Here we are on the brink of another weekend. Are you ready to relax with a good book? Need some suggestions? If you are a fan of steampunk with all its gadgets and gizmos you should check out the book I am featuring today. Clockwork wasps and a clockwork dragon for starters.... if that doesn't grab your attention how about a necromancer? I am featuring a stop on the Storms of Lazarus Tour hosted by Candace's Book Blog and Promotions. If you are interested in being part of a well organized tour, head over to Candace's Blog and check out all of her upcoming tours. In the meantime, here is my review:
Storms of Lazarus(Shadows of Asphodel #2) by Karen Kincy
Sometimes escape is impossible. Sometimes love isn't enough.
1913. Christmas Eve. Ardis hardly expects a quiet holiday with Wendel, between fleeing Constantinople and hiding from an ancient society of assassins. And they owe a debt to a certain archmage.
In Königsberg, Prussia, they work with Konstantin on the next evolution of Project Lazarus. Wendel once called Königsberg home, the city now besieged by the Russians and their clockwork engines of war. This may be Wendel’s last chance to save his family and find redemption, but he's tormented by nightmares and tempted by laudanum. Ardis fears her love isn’t enough to save Wendel. Her hands are full piloting the automatons, and she's terrified to tell him a secret of her own. Will they—and their love—survive the storms of war?
Paperback, 277 pages
Published July 13th 2014
Source: Tour Promoter
Three and a half stars: A solid sequel with plenty of steampunk gadgets and gizmos.
Ardis can't shake the horrible memories of the night Wendel died from her mind. Wendel is also struggling with the events from that night, even though he doesn't remember dying, he is haunted at night and can't sleep. Christmas is approaching and Ardis and Wendel are hoping for a quiet reprieve. No such luck. There airship is attacked by a large clockwork dragon, and once again they are drawn into the conflict. Will Ardis and Wendel escape death once again?
What I Liked:
- I was excited that this book was packed full of steampunk gadgets and gizmos. I am a reader that always enjoys unique steampunk contraptions, and this book excelled in that department. It has clockwork wasps, a giant clockwork dragon as well as automatons. It is worth reading for the clockwork dragon alone.
- I thought the pace of this one was excellent. It moves quickly with plenty of action. There is rarely a dull moment in this book. Be prepared for some exciting battle scenes... once again, I need to mention clockwork dragon.
- Wendel was not the easiest character to like in the first book, while I still had some issues with him in this sequel, I am pleased to see significant growth. As a necromancer who was estranged from his family at a young age and trained to kill, he has grown apathetic and reckless. He hates himself and what he is forced to do. Since Ardis rescued him, he is learning to be more conscientious and caring. He isn't quite as callous and cold. Ardis is a good influence on him. Granted, he still has a ways to go as he continues to engage in self destructive behavior. I am hopeful that he will continue to transform into a more positive person.
- I enjoyed getting more of the back story on both Ardis and Wendel. There are several flashback scenes that take the reader back to San Fransisco and Ardis' past. Wendel is confronted with his past in present day when he returns to his family's castle for dinner at the request of the archmage. It was interesting to see the dynamic between Wendel and his parents and siblings. After this encounter, it was easy to see why Wendel was cold and uncaring. However, there was significant movement in a new direction as far as Wendel and his family are concerned, and I am interested to see how things will develop down the road.
- The romance is still taking its time to grow and mature. I appreciated that the couple had to tackle some big issues in their new relationship, one that is life changing in fact. They manage to take it in stride and grow even closer. Granted there are some moments of jealously, and some misunderstandings, but nothing of the irritating sort.
- I loved that after a chaotic and dangerous climax, things settle out into a neat finish. No cliffhangers or lots of unanswered questions. Instead, there is a solid ending with the promise of more adventure to come. It is so nice to get a second book in a series without a cliffhanger.
And The Not So Much:
- The female characters are far more manly and fierce than the male characters. In fact, one of the men, Konstantin, becomes exceedingly annoying as the book goes on. His behavior is more in line with a sixteen year old girl as he is always blushing and acting awkward. There is rarely a scene in the book where he isn't flustered and turning red over something. Then there is this weird sexual vibe between all the men, Wendell included. They all seem to be attracted to one another. It was fine as far as Konstantin went because he was clearly gay, but I struggled with Wendel. He loses points as a swoon worthy male lead because he keeps running into men from his past with whom he has had an affair. I get the past is the past, but then there is a scene where he displays some attraction to the air ship pilot. Really? Aren't you with Ardis? It is obvious that Wendel has issues with monogamy and his sexual orientation.
- Speaking of Ardis, I struggled with the way she just accepted that Wendel had had affairs with men in his past. If I were in her shoes I would be very leery. Especially after the whole thing with the vampire.
- I loved in the first book all the demonstrations of Wendel's necromancer powers. He was always raising the dead to fight. This time out, there is very little opportunity for him to wield his gift. I longed for more necromancer action.
- This is definitely an adult book as there are numerous sex scenes. One of them became a bit too explicit and detailed for my taste.
Storms of Lazarus is a solid sequel. This is a book that is packed with action, adventure and plenty of clockwork gadgets and gizmos. If you enjoy steampunk romance, this is an entertaining and unique series to check out. I will be interested to see how Wendel and Ardis fare in the third book.
I received a copy of this book as part of a tour. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
As part of the tour, I can offer you all a chance to win some terrific prizes. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter. Please note: Rainy Day Rambling is not hosting this giveaway. I will not be responsible for selecting winners and distributing prizes. Please visit Candace's Blog for further details. Good Luck. A big thanks to Candace for allowing me to be on the tour.
Be sure to check out the other tour stops.
About the Author:
Karen Kincy (Redmond, 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.
Don't miss the first book: Shadows of Asphodel.