Steampunk Novel Review: The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan

The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan (Fall of The Gas-Lit Empire #3)

Egalley thanks to Angry Robot

Synopsis from Goodreads
You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.
Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.
Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume of the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

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 Every time! Every bloody time it happened to me with this bloody series, ladies and gents. First I'm not sure but keep reading, then it gets more and more interesting, and bam! There is this huge, exciting race to the end. Which finishes really quickly. Which is why I don't rate the books very high. The consistency is too choppy, but overall this is a solid 4 star material.

 Every book is very different. This time Elizabeth realizes that she is tired of running from the Duke and decides to confront her fears, but something or someone interferes along the way and forces her to adjust her goals.

Without meaning it or realizing how the hell did she get there, our heroine ends up taking part in the heist of the century. While her companions want to rob the Patent Office for its marvels, Miss Barnabus is on the hunt for the files from her father's case to find out who the corrupt officials of the Patent Office was. 

There is a lot of preparation in which Elizabeth either runs away from the agents or plays the role of a mediator between the hot headed companions, but overall when the heist starts halfway through the book the reader really pays attention and the tension level spikes really high.

I extremely enjoyed this book and especially its ending. It's happy-for-now type, but nothing else will suit Elizabeth Barnabus quite so well.

There is a plethora of secondary characters, among which the blacksmith definitely stands out, but generally the rest of them are already familiar to the reader.

Well thought, well researched book, a fascinating concept of alternative history and a steady, likable heroine. Recommended. Might suit the fans of Karen Kincy.

* * *
 Каждый раз! Поверить не могу, что попадаюсь я с этой книгой каждый раз! Сначала читаю я её нехотя, затем она набирает темп, и вот уже невозможно от неё оторваться, и концовка совершенно взрывная. Наверное, оценку я занижаю из-за вот такого рваного ритма, однако в общем серия заслуживает твёрдой четвёрки.

 Сюжет каждой книги очень разный. В этот раз Элизабет осознаёт, что от герцога она бегать устала и решает наконец-то пойти с ним на конфронтацию, но сама не понимая как вместо этого становится участницей афёры века.

Между попытками избежать людей герцога и агентов Патентного Офиса, Мисс Барнабус вместе с остальными аферистами планирует как взломать сейфы Патентного Офиса, однако есои её компаньоны мечтают о чудесах, которые унесут со своей кражи, её целью являются документы по делу её отца, в которых скрыто имя продажного агента Патентного Офиса.

В этой книге полно знакомых нам персонажей, однако из новых очень интересен кузнец. А в общем, хорошо построенный сожет с элегантным решением всех проблем. Мне понравилось.

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