Release Date: 08/13/13
FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.
As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.
In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.
My thoughts on the book:
I expected A Clockwork Heart to be an improvement over A Conspiracy of Alchemists, but unfortunately I was wrong. This novel failed to engage me, and while I liked Elle and Marsh in the first installment, both characters fell flat for me this time around. I couldn't force myself to care about what happened to them. The pacing was slow, and I got bored quite a few times. Unless you're a huge Steampunk fan, you may want to pass this one up.
Elle annoyed me this time. She comes across as a spoiled brat, who refuses to sacrifice anything for her marriage. She's also cocky and arrogant, which results in plenty of problems for herself. Marsh seems like a door mat this time around, which made me not respect him as much. The secondary characters are all flat, filler characters. Also, none of the characters really evolve in this novel.
The plot is inconsistent at best and overly convenient at worst. The pacing is so slow, and there is a huge lack of world-building. Considering the world wasn't 100% clear in the first book, I was hoping that Schwarz would clear some things up this time around. That wasn't the case, though. The last fourth of the book is the best, and at least made me somewhat interested in the series again. I'll probably read the last installment just to see how things end, but even with the decent ending, I still am not too invested in these characters.
Overall, I'd say if you're a die hard Steampunk fan, you should read this. Otherwise, try it out from the library first. You may be disappointed.
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