Author: A.W. Exley
Release Date: 3/14/2014
1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild. The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracised by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.
She begins to suspect the underlying reasons when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.
The guilds want the weapon and Allie is trapped by ties of blood. She must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend, unless she can rely on bonds of friendship, to save both their lives.
Honestly, the one thing that initially drew me into this book was the cover, SHOCK, I know! Right away I was beyond intrigued by that steam-punk cat & the golden tones....then I read the synopsis and was like, "HELL YES"!
With the era of this book set back in 1836 I was fearful it would come across dated, but the fact that there's a strong presence of "something else" , it completely creates a new type of atmosphere within this book.
Allie struck me as such a bad-ass, I mean in the first scene alone a military trainer and the top dude in her class are talking about what skills she has, and you know it takes a lot for any dude to say a chick is badass back in those days. Besides all the blades, gadgets and secrets, I was of course smittin' with the YA romance in this book! From the first chapter it's completely apparently that Jared has his hands full....literally....and I'll just leave it at that....
I do want to touch on another character that I ABSOLUTELY fell in love with. Eloise she is an absolute genius! She has such a quirk about her that I almost wanted a little more of her in this book, and she was able to add a great balance to Allie. Every time Eloise entered a scene it was extremely refreshing. Not like some side characters that I've wanted to strangle threw the pages of the book before....ugh...
Truly I want to go on, and on, and on about this book, but I feel like I would give too many great surprises away. I will say this, as cliche as it may sounds, never think you have these characters figured out. Because if you do they'll break your heart, piss you off or both!
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