Monday, June 3, 2013

Review - His Clockwork Canary by Beth Ciotta

His Clockwork Canary
by Beth Ciotta
The Glorious Victorious Darcys, Book 2 

Publisher: Signet
Release Date: June 4, 2013

Book Description: 

History is repeating itself...

For ambitious engineer Simon Darcy, winning Queen Victoria’s competition to recover lost inventions of historical significance is a matter of pride—and redemption. After all, it was Simon’s failed monorail project that left his family destitute, and winning the tournament would surely restore the Darcys’ reputation.

Simon sets his sights high, targeting no less than the infamous time-travel device that forever changed the world by transporting scientists, engineers, and artists from the twentieth century. The Mod technology was banned and supposedly destroyed, but Simon is sure he can re-create it.

His daring plan draws the attention of Willie G., the Clockwork Canary, London’s sensationalist reporter. Simon soon discovers that Willie is a male guise for Wilhemina Goodenough, the love of his youth, who left him jilted and bitter. He questions her motives even as he falls prey to her unique charm. As the attraction between the two reignites, Simon realizes that this vixen from his past has secrets that could be the key to his future…as long as he can put their history behind him.

My Review

A fan of steampunk romance and books with mixed sub-genre, I was definitely looking forward to reading His Clockwork Canary by Beth Ciotta, the second full length book in The Glorious Victorious Darcys series.  Unique world building, interesting characters and a second chance romance made this a page turning read.  While I didn’t get a chance to read the previous book, Her Sky Cowboy, or the novella set in between both books, His Broken Angel, I was able to read and enjoy His Clockwork Canary on its own. 

Set in England in 1887, during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, Ms. Ciotta introduces us to amateur inventor and engineer, Simon Darcy.  Simon, the younger twin son of a notorious inventor who accidentally blew himself up while trying to travel to the moon, is determined to restore his family’s good name.  He plans to win Queen Victoria’s scientific competition by locating the original “clockwork propulsion system”, which will allow him to win the race. 

Looking for answers, Simon finds himself enlisting the help of “Willie G”, or The Clockwork Canary, a reporter who’s made a name for himself by publicizing Simon's family’s failures.  As Simon and “Willie” spend time together, Simon realizes that “Willie” is not a “he” but is a “she”.  In fact, “she’s” Wilhemina Goodenough, a woman from his past. 

Forced to masquerade as a “normal man” because of what she is, a Mod-Freak with paranormal power, Willie and Simon find themselves working together to locate Simon’s family legacy.  Ms. Ciotta does a good job developing both Simon and Willie’s characters; they both have secrets and need to learn to trust each other.  They also have to face their mutual attraction and the love they have for each other which has never gone away.   

With a handful of well developed secondary characters, who were previously introduced, Ms. Ciotta sets a fairly fast pace for this story.  Giving them an interesting, and diabolical villain, Simon and Willie find themselves facing numerous challenging situations in their pursuit of victory.

Will Simon and Willie find the “clockwork propulsion system” and win the race and restore Simon’s family’s good name?  Will Simon and Willie realize they’re love is meant to stay and stand the test of time?  You’ll have to read His Clockwork Canary to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to seeing where Ms. Ciotta takes us next. 

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for my opinion.  

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