Clockwork Menagerie (Shadows of Asphodel, #2.5), by Karen Kincy
Genre: Historical-fantasy romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: September 1, 2015
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
A companion novella to the Shadows of Asphodel series, from Konstantin’s point of view.
Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don’t touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore.
To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can’t act on the smoldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Having read the previous two books in this series, I was really happy to have the opportunity to read this novella set in the same universe.
I liked being able to see Konstantin and Himmel in this story. Although I would have liked to see the events expanded a bit, it was nice to see the hints in the previous book come to fruition.
It was interesting to see Konstantin from his own perspective. Although he was a well-rounded character in the previous books (and there were times I felt sorry for him), it added a new dimension to be able to see him as a main, focal character.
I thought the author did a good job of showing Konstantin’s struggle with what he wanted and the laws that were in place. It was interesting that, for all the advances in society, the people didn’t have the freedom to love those they were attracted to. I found it really easy to follow Konstantin’s struggle… and see how he wanted to be with Himmel but was scared of losing everything.
It was good to see some of the clockwork technology, though I wasn’t sure how the soul elements really fit in. Because the book was shorter, the villain wasn’t as well-rounded as they could have been.
I liked seeing Konstantin with the dog and it was good to see him interacting with the other characters. I was a bit disappointed that the elements of conflict shown to begin with weren’t expanded upon… but I did believe in the main characters’ feelings for each other. And by the end, I was rooting for them to get together.
It was a bit disappointing not to have the opportunity to see more of the characters from the previous two books, since I would have liked to see how Konstantin viewed them. I did like the fact that he was still an active character and didn’t just rely constantly on his magic, or for someone else to save the day.
I’d definitely be interested in reading more books in this series in the future. This was quick and easy to read… but it did leave me wanting more.
About The Author
Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
Find Karen Kincy Online:
About Curiosity Quills Press
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!