December 22, 2012

Early Review: Gilded by Karina Cooper

Series: The St. Croix Chronicles 2
Format: Egalley (Edelweiss)
Release Date: December 26, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.


I'm used to high-powered, adrenalin-induced adventures associated with Steampunk but Karina Cooper managed to squeeze in emotionally charged to her latest novel, GILDED, book two of Cherry St. Croix's Chronicles. 

GILDED marked a major turning point in Cherry's life. I wouldn't necessary call it hitting bottom but from the looks of things, the world as Cherry knows it isn't the same anymore. As if being in debt to the notorious Karakash Veil and having your own father almost murder you to revive your own mother isn't enough, Cherry unknowingly handed over her life to her greatest nemesis, the Marchioness of Northampton.
You are the one weakness I will allow myself. [Cornelius]
GILDED has a lot of fun things in it. Jack the Ripper is mincing prostitutes in the streets of London. Then you have another murderer killing a bunch of University professors whose identity, Cherry, is trying to solve. However being a badass collector for the Veil is easy compared to being a socialite as Cherry endures one social mocking after the other. Her acceptance in the snobbish London elite within reach now because Cornelius Kerrigan Compton, Earl of Compton and the son of the Marchioness, asked for Cherry's hand in marriage! Cherry is hesitant but Micajah "Cage" Hawke, the sexy ringmaster of the Midnight Menagerie and the Veil's lieutenant of sorts, told Cherry that her debt will be paid once she marries the Earl. Win-win? Not quite. Tragedy struck and it seems HEA is not in Cherry's stars... yet.

GILDED had several scenes that really riled me up aside from the tragic ending KCooper dished out. Topping the list are those irritating tea parties and haughty balls the Marchioness of Northampton keeps on throwing and Cherry keeps on attending. I mean Cherry deals with street urchins and criminals on a nightly basis surely she can deal with a bunch of gossip mongering matronly socialites right?! Obviously Cherry's gadgets are useless against these titled vipers, she has to thicken her skin and sharpen her tongue to stop these women from harassing her. For the most part Cornelius was there to save her but usually Cherry has to suffer embarrassment first before she's whisked away by the dapper Earl.  
It will be you, Cherry St. Croix, or it will be no other, for I will not tie myself to a simpering maid with neither intellectual wit nor a thirst for life. [Cornelius]
Cage made himself sparse this time but Cherry's constant remembrance of that delicious drug-induced encounter he had with Cherry in Tarnished tidied me over a little bit. On those few scenes that he was in, I can feel the tension and his presence seems to leap off the pages... for me anyways, the man is so edible! Anyway, based on how GILDED ended, I don't think I'll be thirsting for Cage much longer because it's almost a guarantee that we'll be seeing a lot of him in the succeeding books. 

GILDED is a great sequel to the series. I love how KCooper didn't balk on killing her characters and breaking the "bottom" of several situations. Cherry now has to deal with a lot of personal conflicts and the array of overpowering emotions and situations before her will test not just her already fragile mental state but her person and tenacity. We are in for a ride when book 3 comes out, Cherry is in the fork of her road and even though she looks like she's already made a decision in the end, I'm pretty sure KCooper will twist and turn things first before she makes it better for our red haired heroine again. But for now, I'll be comforted with thoughts of Cage and the comeback Cherry is sure to give us in the next installment.

If you want to start the series, you're in luck because book 1,
is currently on sale at Amazon for only 99 cents!


  1. This one sounds really good. I'm off to by Tarnished now! Great review :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. You'll love the series.

      P.S. I call dibs on Cage :D

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! Wonderful review! We do love ourselves some Steampunk. I shall start Tarnished in a couple days and then go onto Gilded. Oh MYYYY I am currently reading Backstage Pass..whahhhh!!! Eyes boggle! I needed to switch up from using the tissues with the Contemporary cries I have been reading. So thought I would throw in an uber smexi...Yowzer!!


    1. DIBS ON CAGE!

      Those books are sitting on my desk, I'm in a fantasy kick now so I'll prolly get round to it next year.

    2. Well ummmm, I have dibs on ........ ummmmm.....Lucas in Easy, Holder in Hopeless....ummmmm....maybe Ryodan in Iced. Got my book, shall read shortly. I can hardly sfocus, my eyes are doing that spazzy tired thing and it's all out of focus. Backstage Pass is like humma, humma. The Kindle is giving me the fuzzy eyes from staring at it too long:)


  3. Great review! I need this book in my life :)

  4. Love the review! I've had Tarnished on my Kindle since it came out but keep putting it off to read something else. Think I'll move it up the list now so i can get to Gilded. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This sounds interstesting, and Cherry sounds like an intriguing main character.
    Happy reading and have a happy holidays and Merry Christmas!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!