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Review: Heart of Brass by Kate Cross

Heart of Brass by Kate Cross (Clockwork Agents #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam powered world—the Wardens of the Realm—a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil.

Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: She has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.

He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before the Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, he can't seem to complete his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him, and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well. 

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK(£4.90)


* * *
 After reading God Save The Queen by the same author under a different pen name Kate Locke, I was expecting something just as spectacular.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Heart of Brass is a weak romance novel with a tiny bit of steampunk, and it's such a pity as well, peeps!

Arden could have been an awesome heroine. She makes fantastic mechanical inventions, she even invented a vibrating ring for women which sells like hot cakes, she assists Scotland Yard in murder investigations with the help of aether glasses that allow her to see last moments of the victim. She even wears tiny chains from her ear hooped into a ring in her nose like Indian women. Almost all female characters in this book are exotic and exciting.

If not for men spoiling everything. 

In my opinion there shouldn't have been a come back for Arden's husband until the very end of the book, and there shouldn't have been emo love struggles from her friend and jealous rage from her brother-in-law when he found out that his brother is alive.

It was tiring and it wasn't helping moving the plot in any way. All Arden was thinking is how to jump in her husband's bed and how angry she was at him. So she was shouting at him and then making out with him next.

What also bothered me was that she was a functional alcoholic, and then stopped after seven years of drinking heavily, and the issues weren't mentioned enough to show the full impact of her decision on her health, there were hardly any struggles...

The plot also went nowhere. It was dragging its feet with a search for the traitor spy and with Scotland Yard's murders investigation, and then suddenly all got resolved almost like an afterthought.

You see, why I wasn't pleased with the book. Great ideas, bad execution. Not sure if I will continue with this series. Read at your own risk.

* * *
К сожалению, задумка была хороша, но её исполнение оставляет желать лучшего.

Арден - очень интересный персонаж. Изобретательница, шпионка, помогающая Скотланд - Ярду в расследовании убийств. Она также - работающий алкоголик, постоянно прикладывающийся к фляжке с виски. Все женщины в книге описаны здорово и экзотично и превосходно эмансипированы для стимпанка.

Однако всё портит возвращение мужа Арден. Начинаются эмоциональные мучения, постоянные перепады от желания к безрассудной ярости, потому что он её оставил на 7 лет, пока его все считали мёртвым. Не помогает то, что лучший друг обоих влюблён в Арден, а брат её мужа не хочет верить в то, что его брат вернулся и заявляет, что тот - мошенник.

В общем, книга превращается в слабенький стимпанковский роман, а сам сюжет откидывает копыта. Поиск предателя в шпионской организации и расследование убийств девушек-аристократок проводятся медленно, спустя рукава, и как-то очень удобно заканчиваются вместе с книгой. Всё так вяло, что аж противно. Сама Арден быстренько бросает пить без каких-либо послествий, чему я, пардон, просто не верю. И честно говоря этот непроработанный нюанс меня доконал.

Читайте на свой страх и риск. Я не знаю, решусь ли я на продолжение этой серии. Лучше почитайте "Боже, спаси Королеву" той же писательницы под псевдонимом Кейт Лок (Kate Locke) - написано гораздо живее и интереснее.


Blodeuedd said...

Oh same author? But not as good, well that just plainly suck

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

A plot that goes nowhere, and threads not mentioned..eek! Sorry this disappointed you. Great review!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hmm, I know this author's name from somewhere else too. But I didn't realize she was the same as Save the Queen. Interesting. Sorry this one wasn't as good for you. Maybe the series will pick up with book 2. :) Thank you!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Blodeuedd, it does. I think I'll just stick to her steampunkish urban fantasy seris from now on :)

Kimberly, I think a lot of people will like it, but I had a comparison with the author's previous book, and it's not even near its sheer awesomeness this time.

Melissa, maybe. I might give it a go if it's in my local library. Who knows?

Bea said...

That's too bad, the blurb is so promising.

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