- File Size: 1253 KB
- Print Length: 117 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Grace Draven (March 10, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 10, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XJN6BJT
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,357 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Gaslight Hades (The Bonekeeper Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I'm so glad I finally got it. A different setting than the other Draven books but no less intriguing. The small glimpses of this world tease you to want more.
The romance as always delivers with a delightful slow burn.
I can't wait for more.
Maybe because it reminds me of Haldir, the sexy elf in Tolkien’s The Two Towers (as he’s portrayed in the movie), but there’s just something about a tall, thin, reserved hero with long hair that I find ridiculously attractive. Sure, Nathaniel does not have pointy elf ears, but he fits the rest of the bill and I loved him immediately. In addition to his unique appearance, he’s a nice balance of brave, somber, and saucy, and doesn’t waste a million pages waffling about what he wants. Lenore was strong and independent, two qualities I always like in a heroine, and she had no problem abandoning social norms for what—and who—she wanted. She actually learned from her past mistake and owned up to it, another thing I liked about her. As this was a novella of less than 40k words, I wasn’t expecting a ton of fleshing-out with these two, but there was enough to make them interesting and unique. The chemistry between them is instantaneous and the way Ms. Draven builds it up is just perfect. I’m all-around satisfied with how Lenore and Nathaniel ended up, and if you’re a fan of the HEA, you will be, too!
As for the world they inhabit, there were just enough hints and details to intrigue me but not so many that I was overwhelmed. I enjoyed the mix of realism and magic and I also appreciated that I didn’t have to look up terms right and left in an attempt to figure out what bizarreness was happening. Which, honestly, was another reason I’ve been shy of this genre. Ms. Draven described things in a way that made them comfortable, easy to grasp, and much less outlandish than I was expecting. I love this steampunky London. And the Redan? Flat-out scary. I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about it, though!
I think I’ve just decided that typos are a thing that is probably going to happen in every book I read forevermore. For me, they’re more noticeable in shorter works like this one simply because there are fewer words overall. While I didn’t spot a ton of typos in Gaslight Hades, there were enough of the usual: missing words, words out of order, and the random wonky punctuation. I’m annoyed by this, but I suppose it comes with the reviewer territory at this point.
Bottom line: Gaslight Hades was another wonderful offering by Ms. Draven, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of this series. If you like Victorian culture with a dash of the paranormal, then this is definitely worth a read. I also highly recommend it for readers just beginning to explore Gaslamp, as it isn’t too overwhelmingly…uh…gaslamp-y.
In Nathaniel Gordon's case, he was denied even the chance at love with Lenore Kenward before perishing in an airship accident, nor was he allowed to lay unmolested, instead he was forced to inhabit the form so graciously revealed on the book's cover. A transfer of consciousness from broken body into a new, binding all together with gehenna, which proves its meaning of "a place of fiery torment for the dead" in what our hero suffers upon revival. By the time he's past the agony, Dr. Harvel, the depraved scientist who made him, is dead, slain by Gideon, his original creation, and Nathaniel is in the first Guardian's care, slowing recovering from death's transition to a semblance of life.
Now one of seven "Bonekeepers," Nathaniel dutifully takes up the task of protecting the dead from fates such as his (if not worse), rendering any would be resurrectionists as dead as he and his fellow Guardians once were. There's a clever irony in that , since the resurrectionists were stealing bodies for the purpose of creating Guardians (and other unnatural things), but since Harvel failed to robbed them of their free will, they remained the men they had been inside despite their outward metamorphosis. Guardians are a staple of this world, and though the non-dead denizens of the city are familiar with them, they're still slightly feared and shunned especially if they leave their cemetery.
Lenore, however, shuns unnecessary propriety, much to her mother's rue. In visiting her late father's grave, she makes the acquaintance and eventual friendship of Nathaniel, fascinated by how this strange being reminds her so much of her lost love in his mannerisms and speech if obviously not appearance, and Draven displays more of her aptitude for irony in having Lenore's eventual wistful thoughts for the Guardian overlap her grieving ones for Nathaniel.
Due to her father's untimely demise, the practicalities of life demand Lenore seek employment to keep her and her mother from destitution despite Jane Kenward's prim and overbearing sense of propriety. The main plot of Gaslight Hades hinges on Lenore's occupation, and since her best friend is an airship captain, she seeks that path despite both its dangers and her mother's disapproval. Nathaniel, still haunted by the last moments of his former life, can't stand idle while the woman he loves could be endangered by the very horror that killed him, and he realizes the title Guardian can extend to those not moldering in the earth.
The chemistry the author writes between couples could light a thousand worlds, and similar to Wraith Kings, Lenore couldn't care less that Nathaniel looks not only different but far less human. This is another example of loving someone for whom they are and not how they appear, and Draven again uses paradigms from her prior work without making them redundant. All authors have a formula. This is not an insult (especially considering as a writer, I have one, too). It only becomes problematic and tedious when the exact same elements are used in the exact same way.
Draven constantly shows a penchant for subtle and meta humor, which is shown in the name Nathaniel gives a stray dog. He calls her Spot, which is what Cerberus, the three-headed hound guarding the gates of Hades translates into. So...you have the main character of a novel called Gaslight Hades who is a Guardian naming a dog the English translation of the guardian of the underworld. It's pretty brilliant.
I adored this novel. It resides now on my favorites shelf, but there is something that keeps it from being perfect and won't allow me, no matter how much I wish, to give it a full five stars. I tangled with this dilemma for a while, because the story is damn near perfect, and the good greatly overshadows the questionable, but issue is egregious enough in terms of writing/plot development that against my personal viewpoint, I have to consider it. Reviews should aim to be as objective as possible, though subjectivity of course permeates them, since we all have unconscious biases and preferences.
The issue lies in the resurrectionist/Dr. Tepes plot. Though the situation is introduced, nothing comes of it in the narrative. There are only hints dropped that Gideon, but nothing comes to fruition. There's a good chance this will be covered in the next installment, but presenting the plot coupon so blatantly without cashing it in leaves the question open at the close. If Tepes were only briefly mentioned and the resurrectionists in his employ more vague with whom they worked for, it wouldn't have left its small hole in the narrative. The evil doctor was propped up as a seemingly formidable antagonist who had his own minions, but then the story steered us in another direction. The Tepes plot is left by the wayside, and though I'm certain it will be covered in Gaslight Viduus, I think it would've been a better move to leave it more vague here.
The positives of Gaslight Hades far outweigh the negatives, and the fore mentioned issue is far less egregious even though I have to take it into account. Grace Draven masterfully turns and twists tropes in ways that re-envision paranormal romance along with what kinds of characters are allowed to be heroes. Usually people like Nathaniel (and Brishen from Wraith Kings) are defined by their appearance, and if they're even allowed to be heroic, they're usually antiheroes who fight some "dark side" that mirrors how they look, but Nathaniel's only "sins" are dying before his time and having his corpse confiscated and his consciousness transferred into a transformed host. He is melancholy (for good reason), but not evil. Being associated with the dead doesn't make you a ubiquitous dealer of it. He kills those who warrant it, uses his new life protecting the dead and living, and for god's sake he saves a puppy! Heroism is not defined by appearance, but by deed. Both Nathaniel and Lenore prove that despite their society's adherence to values that would confine Bonekeepers to the boneyard and women to the home.
Most recent customer reviews
That being said I had a hard time getting into this book. The begining was a little slow for me, with a lot of angst-ridden backstory/...Read more