Amazon synopsis: “For ambitious engineer Simon Darcy, winning Queen Victoria’s competition to recover lost inventions of historical significance is a matter of pride—and redemption. After all, it was Simon’s failed monorail project that left his family destitute, and winning the tournament would surely restore the Darcys’ reputation.
Simon sets his sights high, targeting no less than the infamous time-travel device that forever changed the world by transporting scientists, engineers, and artists from the twentieth century. The Mod technology was banned and supposedly destroyed, but Simon is sure he can re-create it.
His daring plan draws the attention of Willie G., the Clockwork Canary, London’s sensationalist reporter. Simon soon discovers that Willie is a male guise for Wilhemina Goodenough, the love of his youth, who left him jilted and bitter. He questions her motives even as he falls prey to her unique charm. As the attraction between the two reignites, Simon realizes that this vixen from his past has secrets that could be the key to his future…as long as he can put their history behind him.”
I will make no attempt to sum this book up, because there is SO MUCH going on, I would probably confuse the hell out of everyone. Suffice it to say, there are time traveling hippies from the ’60s now in the Victorian period, everything is massively screwed up, and Willie is supernatural and she and Simon were madly in love several years ago, and families are crazy. Okay, you good? Good.
This book SHOULD have rocked my damn world. Anything steampunk, even if it’s not that good, makes me riotously happy. Hippies? Love. Lovers reunited trope? Love. On paper, this was the perfect damn book for me.
So why the hell was reading this book like pulling teeth?
Well, for one thing, it’s the second in a series, and while I didn’t feel totally lost, there is A LOT to sort out and deal with. The glossary of all the different terms/factions in the front got quite a workout.
Secondly, holy cow, this book is slooooooooow. So damn slow. Halfway through the book, I was starting to freak out because they hadn’t really done a damn thing yet. And it didn’t really pick up and get interesting until the last few chapters, when the characters from the first book make an appearance. Our heroine, Willie, thinks: “Bad enough his little sister had married a notorious rake and purported outlaw, but they’d embarked on a spectacular adventure that dazzled and shocked far more than anything Simon and Willie had experienced in their venture this far.” Dude, I freakin’ HOPE SO! (So, I’m hoping this is true. And considering the energy the characters brought to the second book, I imagine the first book will be much better.)
A lot supposedly was going on, and there is a lot going on in the world, but I felt like the book was a lot of going through the motions and then waiting for stuff. For a book so damn concerned about time, the actual story didn’t give a damn about when it got around to actually having something happen.
I kind of really hated the couple. Simon could have been cool, but he felt very whiny, and he annoyed me. Willie could have been totally badass, and she was sometimes, but she irritated the hell out of me. They talked about their history, which was good. But after that, they didn’t talk about crap. Well, no, that’s a lie. They talk A LOT. But they don’t talk about their relationship; they don’t talk about the really important things. I was so frustrated. When Simon says that he loves Willie, I am completely shocked, because other than the sexytimes, there hasn’t been a whole lot of evidence to prove it.
Sigh. I am so disappointed. So disappointed because the world is so amazing. It’s complicated, but it’s seriously awesome. I’m going to try the first book and see how it goes, and hope that this book is just one of those flukes that happen in a series, where you have to get to one point, and you have filler to set that up. That’s my hope, because for so much promise, this book failed to deliver much at all for me.
My rating: 2.0. Sigh.