In the world of The Ether Chronicles, the Mechanical War rages on, and appearances are almost always deceiving . . .
The prim professor
Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she's far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she'll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne's only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O' War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy.
The jaded mercenary
Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he's certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Great steampunk world with two great leads and a strong adventure plot.
The Set Up: Daphne is a professor like her parents but they’ve been kidnapped in a war zone. Daphne hires the Man’o’War, Mikhail and his mercenary airship crew to rescue her parents. But Daphne has secrets and Mikhail won’t tolerate deception.
Why I Read this Book: I looove steampunk and am always hunting for new stories.
What I Liked: The world building is stellar here. This is book three in the Ether Chronicles but I hadn’t read the previous two and didn’t need to as the world was well explained. Anyone who reads steampunk will find the world of airships and mechanized humans to be familiar but it’s all described in such detail that I enjoyed it more than the typical steampunk I read.
The adventure plot is a steampunk Indiana Jones movie mixed with the Tomb Raider video game. Daphne and Mikhail have to complete certain tasks to guide them along their quest to free Daphne’s parents. Along the way they meet warlords riding mechanical camels, warring airships and hostile locals. I particularly love a sequence where Daphne and Mikhail have to break into a guarded room to steal an astrolabe and do so by swinging on priceless tapestries and solving a lunar puzzle. This is an action packed plot that flowed perfectly.
What I Also Liked: Daphne and Mikhail’s romance isn’t super sexual but it’s nicely emotional intimate. On the surface the erudite Daphne and the Man’o’War Mikhail appear opposite but at heart they’re both lonely people looking for someone to love them unconditionally. Mikhail’s emotional speech at novel’s end was sigh-worthy and fit his character beautifully.
I have to also remark on the delicious description of Mikahil. The cover does a decent job of showing him but the book’s describes him as a mix between a tattooed MMA fighter and biker boy with his Mohawk and ear piercings. He’s a hero romance readers will gobble up and beg for more as I did.
What I Didn’t Like: This is a truly satisfying read and though not quite as erotic as I like my romance, it was a great read.
IMO: Any steampunk fan will enjoy this book as I did. I’m not sure how I missed this series but I’m going to go back and read books one and two in the series to see if they live up to this one.