Clockwork Image (Steam and Shadow: Book 4) by L.G. Rollins

Clockwork Image (Steam and Shadow Book 3) by [Rollins, L. G.]

4 Stars


Date of publication: July 25th, 2019

Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal

Series: Steam and Shadow

Masked by Moonlight—Book 1

Buried in Blue—Book 2

Waltz of the Crows—Book 3 (review here)

Clockwork Image—Book 4

Where you can find Clockwork Image: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Vandals and Vampires Beware: 
Tressa won’t let anyone stand in her way.

After years maintaining engines and repairing machines, Seawoman Tressa Wimple has come into a shockingly large sum of money. It only takes Tressa a single breath to decide what to do—she will donate it all to Westwood Orphanage, a home for children who are otherwise bound for the streets. They saved her and her brother many decades ago; now, she wants nothing more than to reach out a hand to the small and helpless of London. 

All her plans are derailed, however, when a faceless adversary decries Westwood and claims that the orphanage is a front for something far darker; as dark as an alleyway where Tressa first rescues a boy from a vampire. With the help of her brother, Jasper, and the tall, alluring Brox, Tressa determines to get to the bottom of the claims and protect the children, regardless of the risks. 

When all that is dark is forced into the light, Tressa must face her most combustible problem yet: her own past.

First Line:

Seawoman Tressa Wimple closed her eyes and listened to the boiler.

Clockwork Image by L.G. Rollins

My Review:

Seawoman Tressa Wimple has lived for 20 years on the sea, fixing machines and maintaining engines. Landbound, Tressa is surprised when she comes into a considerable sum of money. She decides to donate that money to the orphanage that raised brother and herself. She wants to give back to the place that took her and her brother in. But her memories of Westwood are not all sunshine and rainbows. Something happened to Tressa there, something terrible. Something that was supposed to be stopped 20 years previous. Determined to solve the mystery, Tressa is helped by her brother and a mysterious, attractive man named Brox. What she finds hidden inside Westwood is evil at its purest. Will Tressa have the strength to confront her past? Will she be able to help the children?

Clockwork Image is a novella that takes place in the Steam and Shadow world. For a book that was 127 pages, the author was able to pack a punch. The plotlines were fast-paced. There were not any dropped storylines. Which I was thankful for. Lately, I have read a few books where some of the storylines disappeared. That drives me nuts!!

What I also liked is that while this book is 4th in the series, it can be read alone. Some of the other characters from the previous books to make an appearance, but they are in and out. The author didn’t linger on them. Again, something that I enjoyed.

I liked Tressa. She was at a loss on what to do with her life after her career ended. She wanted to do good for Westwood even if she had bad memories of the place. So, donating the money she came into seemed like the best thing. I got her confusion when things started happening. Everything seemed to be pointing to that mysterious event in her past.

I did have a small complaint about the event. The author did a great job of keeping everything wraps, but she did it too well. The clues were leaked too far apart. I did start to lose interest in that storyline.

The steampunk angle of the book was terrific. I loved that Tressa spent her entire career maintaining engines and fixing boilers. The author went into detail about what Tressa did while at sea. Tressa fixing Brox’s engine and the beginning scene fascinated me.

I loved the romance angle. I liked that Tressa was struck by Brox as soon as she saw him. I didn’t like that she had such self-doubt about how he felt about her. I liked that Brox wanted to court her. I mean, he asked to kiss her!! But what I liked the most was that there was no sex. It made for a refreshing read..

I do want to comment on Jasper and Tressa’s relationship. At the beginning of the book, I didn’t know what to think about how they interacted. But, everything smoothed out by the end of the book.

The end of Clockwork Image was explosive!! The twist that the author threw in took me by surprise. I couldn’t believe what I was reading!! Of course, I should have known. What happened to that little boy at the beginning of the book should have clued me in.

I would give Clockwork Image an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Clockwork Image. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**


Waltz of the Crows (Steam and Shadow: Book 3) by L.G. Rollins

Waltz of the Crows (Steam and Shadow Novel Book 3) by [Rollins, L.]

4 Stars

Date of publication: June 4th, 2019

Genre: Steampunk, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance

Series: Steam and Shadow

Masked by Moonlight—Book 1

Buried in Blue—Book 2

Waltz of the Crows—Book 3

Where you can find Waltz of the Crows: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Leila Hale’s orders are clear: impersonate a nurse, make contact with her fellow spy, and get London the information it needs without being caught or killed; or worse, tripping up so horribly her superiors deem her incompetent.

Samuel Rowley has returned to find his hometown disease-ridden, with many on the brink of madness. Not a man to sit back and merely hope for the best, he determines to explore every resource available until he finds a solution. 

Together, Leila and Samuel sort out the relevant from the distractions and tease truth from lies. But as they uncover various secrets, it becomes evident that this insanity isn’t a disease at all, but a meticulously infiltrated poisoning; and the perpetrator has them in their sights.

When all is made known, will Leila and Samuel have enough wit and strength to save themselves, their future, and a town full of innocent victims?

Waltz of the Crows is Book 3 in the Steam and Shadow Series; all books in this series are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Waltz of the Crows is a Victorian Era Steampunk (think Woman in White but with cool gadgets) bundled up with a cozy mystery and sweet romance. Perfect for lovers of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Waltz of the Crows, I got excited. It has been a long time since I have read a good steampunk book. I was hoping that the book lived up to its blurb. I am happy to report that this book lived up to the blurb and then some!!

The plot for Waltz of the Crows was simple. Leila was in France on a mission. There is a deadly flu that has been confined to a village in France. Leila is to gather intel on the flu and send it to London. While in France, Leila meets the dashing Samuel. With his help, Leila discovers that the people are being poisoned. Soon, it becomes a race to find out who is poisoning the village and why. Can Leila and Samuel expose the villain without getting themselves hurt? Can they stop the poisoning?

I loved Leila. She had been forced into the field early and hadn’t been able to complete her training. She was terrified that she was going to get killed or be labeled incompetent. It made her cautious at the beginning of the book. But once Victor was compromised, she started to shed her doubts. I loved watching her character grow. I cheered her on when she was intel gathering. I liked her.

I liked Samuel too. At first, I did wonder why he was being brought into the book. But as the book went on, his role in everything became crystal clear. He had a set of skills that Leila needed. He also wanted to get to the bottom of who was poisoning the village. I loved watching him fall for Leila. It was sweet.

The steampunk angle of the book was well written. This book was set in Victorian England. There were motorcars, steam run submarines, gears, and airships. I couldn’t get enough of reading about that. I couldn’t get enough of reading about that.

The mystery angle of the book was well written also. The author did a great job at keeping who was poisoning the village under wrap until the end of the book. I did have my suspicions about who it was, and I was wrong. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved it!!

There was also a romance angle in Waltz of the Crows. The romance between Leila and Samuel was sweet. It was innocent. It was a perfect fit in with the story.

The end of Waltz of Crows was action-packed. I was surprised at who the villain turned out to be. The author did a great job of keeping it under wrap. The other surprise is what happened to Leila and Samuel. I never predicted what happened to happen. It was a fantastic end to the book.

I would give Waltz of Crows an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Waltz of Crows I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**