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The Earl and the Artificer (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices Book 3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 302 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The first time I read one of Jorgensen’s Ingenious Mechanical Devices novels, The Winter Garden, my area was under a tornado warning. The TV was on in the background spouting alerts and I started reading on my iPad to keep my mind off the storm. The fact that it held my attention speaks volumes.
Jorgensen’s new novel, The Earl and the Artificer, is book three in her Ingenious Mechanical Devices series, but works just as well as a stand-alone novel. The novel continues the story of the two main characters, Eilian and Hadley, from Earl of Brass. The characters have married and moved on with their lives as the new Earl and Countess of Dorset, but their personalities remain on track.
Potential Minor Spoilers
It is not too big of a spoiler to tell you that the first chapter opens with Hadley elbow-deep in steamer engine innards, covered in grease, trying to fix their burned-out vehicle:
Leaning into the front of the cab, she brought her face close to the boiler as the heat of the kettle stung her cheeks. The metal coils of the heating element had melted into a blackened cake that smelled of burnt hair. Using the sides of the hood for leverage, she pivoted back until her satin boots met the road’s white gravel. Staring down at her cream dress, already streaked with soot and grease, she sighed and wiped her hands across it before smoothing a lock of henna hair behind her ear.
Of course her new white dress becomes filthy and in this state she has to meet their new neighbors and their cousin, Randall Nash, who seems to judge her appearance rather harshly.
Both Eilian and Hadley are having a hard time adjusting to so many changes in their lives, and part of the novel revolves around the new dimensions in their relationship as husband and wife and, of course, setting up their household in a Gothic-style mansion reminiscent of the BBC’s Downton Abbey. Add to this a mixture of steampunk devices and somewhat magical-seeming elements that are not simply thrown-in for effect but are actually integral to the story.
There is a treasure at Brasshurst Hall hidden in the ruins, but to discover it Eilian and Hadley have to brave physical threats and overcome the emotional debris of his tragic family history. Suspense builds as the story continues, as does the sense of impeding danger. Without giving away too much, I will just say that the resolution will not be something most readers will expect, but it fits perfectly with the story world and the characters.
I recommend The Earl and the Artificer for anyone who enjoys a Victorian-style steampunk novel filled with intriguing characters, mystery, suspense, and danger.
First off, I've been a big fan of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. Kara Jorgensen does a spectacular job depicting neo-Victorian adventures mixed with more modern social issues. Let's get to it.
Plot: Eilian and Hadley are back! The heroes of Book One, the Earl of Brass, return to delve into another escapade. I tell you this series really brings to life the old adage of good literary characters feeling like old friends. It was great to see them in a new setting tackling problems both broad and very personal. Now the story deals with the couple adjusting to their manor getaway in the country, its residents, and old ugly issues arising. I hate giving plits away so forgive my vagueness, but it's the full circle of romanticism, action, fear, doubt and drama. Both Eilian and Hadley have personal demons to conquer, a hard task considering what transpires around them. Mystery abounds.
Pace: I loved Earl of Brass. If it had a flaw, it was the tiny one of pace in the latter third. I didn't mind it, the writer had a lot to say, good things at that. But I saw readers not thinking thst way might have found it preachy or too drawn out.
In Artificer, pace is fast as a road runner. I read this book constantly, and it neer had a drag. When the moral plot points arise (many they are, more later), they are swift paragraphs and done, back to the flow. Jorgensen has mastered her one 'flaw'.
Plot Points: so this story begins on a vacation and soon blows open small town secrets, people's pasts coming back to haunt them and how marriage is hard work but worthwhile. Jorgensen has characters in Artificer who suffer from all the troubles of their time: race, sexuality, gender, class. I found a lot in these pages to relate to personally (being multiracial, socially awkward, etc.), so it helped give this book and emotional thrust.
It doesn't lack in drama. From familial duty to secrecy, Roman lore, taking on new roles and more, you feel the characters' pain, love and struggles.
This series, like any true steampunk/retro/neo-Victorian story, does what it needs to and then some. What's that? It offers the reader an immersive past with a touch of the fantastic, while giving you a tadte of old fashioned writing style blended with today. That's real retropunk, gang. Get this one. If you've never read it, get Earl of Brass and adventure. GetvWinter Garden and get the chill of penny dreadful nighfall. Then come back here, and bask in the 1890s with some excellent protagonists.
not eventually kill her love. Consummation need not be graphic--perhaps implied at a picnic or among Roman ruins? 4 Stars. Elle Greene
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hadley and Eillian newly married set off to Brasshurst.Read more
Jorgensen’s bread and butter is top-notch and complex characters. They’re the main reason why I love the series to begin with.Read more
I first want to say that I suck at reviews.Read more
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