Monday, January 13, 2014

ASHES AND ALCHEMY by Cindy Spencer Pape

Publisher: Carina Press
Date published: January 6th, 2014
13: 9781426897719
Romance, Steampunk
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4.5

Minerva Shaw’s four-year-old daughter is very ill and no doctor will come to the house to care for her. Minerva isn’t strong enough to carry Ivy to the doctor herself. Finally someone tells her about a doctor who will look after patients free of charge. It’s late at night, the pollution is very bad, and Minerva ends up at the wrong house. Sebastian Brown can’t resist helping the widow and her child and finds himself drawn into a strange mystery, and into caring for the strangers on his doorstep.

The beginning of this book is so beguiling I was dragged into the story and found myself unable to put the book down. This has happened before with a Cindy Spencer Paper book. Ms. Pape is a master at the art of hooking the reader into an incredibly fascinating steampunk world where each new invention or facet of the world flows so logically the reader absolutely believes it. Her characters are equally engaging even the secondary ones. Each has his or her own little idiosyncrasies to make them individual and real.

Minerva is a many layered character with secrets and surprising little glimpses deep inside her. And I’m half-way in love with Seb. Strong, silent, diligent, focused, damaged, and adorably confused by his own reactions to the situation.
I was intrigued by the way the word has got dirtier, more polluted, and harsher to live in, and I’m very much looking forward to the solution or whether the author continues down this track in future books.

The good news is that this book is only 30,000 words so if, like me, you are unable to stop reading, at least you’ll be finished before it’s time to go to work tomorrow. The bad news is this book is only 30,000 words and now we have to wait for the next installment in this engrossing family and their friends.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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