Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday #Review - Venturess by Betsy Cornwell #YALit #Fantasy #Steampunk

Series: Mechanica # 2
Format: E-Galley, 320 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Clarion/Hachette Book Group
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult / Fairy Tales & Folklore

The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.Smart and unconventional, this novel will appeal to readers of romance and adventure alike.

"Happily ever after is just the beginning."

Venturess, by author Betsy Cornwell, is the surprising second installment in the authors Mechanica series. At the end of Mechanica, readers were told that the story was an open-ended standalone with hopes that the ending would satisfy those who actually got through the book without giving up on the story. The author said that she did have future plans for the characters and their world. 2 years later, Venturess is released. The story takes place in the same world, with the same characters, but with a whole different story idea, and even more action, adventure and surprises. 

Nicolette Lampton's happy ever ending came in the most curious manner. She didn't choose to run off and marry the prince and live happily ever after. Instead, she became a rather successful inventor who is finally free of her horrible step mother and sisters. Even though she lost Lampton Manor to intolerant bigots, she has done well by owning her own shop called Lampton's which sells ball gowns, slippers, & steampunk clockworks. What hasn't changed is that people still call her Miss Mechanica. After someone tries to assassinate Fin, Nic claims the title of heiress apparent. 

Even though she didn't accept Fin, the Prince of Esting's hand in marriage before, she continued to have a pretty interesting relationship with both him, and palace servant Caroline (Caro) Hart. Look folks, I am not going to sugar coat this relationship. Nic loves both Caro, and Fin equally. She wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, I dare say that it is highly possible that a threesome takes place off page since they are more often than not found sleeping together. She also finds a curious pull towards the Captain of the airship taking them to Fairie. I dare say I was hoping for more of that connection.

Nic also receives a message from her long-lost housekeeper Mr. Candery, now a revolutionary, begging her to bring the prince to Faerie for a diplomatic meeting that could lead to an end of hostilities between Faerie and Esting once and for all. Nicolette fears a trap, but decides that the chance to end the bloody war waged by their kingdom is worth the risk. Together with Fin and Caro, she ventures across the monster-filled ocean to the lush continent she’s always dreamed of visiting. There she not only gets an unwelcome surprise, but ends up right in the forefront of the war between Fairie and Esting. 

I appreciated the move to Faerie. It not only gave the series a breath of fresh air, and introduced new characters, it was also apparent the author intended to ramp up the action, and adventure as well. Venturess is not the same retelling that Mechanica was. It is absolutely recommended you read Mechanica which is a retelling of Cinderella to understand Cornwell's world and her characters and who Nic really is and what she's gone through.

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