we see the manifestation of some her powers. After an attempted kidnapping she is rescued by a group of people that explain to her what she really is and her importance to their world.
Through Training she learns to harness her powers and becomes enveloped in the lives of her housemates. She obsessed with finding out the identity of her mothers killer, as she wrestles with the nightmares caused by her past traumas and the morality of being apart of an assassin's guild and what that means for her future.
I enjoyed the story it played out a little more like a sci fi novel for me with steam punk elements, It drove me crazy how the people in her life that rescued her and where there to help her were not always honest with her, and kept breaking her trust. She is a complex character one with a lot of faults as she tries to navigate her way in a world that is not what she believed filled with cloak and daggers mystery and intrigue. The flow of the novel was good for me a lot of action to keep you interested. some of the character interactions didn't quite make sense for me but over all the world the Kerr created was interesting and kept me going. I would love to see how the story plays out in the next installments.
I gave this book a 3 out 5 star rating
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper--
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
I was given an unedited proof copy of this book last year and with all the other reviews I have had on the go, some how this book got side lined to the tbr pile. (I really need to introduce a number system to prioritize) The cover art is beautiful, I know don't judge a book by its cover and all that but it catches your interest, with the gears in shadow and the black attire suggesting something ominous.
Eleanor is an interesting character; she is intelligent, loyal and brave. A zombie delivers a message from her brother and she sets out to do anything she can to find him and bring him home. Eleanor is caught between duties to her mother, by helping restore the family name by getting close to the most eligible bachelor in town; saving her missing brother by acquiring the help of the Spirit-Hunters who have been hired to save their city from undead.
The more Eleanor learns about the undead and the hungry undead the more determined she is to save her brother from the necromancer whom she believes has kidnapped her brother. They have to riddle out what exactly the necromancer is after, and why some of the sons of Philadelphia's most prominent families are turning up dead, and why it’s being kept secret.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters; Daniel is interesting and complex while at the same time being a little stereo typical in his attitudes with Eleanor. Jie is an exotic kick ass female heroine someone that Eleanor can both look up to and learn from. Joseph the leader of the spirit hunters is familiar with the dark art of necromancy and agrees to help Eleanor rescue her brother, and reluctantly accepts her help in return.
I really enjoyed this book there was a lot of interest and intrigue, mystery and magic. I will be honest I read it pretty quickly once I finished the book I was trying to read at the same time (I cannot juggle two books at one time, I don't know how others do it.) I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 star rating.
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.
I have to admit I enjoyed this one a little more than the first, this is turning out to be a very interesting series. Eleanor has left Philadelphia, disowned by her mother she is eager to join Jie and the rest of the spirit hunters in Paris. On her journey to paris she meets her brother's assistant/demon and she is forced to team up with Oliver in order to save her life. Eleanor has many secrets and she is having a hard time keeping them from the spirit hunters as secrets always have a habit of coming out. With the trust being broken between her only friends, Eleanor is still trying to piece together the mysteries of the walking dead in paris, and figure out the pattern. She has therories but can she solve it in time, and will the spirit hunters help her after the betrayal?.
This book had a lot of mystery going on, while there was still some action fighting les morts the driving force behind this book, were the interactions between the characters, and the mysteries they are trying to solve. Not everyone is who they appear to be Eleanor included and in the end it is the love between Daniel and Eleanor that ends up saving them. Now they just have to find Jie and save the world from Marcus. Author Susan Dennard is really hitting her stride with the characters in this one, they have more depth, and mesh really well together.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 star rating
(Something Strange a deadly 0.5 prequel)
Daniel Sheridan is an engineer’s apprentice on a haunted Mississippi steamer known as the Sadie Queen. His best friend–the apprentice pilot, Cassidy Cochran–also happens to be the girl he’s pining for … and the captain’s daughter. But when it looks like the Sadie Queen might get taken off the river, Daniel and Cassidy have to do whatever they can to stop the ghosts that plague the ship.
Fortunately, there happens to be a Creole gentleman on board by the name of Joseph Boyer–and he just might be able to help them …
Estimated release date Summer 2014
Reviewers : Kathy & Di
Kathy :I love to read. I learned to read at a really early age and was never without something to read growing up. Reading is a cheap easy vacation, when you can become so engrossed in what you are reading that you can see, smell, hear and taste everything in your minds eye. I'm just a ordinary girl living life one page at a time.