Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Steampunk

Novel Reaction is excited to welcome author Christine D’Abo as part of her blog tour for Quicksilver Soul, the second book in her The Shadow Guild series. Let’s get to know a little more about Christine first,

Multipublished author Christine d’Abo loves exploring the human condition through a romantic lens. She takes her characters on fantastical journeys that change their hearts and expand their minds. A self-professed sci-fi junkie, Christine can often be found chatting about her favorite shows and movies. When she’s not writing, she can be found chasing after her children, dogs or husband. Christine is published with Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and Berkley. Please visit her at her blog and come chat with her on Twitter @Christine_dAbo.

Christine was kind enough to answer some questions (even I have to admit they are a little random but this what happens when I write interview questions late at night after a day spent wrestling with my six month old):

Novel Reaction: What made you decide to make Nicola Tesla female?

Christine: With the creation of this series, I wanted to pull my characters from people in our history, but I wanted to give them a twist of my own. I created my own mythology with Jack the Ripper in book one, GILDED HEARTS, and wanted to do something similar with QUICKSILVER SOUL. I’ve always loved the history and rivalry between Tesla and Edison. I thought it would be fun to incorporate that into one of my stories. I had my hero already and wanted to pair him up with a heroine who was both independent and smart. Turning Tesla into a woman became the next logical step.

Novel Reaction: If you could have a super power what would it be?

PRIDE-AND-PREJUDICE-1995_400Christine: I’m terrified of heights, so no flying or super jumping for me. If anything, I’d want to be able to be super-fast, like the Flash! Running around to get all my errands done while making lunches for the kids and writing 10k a day…yeah, being super-fast would be amazing. And I’d love to be able to run a marathon, so that would also help.

Novel Reaction: Favorite or least favorite books-to-movie?

Chrinstine: Guh there are so many!! I’m a sucker for a good period piece and even better if it’s based on a book that I love. Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version), Emma (the A&E version), Jane Eyre (the A&E version) are all re-watches for me. I have to say one that I came too late in the game was North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I have to admit to seeing the miniseries before I read the book. The book is great, the miniseries has Richard Armitage. He’s pouty and broody and that smile. Yeah, I’m a HUGE fan of that adaptation.

____________________________

Thanks Christine for answering my questions. I was also late in the game to North and South, which was great! (If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it!) 

The Shadow Guild Reading Order:

Gilded Hearts (read my review here)

Quicksilver Soul (read my review here)

DAbo_QuicksilverSoul_EbookNicola Tesla has never needed a man to complete her life. A gifted engineer, she has always had her experiments to keep her company-or she did, before her vile boss stole them. Now she’s working at the Archives in New London, where the memories of the dead are stored. But it isn’t long before Nicola discovers she’s being watched . . . by a most intriguing, sinfully sexy man.

Archivist Emmet Dennison should be busy extracting memories from the dead. Instead he’s been asked to keep an eye on the brazen, strikingly beautiful Nicola Tesla. Soon Emmet and Nicola are shaken by an attraction neither of them wants. Yet when a nefarious man takes them hostage, Nicola and Emmet will need to rely on their attraction, and the growing bond between them, to stop a madman hellbent on destroying New London forever

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gogglesPiper Smith is an Archivist, a person who takes the memories of the dead for information that they hold and store them in the vast Archives under New London. In Gilded Hearts by Christine D’Abo, Piper’s first assignment is more difficult than she ever imagines it would be, not only is she taking the memory of a woman murdered by Jack the Ripper, but the Sergeant working the case is Samuel Hawkins, the only man to ever leave the Archivists training, taking her heart with him.

Sergeant Samuel Hawkins has worked hard to leave the Archives behind him, disagreeing with their methods and the cost to the individual Archivists. When Piper starts working the case with him he will have to balance his feelings for Piper against the differences separating them. But as the clues to whom Jack the Ripper is and why he is on a killing spree start leading back the Archives, is Piper safe from becoming the next victim?

