"Tempered - having a specified temper or disposition. To make (something) less severe or extreme."
My first thought after reading Tempered was that I am hoping that Cherry's adventures continue for at least a few more books to tie up loose ends. The second thought was that I truly hope that more people start reading this series so that Ms Cooper will continue to write and we can enjoy more of Cherry's adventures for a few more years. The third was that if you DO start reading this series, please, please go back to the beginning with not only Tarnished, but The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway as well. I don't think this series gets the credit it deserves and am thankful to Carina Press for picking up this series when it did.
My personal journey through the life of Cherry St. Croix aka The St. Croix Chronicles has been entertaining to say the least. I've watched Cooper take Cherry to the highest highs, lowest lows, and betrayals by nearly everyone she has ever come in contact with or allowed her heart to experience what she believed was love.
Think on that a moment. Cherry was married to Cornelius Kerrigan Compton for not even a day when he was murdered and thanks to an antiquated pro-men stance by the English regime, she lost all her possessions, money, house, and her staff to the conniving mother of Compton who continues to blame Cherry for his death. If Cherry had not escaped to the London underground when she did, she would have had her freedom taken away.
We've met her nefarious collector counterpart and rival who took Compton away, and was devastated to discover that this person was someone Cherry trusted more than anyone else in her life. This also just happened to be right after she went eye to eye with Jack the Ripper. We went inside the life and times of the mysterious Micajah Hawke as well as The Midnight Menagerie who left Cherry broken, betrayed, and so addicted to opium that it would take a miracle for her to come back with her sanity in check.
Cherry has experienced so many emotions and experiences since becoming a Collector at age FIFTEEN, that it is now up to the devilish Mr. Oliver Ashmore, Cherry's guardian, to attempt to dry her out, and save her life. Will he save her life, or will he be one who rocks Cherry's world and tears the last piece of dignity away from her? What other secrets will be exposed and revealed in the process?
Tempered takes you on a difficult journey for Cherry and depending on your personal issues when it comes to drugs and addiction, you may or may not have the same experiences that I did. Cooper really dives into the cause of Cherry's addiction and the fact that she hasn't exactly had the easiest life for a person who is out in society even with her families less than honorable past. Cherry's personal journey into dealing with her past, her addiction, and the lure of Oliver Ashmore as well as her families own past exploits are the main ingredients for Tarnished.
I am happy that Ashmore was finally revealed to us especially since I've been hearing about him being the DEMON who holds my future ever since Tarnished was released. I found it interesting to read about Ashmore's own connection to Cherry's family and really hope that this is the last time we hear or see from them again. Cherry's parents will never ever win Parents of the year awards for their pain and suffering they've caused her. I am interested to see in what direction Cooper takes Cherry and her secondary characters from here especially Hawke, Communion, and Cherry's former staff. I am thankful that Cooper didn't leave Maddie Roth behind after introducing her in Corroded. Maddie is such a curious character who loves tinkering with things.
Lastly, I am curious to see Cherry's journey in alchemy and whether or not she will become as powerful as Ashmore. Powerful enough to perhaps take on the Menagerie and make them pay for her pain and suffering she's experienced at their hands.
Author - Karina Cooper
Title - Tempered (St. Croix Chronicles # 4)
Published by Carina Press
Releases February 10, 2014
Genre - Steampunk, Romance, Gothic
Received via NetGalley/Publisher