August 31, 2012

Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Excerpt here
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!
When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.
THE DARK UNWINDING is set in a beautiful estate with a community that is self sufficient led by an eccentric genius inventor. When Katherine set foot in Stranwyne Keep, she never expected a self-sufficient community where people were given decent employment to provide for themselves and their family all because of her Uncle's hobby. Katherine was set to believe that Fat Robert's inheritance, and consequently hers, is being squandered in useless gadgetry that his Uncle was fond of creating. This premise planted in her mind by her Aunt Alice can't be farther from the truth because her Uncle's madness has done nothing but improve people's lives and now it's up to Katherine to keep it that way. 
-- the villagers of Stranwyne do not deserve to be turned out of their homes. And neither does your unvle belong in a lunatic's cell, merely for the crime of being created differently from his fellows.
A very promising plot line that turned into a very laborious read! THE DARK UNWINDING was slow to unwind and get on with the story. The world that Sharon Cameron created is dark, gritty and exactly what the cover art implies. What killed it was the world building itself. She took her time in sowing the seeds she planted and the heart-racing romance promised faded in the background. Towards the end I couldn't care less about Katherine's love life or inheritance, I just want to get it over with. The slow pace doused the excitement I felt when I started reading the book. 

Which is disappointing because Katherine is a likable heroine. She's sharp, objective, carefree and empathetic towards the people her Uncle employed. The setting is equally fascinating with all those clockwork gadgets and her Uncle Tully's genius, even the secondary characters were entertaining enough. It's the way these strong points were strung together that affected an otherwise engaging story. With all the mysteries and possible conflicts the plot implies, SCameron could've jumped in the thick of things right away instead of distracting us with too much scenery.


  1. I'm glad you liked the book, but thanks for helping mitigate my expectations for this. I'm excited, but will wait a bit for it.

  2. Nice honest review Miss B. I have this to read. I do love my Steampunk , I may have a little read just to peek and see. I do like my world building to get on with it. I think if it wasn't steampunk I wouldn't bother but it is so I shall :D


  3. I'm on the fence about this one, I'm not huge on steampunk but this one did sound interesting. I've read a few books where the world building dragged and ended up not liking it so I think i'll skip this one. Thanks for the review.

  4. This book looks like it could be interesting. Sucks about the slow world building though, I'll have to check for it at my local library just so I wont purchase a book I might end up disliking by the end! Great review Braine :)


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