D’Abo’s Steampunk world is intriguing and different. Set after a war with France has caused damaged to England (a nuclear type war), the government has undertaken to store all the memories of important figures, or those connected to crimes, especially violent crimes. But those who extract the memories into their own heads must have those memories wiped or they would go crazy with a set of memories that aren’t their own, after so many wipes they start affecting the memory and personality of that individual. I loved the machines inhabiting Gilded Hearts, they are super fascinating and an interesting mix of contemporary machines and fantasy creations. Piper was a great heroine: strong, loyal yet with a believable need to be loved and to create her own family unit with those around her. Sam was a little harder to like, having run from the Archives, you get flashes of his memories of what happened sprinkled throughout Gilded Hearts but don’t know the whole story until the end. This take on the Jack the Ripper story was interesting but, as a reader, be prepared because the memories of the prostitutes are just that, memories of prostitutes. There is also some use of the “F’ word. D’Abo’s secondary characters are fabulous, a good supporting cast and I have to admit I would love to spend more time with and get the back story of David and his very interesting female butler Aiko. Overall, Gilded Hearts was a great read if a little on the dark side.

You can read an excerpt here.

Shadow Guild Reading Order:

Gilded Hearts

Quicksilver

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Gilded Hearts

Author: Christine D’Abo

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384

AISN: B00CO7GH22

Publisher: Forever Yours (Grand Central)

Release Date: January 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Sebastian Brown served his country in India before returning home to England to serve as an Inspector investigating strange, paranormal cases for the Order of the Round Table. If his home life seems a little lonely with just himself living in his large house, well, he can always work more hours. Then Minerva collapses on his doorstep and nothing will ever be the same again.

In The Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape, Minerva Shaw is braving the elements in a smokey, coal cloud filled night in desperate search of a doctor willing to visit her sick daughter but she is struggling to find one willing to visit her poor apartment. Desperate she is trying to find the one doctor she heard will visit the poor when she mistakenly finds herself on the doorstep of Sebastian. Can this kind lonely be really what he seems or is she just going to get hurt again.

The Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape is a great bridge series, with paranormal and historical elements it is a great beginning series for those who are interested in dipping their toes into the steampunk genre. Ashes & Alchemy is the sixth book in the Gaslight Chronicles and is a stand alone novella. However, I do recommend at least reading Moonlight & Mechanicals (you can read my review here) so you have a better idea of who Wink is and her history. Sebastian is a great character who undergoes some big changes with the advent of Minerva into his life but it is Minerva character that makes Ashes & Alchemy such a fun read. My only real problem is that Ashes and Alchemy is too short. 

Gaslight Chronicles Reading Order

Steam & Sorcery

Photographs & Phantoms

Kilts & Krackens

Moonlight & Mechanicals

Cards & Caravans 

Ashes & Alchemy

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon3 NB

Title: Ashes & Alchemy

Author: Cindy Spencer Pape

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 82

AISN: B00F942VRC

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: January 6, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

School Starts

Sophronia survived her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (Etiquette & Espionage you can read my review here), getting away with stealing a device, Sophronia is prepared to knuckle down to her studies. In Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger those studies include poisons, the proper way to curtsy and proper protocol for dealing with supernatural members of society all while traveling in a floating dirigible.

With an unexpected trip to London and several boys from the neighboring school for evil genius, Sophronia should be busy.  But as usual, something clandestine is going on the school and it is up to Sophronia to figure out what it is before the long-term implications for society and the paranormal society take a turn for the worse.

Curtsies takes up where Ettiquette leaves off but where Ettiquette is a fun lighthearted humorous adventure story, Curtsies takes on a more serious note by the end of the novel with Sophronia growing as a spy and about living with the consequences of her actions. Just because she can achieve something without getting caught, should she?! Sophronia has grown, now 15, and I think Carriger has done a fabulous job having her age appropriately, getting more interested in boys and more adult but with enough light-hearted youthfulness to keep the reader quickly turning pages. Gail Carriger’s humor, interesting and, at times, ridiculous characters make her series (both the Finishing School and The Parasol Protectorate) a must read for me. I love how Sophronia jumps from level to level outside in the dirigible in her bustle and dress. I highly recommend this series and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Finishing School series.

While you could start the series with Curtsies & Conspiracies (Gail gives a little explanation about prior events) I honestly think you need to read Etiquette & Espionage first to really  understand what is going on and the history of all the main characters.

You can read an excerpt here.

There is a really fun website at Finishing School where you can apply to attend.

Finishing School Reading Order:

Etiquette & Espionage

Curtsies & Conspiracies

curtsies and conspiraciesRating: Star 4copy

Content:favicon no background

Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies 

Author: Gail Carriger

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 313

AISN: B00BAXFGPU

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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