by Evangeline Denmark
Releases January 2016
Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need.
By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens. Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make.
But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real. There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever.
I had never read a steampunk book before and I was pleasantly surprised! Denmark did a wonderful job with the world building - it was quite detailed, just how I like it :D Everything is like reality - but with a twist. It also helps that I love gadgets and this story provided great descriptions of some that, sadly, I'll probably never see lol. The characters are well-rounded even if they are supporting characters which is a very important aspect for me. I want to care about the characters that I read and this story lets me do that. Plus - I love awesome heroines and that is exactly what the reader should expect from this story. Anyone who would like to wade in the steampunk pool should consider this book - it is very entertaining!