This was such a breath of fresh air. Not an overly happy one, as the storyline is not light, but I loved the way the world was built up. We follow along as the wild-west develops with a Victorian sense of industry, little mysteries are peppered in amongst the tale, and there is a strong sense of family relationships that bind the people to each other and the land. I also loved that despite being a historical setting, we had some great LGBTQ+ rep treated with acceptance from the other characters.
It’s so beautifully written – I highlighted so many lines. Even with all the horror and strife this world has, the writing had me enchanted. I won’t go too much into the nature of the narrative, as personally, I love to know as little as possible before going in – but these people are oppressed with a company putting a spin on it of “oh aren’t we great for giving them jobs – you’re happier this way”. This leads to some haunting beautiful passages.
Pacing-wise, I did feel impatient at times – as the timeline jumps around, prolonging the details and plot points from each time and person – but I enjoyed this flitting around, and it is more just my desire to get to the heart of it. We have chapters headed with characters at different ages of their life, but also some as a few days ago and growing closer. These I was so so eager to reach as you could feel it reaching a climax.
I really enjoyed how magic was worked in with a twist on oil, but I must admit I’m a little confused over some of the mechanics concerning two central characters, but maybe I just missed something. That’s all I am going to gripe over though, so it’s very negligible. I loved watching the storylines all weave together to give us a feeling of hope by the end, and I do need to get onto the second book, Glass Rhapsody, which publishes this week!
CAWPILE Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: April 2020
Publisher: Self published
Page Count: 308
Series or Standalone: Currently a duology
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