Release Date: February 10, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk | Adult
Forced out of London's coal-blackened streets, Cherry St. Croix is faced with her most difficult undertaking yet: sobriety.
At long last, my guardian, the enigmatic Mr. Oliver Ashmore, has revealed himself—and his order is clear: I am to be dried out at once, regardless of my wishes.
I loathe the country estate I am imprisoned within. Footsteps follow me, voices call for me, and my sanity wavers. In my fevered dreams, I am haunted by those I failed, while waking proves no protection from the ghosts of my reckless past. The craving for laudanum plagues me. I require a distraction.
To unravel the alchemical mysteries of my mother's family, I must rely on Ashmore's tutelage. I am lured to the art and drawn by the secrets my guardian possesses. Yet the deeper I delve, the more I believe that something dreadful disturbs these haunted corridors. In my madness, I fear that what it wants most...is me.
I'm so sorry for posting this late today. School started and it's tax free weekend so I've been running around, getting school stuff and what-not for my student. Summer is officially over in my neck 'o the woods and we're all in school mode again. So I'm going to make this quick because I so love TEMPERED and I want to gush about it.
On to TEMPERED!
Oh Karina Cooper, I so love how you make love with words! I've read a lot of Steampunk and there's only a handful of authors who managed to not only capture the spirit of the genre but the time period as well. So aside from the Victorian setting, costumes, social elements, the language is very different back then and it's the latter that has me enthralled in St. Croix Chronicles. From the first page, you know that you've traveled back in time similar to when one is reading historical romances.
Cherry St. Croix's world was turned upside down in Corroded, and TEMPERED is both an ending and a start of something new. Cherry's always been a pariah among the ton because of who her parents are, her mother was a beaut who became an outcast because she married Mad (scientist) St. Croix, both died when Cherry was young and she never really knew of them up until Mad St. Croix came back in Tarnished and tried to kill Cherry so he can revive his wife. This arc came to full circle here and finally Cherry discovered the true nature of her parents and they are not only dysfunctional, they are evil! Cherry's mother reminds me of Arcadia Bell's parents, demented and blinded by their lust for power and immortality and I hope we've seen the last of them.
On that same note, Cherry's also an opium addict and she was forced into Victorian-style rehab thanks to her mysterious guardian, Oliver Ashmore, whose connection to her family runs deep. I was hopeful that Ashmore will be the antidote to Hawke, The Menagerie's Ringmaster and Cherry's first love, he seemed like an upstanding gentleman at first but we soon learn that that's not the case. This arc about Ashmore was interesting, it involved a lot of alchemy which I love because what's Steampunk without the Aether and Ashmore has a wealth of knowledge about alchemy. Anyway, Cherry's rehab stint had me wanting to give her a shower and a hug. Now that her thoughts and emotions are not dulled by opium, it's evident to see that Cherry's hurting real bad and grieving hard for her past life. TEMPERED is a turning point for her and I want to see how these tragedies changed her moving forward.
The series arc is shifting somewhat because of the devastation that Cherry's had in her life which definitely changed her. I'm excited to read Engraved because I miss Micajah Hawke and now that Cherry's back on her feet, she's got a few scores to settle and I'd like to know the extent of Cherry's wounds are. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned they say, Cherry's had enough betrayals in her life to make her lust for retribution and bitter. Personally I hope Cherry becomes a wrecking ball, she should start with her mother-in-law.