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Monday, September 21, 2015

4/5 Review: Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper



Author Karina Cooper enthralls with her stunning new series, The St. Croix Chronicles. Cooper, whose haunting Dark Mission novels set a new standard for paranormal romance, carries readers into the shadows of a very different Victorian London, where science skirts the line between magic and mechanics. A magnificent talent writing in the vein of such paranormal and urban fantasy superstars as J.R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Gail Carriger, and Meljean Brook, Cooper introduces readers to a truly remarkable heroine: Cherry St. Croix. Debutante by day and bounty hunter by night, Cherry makes a truly smashing debut in Tarnished, as she trawls the seedy underbelly of an alternate London in search of a killer…and finds herself at odds with the dangerous—and dangerously handsome—criminal kingpin, Micajah Hawke, ruler of the Midnight Menagerie.

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It has been a very, very long time since I got so excited over fiction [the last time it was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and before that I, Robot (the latter when being re-read no longer tasted as delicious as the first bite but -- oh, well! That is normal)].

Steampunk, but more than that. This series can turn into electrickpunk (I coined that term, thank you). Steam technology was at its peak in this novel and no one had faith in diesel anymore, especially after the Arabian Bubbles. But as it was there was a possibility of a new energy source in the form of manipulation of electricity. It is intriguing to see if the story will go down the third lane.

Even if it does not, I should care very little. I loved the way Cherry's character was developed. She did not want to blindly confirm to the society but at the same time her character was not exaggerated it became pretentious. Pragmatic, that was who she was. And the plot was logical too, if you consider the Victorian London setting (though I had a question about ladies being taught to cook because as far as my knowledge of that era goes, cooking was considered as vulgar and unladylike -- sewing and gardening were okay but cooking, you leave that for your cook to settle). And more than everything I just adore Karina Cooper writing style. She said she believed that she was a good storyteller. Well, you know what? I share that belief.

I was left hungry for more. Cannot wait for the second installment to come out.