AUTHOR: Allison Carr Waechter
GENRE: Fantasy, Gaslamp
When Mina Wildfang finds herself at the bottom of a dark hole, she only remembers one who put her there. Bent on revenge, Mina discovers that someone has murdered the family who imprisoned her—their ancestral estate burned to the ground. Mina’s desire for vengeance deepens into a quest for the truth.
All Ashbourne Claymore wants is a peaceful life of investigating mysteries with his friends—an outcast chevalier and a fey cat. His uncanny loss of memory makes it easy to ignore the ominous feeling that his past is haunted. But with someone setting fires in the undercity and people going missing, he’s given a leave the secure life he’s worked so hard to build, or help Mina Wildfang find the truth.
As Mina, Ashbourne and their friends hunt down the source of the fires and disappearances, the similarities between their forgotten pasts emerge. Can their burgeoning love survive the inferno coming for them? Or will they succumb to the ghosts of their past and let the city burn?
Thanks to the author and MTMC Tours for a copy of this book!
I haven’t really read a gaslamp fantasy in a long time, and I was excited to dig into this one. The beginning was definitely intriguing and kept my attention. I love how parts of history were used to intertwine with what felt more modern but also magic. There was some excellent world building in addition to that.
Mina’s character was definitely interesting as was the plot of the book, and overall I definitely enjoyed the story. It was a well written book and the whole enemies to lovers bit was delightful. I have always loved the concept presented in this book and it was done in a setting that worked.
One other bit that I enjoyed was most (if not all) the characters were some type of neurodivergent, plus the queer rep! All seamlessly ingrained in this book.
The biggest problem for me was the pacing. The beginning was so intriguing, and then all of a sudden it dropped off, and I was struggling to stay invested in the story. And it’s not as if the characters were bad (they weren’t, there were some great interactions!) or the plot was bad (again, it wasn’t), but at times it felt overly long to me. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I just felt that this book would have worked a little better if some parts were more condensed.
I think Mina was my favorite character of them all, followed by Morpheus (is this any surprise?). I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens next!