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Steampunk Fiction Review: Gilded Hearts by Christine D'Abo

Gilded Hearts by Christine D'Abo (The Shadow Guild #1)

Egalley thanks to Forever Yours

Synopsis from Goodreads
Samuel Hawkins, Sergeant in the King's Sentry, has been called in to investigate a murder case. As he awaits the Archivists to arrive—the team who will use a special device to extract the memories of the dead man to help find clues to his murder—he never expects to come face to face with the woman he'd left behind when he'd fled the Archives five years earlier.

Piper Smith has grown from the girl Samuel remembered into a strong woman and full-fledged archivist. Shadowed by her mentor, Master Ryerson, Piper will be performing her first extraction. When she sees Samuel, she must push aside her childhood crush, else risk her standing within the Guild.

As the two begin working together to find the killer, Samuel and Piper explore their intense attraction to each other. But "Jack the Ripper" proves to be harder to catch than the two originally thought. What's worse, they discover he may very well work for the Archives. Now, Samuel and Piper must battle internal and external threats as they try to foil a plot against the Crown and stop Jack the Ripper from taking his next victim.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 I should man up and learn to DNF review books without so much guilt, peeps. I have no compunction doing it to the books I bought, but ARCs? Oh, man. The guilt eats me up.

Gilded Hearts which I featured on my Dreaming of Books and was very excited about, took me just under a month to read, and that on its own is an indication of what was wrong (takes me a couple of day on average to devour a book).

As a combination of factors it should have worked. There is Jack The Ripper, there are steampunk elements, a mysterious Guild of Archivists, a determined heroine, a tortured man, secrets and shadows and interesting secondary characters.

As a whole it falls apart. It's like building something where all the joints are wrong for each other. You can't connect them, you get frustrated and try harder, and it turns into a nightmare.

There is no writerly magic happening here, no zing, peeps. Pip and Sam have zero chemistry together. They are characters with a personality of a peanut. 

The story arc does not make sense, Jack does not make sense, the main villain goes against everything he believes in with only a half hearted justification for his actions. The ending is absurd. Argh, I think my brain exploded!

I can not make sense of it all, and I won't recommend you trying either. 

* * *
Вашу мать, я потратила чуть меньше месяца на прочтение этого "шедевра", и давилась каждым предложением!

Как сочетание идей, сама история должна была работать - здесь вам и стимпанк и Джэк Потрошитель, загадочная гильдия Архивистов, упрямая героиня, страдающий герой, секреты на секретах и интересные второстепенные персонажи.

Как одно целое, эта книга рассыпается как карточный домик. Здесь нет того волшебства, которое заставляет читателя погружаться в книгу. У главных героев личной харизмы размером с грецкий орех и какое-то натужное влечение друг к другу, в которое совершенно не верится.

Развитие сюжета - это абсурдный кошмар. Мотивы Джека бессмыслены, логика Сэма лишает меня дара речи, а главный злодей вообще идёт против всего, во что верит и даёт этому какое-то слабенькое оправдание.

В общем, никому не советую. Полное "г" на палочке.
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