This was a ridiculously entertaining, unique alt-history! It read like an upper MG-YA novel while never suffering from simplicity or babyishness...I know, it's not a REAL word but I like it...anywho, back to the good stuff...The characters were wholeheartedly likeable and I completely fell for the MC and her unlikely/undeniably cohesive ragtag conglomerate of Mad Scientist friends (?!?). The quest(s)/ plot twists were constantly shifting/evolving and thankfully, they were not easily foretold. The world(s) building, although thoroughly entertaining and oft times unique, could definitely have been a little more creative...the possibilities were endless afterall.
Ultimately it was clever, well written, nicely paced and all around good/clean fun. I enjoyed every minute and really, what more could you ask for in a new literary adventure? Even with the tantalizing cliffhanger, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
This book was painful to make it all the way to the end of, but I've already DNF'd so many books this month and this one was a request I actually made. So I powered through. It took me a month, but I finished.
It feels like Clare had a general idea of what she wanted to write, even a set of rough character sketches, and then never hammered it into anything solid. There were a lot of fabulous ideas here, but they were all over the place. Worldbooks are a really cool concept. The ability to create an entire world, simply by scribing it into one of these, sounded like something I'd normally fall in love with. The problem was that the descriptions only skimmed the surface. I never saw deeper than the idea itself, and that was the case for most of what is in this story.
Add in the fact that the pace feels maddeningly slow for most of the book, and then picks up in a mad rush to the end, and you have a book that drove me nuts. I never felt invested. Every time I thought sometime was starting to peak my interest, the book would meander away on a tangent and my questions weren't answered. Argh.
So 2 stars to this one, because I only 1 star books I didn't finish. Sorry book. Your cover was so promising.
Wow. This book is nothing like the movie, at least the one I watched with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons. The end was so tragic and the actual prisoner in the iron mask was such a small part of the story. Seems to me it was the complete opposite in the movie. Huh. Go figure.
I'm glad I finally read this.
What a great mystery! Starting with a submerged body bobbing to the surface after a torpedo demonstration it winds its way through 1890s Leeds, with two dead men, rival gangs, and bent coppers, all leading up to a surprising and exciting ending. A taut and well-crafted plot handily kept the tension and suspense going through the whole story and I read most of it in one evening, I just couldn't put it down! The colorful and descriptive Victorian world created by the author drew me in easily, and the wonderful characters, from the gangsters to the dedicated coppers to Harper's Suffragette wife, Annabelle, they really brought the book to life. And the ending! Whooo, never saw that coming! An excellent historical mystery from start to finish.