Ebook, review copy
Steampunk romance (Yay for steampunk!)
Summary from Decadent Publishing
Emily Fenwick, formerly with the NYPD, is now the reluctant defender of 1890 New York. Unfortunately for Emily, who hates "the creepy stuff", she ignored her inner voice, went to a carnival in Central Park, and entered a Victorian tent in hopes a psychic would have some encouraging news about her woefully boring love life. The guarantee she received of meeting a tall, dark, and handsome stranger comes with a huge catch - he lives in an alternate dimension of the past.
Jack Pettigrew leads a quirky band of lost souls in a battle to save New York circa 1890. Nightmares have come alive and threaten to terrorize a fragile era. Jack leads the “punks,” who have been sucked back in time through a vortex. Each has a fleeting memory of their own death–or near death–and must determine for themselves why they have been chosen for this mission. Is Steamside their Purgatory? Could an Egyptian obelisk in Central Park be the cause of the time rift, or is Emily herself to blame for the goblins, zombies, and other nightmarish scenes plaguing them?
If the Punks want to return to 2010, they must ensure there’s going to be an 1891. If they conclude they’re really ghosts, then it might be time to party like it’s 1999.
Although being ill sucks, the upside is that I consume a vast quantity of books. It means I'm presented with an opportunity to sit down and read ebooks on my TBR pile. I'm fairly new to them, but, partially thanks to the great books coming from Decadent, I'm really liking them! (Both Decadent and ebooks).
I got drawn to Steamside Chronicles by the cover. Maybe it was the white hair (thanks to anime, I like non-standard colours of hair). Maybe it was the scarab beetle (I only learnt what it was in the book. Before I read it, I just saw it as a bug.) Either way, I was intrigued. That intrigue led to a few hours of not being quite sure what was going on.
I don't mean that in a bad way. There were a lot of key issues which were kept a secret both from Emily and Jack. The story is from both their points of view, which makes quite an entertaining read on how they view each other. I find Emily's voice extremely easy to read. It was a pleasure to read her view on the strange life she found herself in, fighting monsters that were dreams, trying to find out what was really going on. It was the little things such as what she hadn't liked back on Earth, or how she summed up situations. Jack, as the leader of the group had a lot of burdens to carry. Emily is a mystery to him, in several ways. It's a mystery that his sister Annalise (mostly known as Petti) makes it her business to investigate. Finding out who they really are is pretty much the basis of the novel - not just where they are, but who they are as people.
The relationships within this novel were solid. There was the usual sibling watchfulness between Petti and Jack, the (perhaps inevitable) romance between Jack and Emily, plus the friendships of the other people in steamside. I liked how the community was run, how people had certain tasks to do, how they helped each other out. And how the friends had no qualms in making sure one of them did as they were told.
Heat wise, there is some language and romance throughout the entire novel. There were two chapters containing moderately sensual levels of romance.
I enjoyed this book, and will keep an eye out for more books by Ciar Cullen.