THE YEAR IS 1910. Eighteen-year-old Will Edwards has landed a prestigious apprenticeship at Detroit’s Tesla Industries, the most advanced scientific research center in the United States. It’s a plum prize for a young man who dreams of a career in the new science of Otherwhere Engineering.
But his father doesn’t want him to go. And he won’t tell him why.
Determined to get there by any means necessary, Will finds unexpected support along the way. His old friend Jenny Hansen—daughter of a San Francisco timber baron—is eager to help him for reasons of her own. And so is his estranged brother Ben, who he hasn’t seen in over ten years.
But running away turns out to be the easy part. On the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday, Will is stricken by a powerful magic—a devastating curse laid upon his ancestors by the malevolent sangrimancer Aebedel Cowdray. Will must find a way to control the magic that possesses him—or the vengeful warlock’s spirit will destroy everything and everyone he loves.
This is one of those books you really can’t label as adult or YA. If anything I would maybe say New Adult because Will is eighteen and Jenny is 17. But it’s appropriate for YA readers and Will definitely has his moments of being a teenager instead of the adult he should be acting as.
I am a huge fan of M.K. Hobson. Her books The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess were on my favorites lists the years they released. The world that she has created pretty much blows my mind. It has the history I tend to crave occasionally but it’s an alternate history with magic at the center of it all. There’s also Steampunk elements but much of that is tied in with the magic. Now before I go further I have to make something clear, this book is in the same world as her previous books, but it’s 1910 rather than 1876 and has new characters. Yes, we get to see the characters from the previous books but they are definitely in the background and you do not have to read the first two to read this one. Because I love them all so much I still suggest you read them all, but you can definitely read this one without reading the others.
This one has a male POV! You know how I love those, so that was a bonus for me. Will is 18 years old and a genius. At least when it comes to putting things together and inventing things, but when it comes to the average sort of thing he tends to not think things through or consider the repercussions for his actions. Which is pretty typical 18 year old boy behavior… But Will is determined to work for Tesla Industries and learn more but his parent’s forbid it. When Jenny Hansen comes along offering him the option of marrying her so they can make it up to Detroit for him to work for Tesla Industries, he’s pretty much all over it.
Jenny Hansen has her own plans in mind but she’s not about to share with Will and this causes a bit of a rift between them… but Will, he knows he’s developing some feelings for Jenny for real even though she’s his fake wife. We don’t know what’s in Jenny’s head since we’re only in Will’s and I kind of wish we did. It would maybe be nice to have both perspectives here, I want to know what she’s thinking!
The first half of this book was good but the second half of the book was a bit of a whirlwind as I was pretty much knee deep in it and not looking back. Every interruption annoyed me as I was dying to see everything come together. At times I would predict one thing and then discover how wrong I was. It was completely unpredictable! Yeah, we know that Will makes mistakes and we can see it’ll bite him in the ass, but so much turned out differently than I thought it would.
The end of the book was pretty killer. It was an explosive end and left us with a bit of a cliffhanger. You know I detest those, but for some reason this one didn’t bother me too much. Oh, I’m still *desperate* for the next book, but I wasn’t actually angry as I often get with cliffhangers. There’s much more to be tied up to conclude Will’s story, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for the next one to find out what else happens.
I very highly recommend you pick this book up. This world is incredible! In each of her books I really feel transported to the time and place and feel I’m right there with them. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one!
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or compensated in any way.
Be sure to watch next week for the teaser tour which is full of excerpts and there’s a giveaway of a full set of books on every blog hosting!