Saturday, May 23, 2015

*Steampunk Saturday* The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith (Steampunk)

Series: Crown & Key # 1
Publisher: Del Rey
Releases: June 2, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 320 pages
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

Clay & Susan Griffith, best known for their Vampire Empire series, returns with a new trilogy called Crown & Key. Set in Victorian London, The Shadow Revolution is set in entirely different world from Vampire Empire. Vampires don't rule here, and humans aren't being subjugated into obscurity. But, werewolves are thick as thieves and hiding in the shadows waiting to strike. The series lead characters are Simon Archer, Kate Anstruther, and Malcolm MacFarlane.

Simon is a talented scribe, a magician whose spells are written on his body in the form of tattoos. They give him super strength, but also come with a price. He is also somewhat of a rake who spends more time chasing women, than fighting the darkness. That is until he, and his friend/mentor Nick Barter witness the murder of one of Simon's former flings by a werewolf. Simon immediately wants to jump in and kill the werewolf responsible, while Nick wants to take a less riskier approach. 

Malcolm MacFarlane is a deadly Scottish monster hunter who enjoys his work. Perhaps a bit too much at times, but nobody can say that he doesn't get the job done. Kate Anstruther is an alchemist, and a scholar of the occult. Kate is as comfort at social settings, as she is at kicking ass and taking names. Other characters directly involved in the fight against evil are Inventor Penny Carter, and 13-year old werewolf Charlotte who on more than one occasion, risks her own life to help Kate and crew.

After Kate's sister Imogen is targeted by a dark magician, a werewolf, a nefarious doctor, and a demigod, Simon, and Kate come together to save her. Rather quickly, Simon and Kate realize that they can't do it alone, and that's perfect for Scottish monster hunger Malcolm who has been tracking and killing werewolves around London. London has become a very dangerous place to be after dark. Humans are being turned into Homunculus (part human, part monstrosity) and a very powerful werewolf/Valkyrie by the name of Gretta Aldfather, is gathering all the werewolves together in one place. Danger lurks in one of the more horrific places imaginable; Bedlam Hospital.  

I prefer to call this series Science Fiction/Steampunk since Simon's abilities come from using Aether, and Penny creates a steam driven motorcar that she uses in one of the best chase scenes in the book. You don't see this kind of backdrop in Urban Fantasy novels. I will say that I am not surprised at how well the world building came along, or how intriguing and diverse the characters are. Not surprising since the authors created a dystopian/steampunk world where vampires ruled half the planet.

Parts two and three of the Crown & Key trilogy, The Undying Legion (June 30) and The Conquering Dark (July 28), are releasing back to back over the months of June and July. Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey, I already have the next two books and will be eagerly anticipating what happens next to Simon, Kate, and Malcolm. All things considered, there are a few questions I need answered, especially concerning Nick, and where he stands.

**I received this book for free from (Del Rey) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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