Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

First in series
352 p.
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: 8/2/16
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast.

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?
My thoughts:

Hm... Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast? Um... you know I was so going to get this book for review. And while this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it actually seemed more than that. At first I was reminded of Dracula and The Secret Garden. Later I became more aware of the influence of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. I actually would say it is more influenced by Jane Eyre, however. Yea, you can safely say this one felt like an homage to the classics with a bit of steampunk thrown in.

Too much? Actually it worked. I enjoyed sussing out what the influence was and at the same time I was enraptured by Lucy who was no shrinking violet. I even loved that when she was overtaken by fear, she didn't let it stop her. She even was Miles's equal... and dare I say may have surpassed him in fortitude. The mystery is also what moved the story along with Lucy who is the one determined to get to the bottom of things. It is through her and a particular ghost with the same attitude as Lucy that we learn everything that we need to figure out what had happened.

The steampunk in this book is light but does have all the necessary gadgets to get us through the book. I would have liked to know a bit more about a couple of the gadgets but that is really more about curiosity on my part and may have slowed down the pace too much for me to learn those things. So, I do not count that as a niggle in my reading.

I give this steampunk murder mystery thriller paranormal retelling *breath* 4 stars. It is fun, twisty and has some great characters to love. I really recommend it to those that enjoy fantasy and steampunk in particular. It reads as a standalone but I also understand that this is the first in a series and I cannot wait to read the next book.

26 comments:

  1. I really like the sound of this one and it's hard to resist both a retelling and a steampunk take. Wonderful review Melissa!

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  2. Good to hear that the mix worked, it does sound intriguing

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  3. Wow, that's a lot to take in with this book, but color me intrigued. I'm just glad that all the influences didn't overwhelm you. I've never of heard of this one before so thanks for putting it on my radar.

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  4. It looks fun, so many things there! The mix looks intriguing! thanks for the discovery!

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    1. It was! I was a bit leery but it all worked. :)

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  5. Haha. That's a lot of categories in one list. ;D I like it! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I wouldn't have thought this would work with all the mash ups. Glad it was a winner for you.

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  7. Oh, wow. So much literary influence in one book. How can any of us handle such awesomeness? Lol. I'm sold!

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  8. I'm curious about the Dracula and Secret Garden bits!

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    1. I think it was fun trying to see what it reminded you of which book. :)

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  9. it has been a while since my last steampunk

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    1. Yea, I hadn't read one in a while before this one.

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  10. That sounds like a really fun combo! I'd be a sucker for the beauty and the beast bits.

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  11. Oh Melissa...this sounds right up my steampunk alley! *grabby hands*

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  12. That genre is quite a mouth full, isn't it? I haven't read many steampunk books. Actually, I think I've only read one by Moira Rogers, which was more PNR with a hint of steampunk. I keep saying I'm going to try one, but then it is hard to pull me away from PNR/UF/Fantasy. This one does sound interesting. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I've read one by that author. I'd also say that this one might be something you'd enjoy.

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  13. Wow! This sounds like a terrific read! Looks like there's a bit of everything in this one! You have me curious about it.

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    1. I was surprised by this one! Hope you enjoy if you get it.

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