Welcome to my stop during the blog tour of Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy. I am reviewing the book today.
Title : Clockwork Menagerie
Author : Karen Kincy
Series : Shadows of Asphodel
Genre : Historical Fantasy Romance
Source : A free copy from the publisher, Curiosity Quills
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
A companion novella to the Shadows of Asphodel series, from Konstantin's point of view.
Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don't touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore.
To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can't act on the smoldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.
My Musings :
I actually read this book as a standalone. I hadn't read any of the previous books in the series, Shadows of Asphodel and I think it did pretty well just on its own. I wish I had known it was a part of a series. As much as I liked reading it, I would have preferred to have gone in with more knowledge about the world and the characters.
That being said, let me start with the story line. It was flawlessly done as far as I am concerned. I am a newbie to Karen Kincy's writing and it is a great introduction to her. I would definitely check her other works out when I have the time. The plot was decisive and well suited for a novella. The start is done well with the right amount of intrigue followed by the action part to end with a non cliff hanger finale. That's what I liked most about it.
The characters were developed only to a certain part. I would have liked to know more about them and their views of the war they are part of. Only few of their thoughts are revealed in this book. Maybe more light will be shed in the coming books?? Konstantin seems to be a bit delicate and at times childish while Theodore comes across as a strong person. They are complete opposites and that's one of the strong points of their romance.
Now coming to the romance element of the story, I felt it was a bit too instant but it might be because I missed the previous books. The book has steamy M/M scenes. If I had known about it earlier, I would never have picked up the book, to be honest. I just skimmed those parts since I wasn't comfortable with it and it was something out of my comfort zone.
The parts I absolutely loved about the book were the steampunk, sci-fi/fantasy parts. Those rocked my world!! For that alone, I would rate it a 5 star but alas I have to take the other points into account too. The concept of technomancy and psychothaumaturgy were totally new and intriguing for me. I am hooked to them and I hope to read the series from the first book!
In short, the novella was a very fast read and I finished it in a few hours.
My one line review : A fast paced sci-fi fantasy with intriguing storyline
My rating : 4/5
My reread factor : 3/5
Meet the Author :
Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
Find Karen Kincy Online:
About Curiosity Quills :
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!