Author- Sara C Roethle
My Rating- 4 STARS
Synopsis- Arhyen is the self-declared finest thief in London. The mission was simple. Steal a journal from Fairfax Breckinridge, one of the greatest alchemists of the time.
Arhyen hadn’t expected to find Fairfax himself, with a dagger in his back. Nor had he expected his automaton daughter, Liliana. Suddenly entrenched in a mystery too great for him to fully comprehend, he must rely on the help of a wayward detective, and an automaton who claims she has a soul, to piece together the clues laid before them. Will Arhyen uncover the true source of Liliana’s soul in time, or will London plunge into a dark age of nefarious technology, where only the scientific will survive?
My Review- Clockwork Alchemist is set in what I think is a mildly steampunkish version of Victorian style London as it is becoming more industrialised and using the beginnings of machinery to take over hundreds of people's jobs. Arhyen, the self proclaimed best thief in London, finds a female automaton in the house of an Alchemist while stealing a journal for his most recent employer. Unable to think of the automaton, who introduces herself as Liliana, as a machine when she looks and act so human, Arhyen agrees to take her with him when she asks to leave. This decision complicates his seemingly simple task and takes him and Liliana, along with detective Ephraim, on a wild adventure.
Clockwork Alchemist is packed with fun adventure, dark mystery and action. It is very well written from the POV's of Arhyen and Liliana, their monologues and thoughts and feelings bonding with the reader every step of the way. I like the way the mystery unfolded piece by piece and threw in twists to keep you unsure of who the villains really were. Double crosses and triple crosses had me wondering who would ultimately be trustworthy, I even suspected one of the heroes of the story many times.
Arhyen and Liliana are a fantastic duo along with witty and calm Ephraim. Their individual personalities are fun to read and invoke many emotions. I adored Liliana. She was such a strong girl who wasn't sure of her place in this human world and why she could feel more than a machine had any business to. I can't help but feel there is far more to learn about how she works and why she has emotions and desires beyond the explanation in this book. Arhyen is a lovable thief. He is a gentleman, polite, full of heart and strong enough to take care of himself in deadly circumstances.
This is a tale of self discovery, what truly makes someone 'human' and acceptance. There is a hint of romance but above all Aryhen and Liliana compliment each other, and their friendship fills the parts of them that they never knew were missing.
Such a great gem here and I can't wait to see what mischief they cause in book 3. This trio are fun, daring and attract trouble at every turn. Clockwork Alchemist is well worth picking up and trying if you like alot of adventure and mystery, a hint of Steampunk and a step back through history.
(I stumbled upon this book while browsing Amazon- It is available on Kindle Unlimited)