He craves her like no other...
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Outstanding steampunk book with creative world-building, action packed plot and heartfelt characters. This may be my favorite steampunk read to date.
The Set Up: Honoria is on the run from the sadistic member of the Echelon, upper-crust British society ruled by blue blood vampires. Honor and her siblings eek out a life in the Rookery which is run by rogue vampire, Blade. Blade can’t have a family unprotected living in the Rookery so he offers Honor an exchange, though wanting much more from her. Honoria’s pride has kept her and her siblings alive when her father’s scientific experiments brought the sadistic Vickers down on the family so she doesn’t dare trust Blade. But a rogue vampire is haunting the Rookery and the Echelon politics is haunting Blade and Honoria.
Why I Read this Book: I’m always looking for steampunk books and this synopsis sounded good. I have to admit, I was nervous when I saw this is the author’s debut book and the book is 425 pages but those worries flew outta my mind by page 10.
What I Liked: The world building is freakin’ awesome! All the steampunk elements I love are here: the airships, the steam factories, metal soldiers and household appliances. But what makes this really outstanding is the inclusion of vampires and werewolves in the world. How blue blood vampires take over Europe and England is deftly written and so well imagined. I kept having questions (for example, why aren’t there female vampires?) but then my questions would be answered in the story. Of course, this is billed as book one in a series so clearly not everything is answered in this book and that’s just fine with me as I felt this stands alone but will love reading subsequent books.
What I Also Liked: The romance and characters were outstanding as well. Blade and Honoria’s tension made sense at novel’s beginning but didn’t drag out just to make the culmination longer. I hate when romance rely on keeping the leads apart just to lengthen the novel but that wasn’t the case here. Their courtship progressed in even steps that lead to a heartfelt romance. I also like that the author didn’t use sex to bring Blade and Honor together but instead made the sexual intimacy be the culmination of the emotional intimacy.
As much as I liked Blade and Honor, I liked the secondary cast of characters just as much. Blade creates a family of sorts to run the Rookery and I loved them, from the young but powerful werewolf, Will to his blood thrall housekeeper, Esme and Tin Man, a steam-powered man. These aren’t stock characters just to show how awesome Blade is, but they’re complex characters, like Will who has a crush on Blade and is intensely jealous of Honor’s place in Blade’s heart. Honor’s siblings and semi-allies in the Echelon are also interesting and contribute to this compelling read.
What I Didn’t Like: I have to admit, I’m a bit squeamish and this novel has lots of blood it in. In fact, this novel combines blood and sex a bit and while sexy and well written, it still made me a bit squeamish.
IMO: If you’re a steampunk fan you’ll gobble this read up like I did. If you want to know what the big deal is with steampunk, this would be an excellent example of the genre—and why I love it so much.