Review: A Conspiracy of Alchemists
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fans of Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer Series and Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series will enjoy this book. Ms. Schwarz blends the mythical Greek Oracles of Delphi into a world of Steampunk. In most Steampunk stories, the reader is treated to a Victorian age filled with incredible steam powered devices. In this series, Ms. Schwarz adds in paranormal and magical elements to give the story an extra oomph.
Elle Chance is bucking societal norms by being a pilot. Women in this society seem to be relegated to strict Victorian rules. At least, women of the upper class are to be kept in their restrictive demeaning boxes. Elle flies against convention and will not be controlled by any man, no matter how sexy and exciting. Marsh is the mysterious man who also happens to be her current client to fly a package back to London. Marsh is more than meets the eye and once Elle falls down the rabbit hole and learns too much, she wishes she never laid eyes on the handsome man.
The characters in this book are interesting because while there are villains, it depends upon a person's perspective. It seems there are many secret alliances with nefarious purposes. Not everything is explained in this book which hooks the reader into demanding for the next book in this series. I really enjoy how almost every character is neither fully good nor fully bad. Once their motive is brought into light, it makes sense why they behaved the way they did. Unfortunately for poor Elle, their agendas all seem to be conflicting against her happy existence.
Elle is an admirable only child who accomplishes what she puts her mind to do. She easily relate-able and most female readers will find her character likeable. There are times where she is trying with her belligerent determination to be completely ignorant of her past and future. It does make a reader want to slap some sense into her. The fae creatures don't play a big part in this story. Perhaps in the future installments, the fae power will come out to play more. Lastly, Marsh is the knight in much tarnished armor. He believes in a cause and when his believes take a head on collision with Elle as the catalyst, the world will never be the same. Ms. Schwarz creates interesting characters.
Ms. Schwarz does a good job of building this world. The Alcehmist versus the warlords versus the Nightcrawlers definitely captures the reader's attention. More oft than not, authors throw in a couple of steam powered gadgets and believes it should qualify as the steampunk genre. The way Ms. Schwarz includes the steampunk devices and machinery does make this an enjoyable steampunk book with a good plot and character building. This book is recommended to paranormal romance lovers who enjoy steam devices which could destroy the world.
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