Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was my first steampunk book and I didn't know what to expect. I chose this book to be my introduction to this genre for two reasons: the author (I'm familiar with Ms. Dee's writing and I liked what I've already read by her) and the length (If I didn't like the genre, I wouldn't have to struggle to finish a full-length book). I also liked the premise, but that goes without saying.
The Prologue came as a complete and nice surprise: it was creepy and violent, setting a dark tone to the story. The sense of imminent danger was present throughout the whole book, not only with the threat of another attack by a serial killer known as the Southwark Slasher but also with a potential popular uprising against the Commission for Animatronic Affairs. As much as I liked that setup, it was too much for a short story: there was no way Ms. Dee could have delve into all that without hurrying things up, and that prevented me from connecting with the characters.
I liked Dash and Victoria, but their romance felt contrived. Love at first sight is complicated on itself, but some authors can make it work and I was willing to buy it because I knew this was a short story. Having Dash and Victoria come from completely different social classes would be a great point of conflict in a full-length book, but it fell flat on this short story because, once again, there weren't enough pages to delve into that.
So, what I'm saying is, this would have been a great full-length book. As it was, it was an okay read. I was disappointed only because I "knew" this could have been a winner.
Note: I received this eARC from Carina Press via NetGalley. That had no influence on my review/rating.
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