Early Review: A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwartz

A Clockwork HeartEarly Review: A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz
Book 2 in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow
Release date: August 13, 2013
Genre: Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Historical
Book provided by NetGalley and Random House/Del Ray

Synopsis from Goodreads: FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.

As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.

AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+

The beautiful cover of this book attracted me to this series. I’m a fan of steampunk and any sign of it gets my interest. A Clockwork Heart combines steampunk, magic, and the fae for an exciting romp through London at the turn of the 20th century.

I think what appeals to me about this series is the strong female characters. Take Eleanor, or Elle as an example. Elle who was  recently married to Hugh Marsh is not happy being a traditional wife. She’s an airship pilot and is building her shipping business much to the chagrin of her husband who would like to see her at home a little more. Elle is also a powerful oracle although she has not yet figured out the extent of her powers. I loved Elle’s strength and her resolve.

Loisa is another character that I adored. A vamire or Nightwalker, Loisa was also a good friend to Elle as well as a powerful ally.

Then there’s Clothilde, La Dame Blanche. Clothilde was one scary character with plans to take over the city of London with her clockwork heart implanted victims.

I enjoyed how the author integrated the steampunk elements with magic and the fae. Part of the story is told from Adele the absinthe fairy’s point of view and she is a fascinating character. You’re never really sure where her loyalties lie, though she had an attachment to Elle.

Elle’s foray into the Shadow World was really cool. I loved how Elle and Hugh’s wedding rings had magical powers and served as a thread between Elle and Hugh.

While the story starts off slowly, the action and adventure picks up rapidly. The last third of the book will keep you on the edge of your seat. A Clockwork Heart is a delightful read and should appeal to readers who enjoy a mix of steampunk and magic. It’s going to be a long wait for book 3 Sky Pirates.

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:

  1. A Conspiracy of Alchemists
  2. A Clockwork Heart (August 13, 2013)
  3. Sky Pirates (June 3, 2014)

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House/Del Ray for a review copy of this book.

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